Maintaining and repairing your own plumbing is an essential part of home improvement, but understanding it and buying the right equipment can be tricky. There are lots of things to consider for your particular plumbing job. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get started with your own plumbing jobs.
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.
If you have pipes that make hammering and squeaking noises, you have one easy repair. Anchoring exposed pipes will decrease the amount of noise your plumbing system makes. It may be necessary to hire a professional to address noisy pipes that are located in less accessible places in your home.
If your pipes are prone to freezing, let the water trickle continuously in at least one faucet during weather that is below freezing. This will minimize the chances that the pipes will freeze and leave you without water. If water is continually running through the pipes and trickling out of a faucet, the pipes are less likely to freeze.
Check how well your toilets are flushing. If the handle needs to be played with in order to keep the water from running constantly, or if it needs to be held down several times in order to flush, you may need to switch out some of the parts in your tank. This is not expensive, and it could help reduce your monthly water bill. It could also mean that you avoid the embarrassment of the flushing system breaking when you have visitors!
Install screen traps or drain covers on all of your sinks and tub drains. Most home plumbing calls are about clogged pipes. These can be caused by debris, especially hair, washing down the drains. Putting in a trap means that you can clean this debris off before it ends up in the pipes.
There are many ways to unclog a drain. You can try plunging it at first. If that doesn’t work try using a chemical agent from the store. Before you go and spend money at the store though, if you have baking soda and some vinegar handy, you can mix those together and pour them in the drain and try to plunge that but if all else fails they have stronger remedies at your local hardware store.
Run cold water through your garbage disposal. The helps sharpen the blades and clears out the drain mechanism. Hot water is not recommended because of what it does to greasy products.
As you read, plumbing can be an incredibly important aspect to your current and future home improvement and so is understanding all the different techniques and equipment. This is so it makes it easier for you to understand what you need for your plumbing jobs. Following the tips in this article is a very good starting place.