Simple plumbing tips you need to know

July 27, 2015

Becoming familiar with the plumbing system and having the proper tools is all it takes to tackle minor repairs such as fixing a leaky faucet and clearing a blocked drain. Here are some simple things about plumbing that every homeowner should know.

Simple plumbing tips you need to know

Preventive maintenance

  • Periodically clean out the hair and soap scum from the bathroom sink and tub drains.
  • Never pour food, coffee grounds or liquid fat down the kitchen sink.
  • Don't flush anything down the toilet except bathroom tissue and human waste.
  • And fix leaky faucets quickly before minor problems lead to serious damage.

Simple repairs

With the proper tools and a little know-how, fixing many minor problems in your plumbing system is fairly easy.

  • You must, however, take with you any parts that need replacing to the hardware store or home centre to make sure that you get the correct piece.
  • Some replacement parts come in kits.

Turning off the water to the house is easy!

All adults should know how to shut off the water to the house, in case of a plumbing emergency. And whenever there is a leak or other plumbing repair (other than clearing a clogged drain), you must shut off the water supply to that area before doing the work.

  • In most houses there is a main shutoff valve, usually located on a pipe close to the water meter.
  • It may be where the water first enters the basement. In warm climates, it may be a valve located on the outside of the house. Or the shutoff may be in a box in the ground (sometimes called a buffalo box), usually between the house and the street.
  • Some boxes have valves that can be turned by hand; others need a long-handled "key." Contact your water company if you are not sure.
  • The valve controlling a house's hot-water supply is usually on the outlet pipe at the top of the water heater

How to turn off water at the plumbing fixture

It is more convenient to shut off the water at the plumbing fixture that you will be working on.

  • A stop valve for each plumbing fixture and water-using appliance are normally on the wall behind the fixture or appliance or directly below it in the basement.
  • If a leak is in the feeder line, you will need to shut off a more distant water valve.

A general knowledge of plumbing can save you money and inconvenience. Follow these tips and solve minor problems yourself!

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