Plumbing can be a very personal type of home improvement. It involves particular needs of an individual’s home. This vast world has so many techniques, equipment, and regulations that it can seem a bit confusing as to where you need to begin. These tips can help you make sense of the confusion.
Avoid plumbing problems! Do not stop up the toilet! Some common items that will stop up a toilet include: toys, hair, paper towels, birth control items, and feminine personal products. Do not flush these items down your toilet – unless the instructions say otherwise! These can stop up your toilet – to the point that nothing else will work – except calling a plumber!
Rigid copper is used for main water lines in many homes. You cannot bend rigid copper, so joints and tees must be soldered on. When soldering, always apply flux (also called soldering paste) to both surfaces. Flux retards oxidation when the copper is heated. Always use lead-free or nearly lead-free solder when sweating a copper joint.
Before starting any plumbing project be sure to turn off the main water supply. Water damage can be one of the most expensive things to repair. To minimize damage turn the main water supply off as well as any shut off valves near where you are working. This will save a great deal of hardship later on.
If your pipes bang when you turn on the water, and all the pipes are anchored correctly, you should add some straps or cushion the pipes with a rubber blanket. There may be times when you will need to do both. Make sure that if you have copper pipes, you are not using galvanized straps.
Use the sounds you hear from your pipes to help you to determine what they problem is. Certain sounds mean the water pressure is too high. Other sounds can signify loose pipes or slight clogs from calcium or iron build up. Listening to your pipes can save you a lot of money hunting down the problem.
Use a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes, after you shut off the water to the house. A hairdryer will gently heat the pipe and thaw the ice without causing significant damage to the pipe. Shutting off the water first means that if the pipe is broken, there will be no rush of water into the house.
Certain things shouldn’t go into your plumbing system. By knowing what you can and cannot flush or throw into the garbage disposal and sink, you can save yourself from a costly repair or disaster. A plumber can usually get your plumbing back into working condition, but can be avoided if you know how to dispose of items correctly.
While plumbing can be a very personal type of home improvement, it does share the main goal of needing to be functional in the home. As you have seen in these tips, there are various approaches, but they are all created around the idea of having a great plumbing system.