Simple plumbing issues can not only hurt the image of your home but they can destroy your wallet. Simple things from clogged drains, to more advanced leaks can be incredibly destructive. Don’t fret however! With a few essential tips for the do it yourself home plumber, you will be ready to take care of any issue.
You can prevent frozen pipes within the home, by ensuring the temperature does not fall below freezing. Another important step is insulating pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures. Pipes will begin to freeze as soon as they reach freezing temperatures. The best result you can hope for from frozen pipes is to be without water until the pipes thaw. Frozen pipes can also burst, which can be very messy and expensive to repair.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
Do not fall for the idea that liquid grease can be easily washed down the drain with hot water. While the grease may flow past the initial drain with the water, it does not take much of a temperature change as it moves through your pipes to alter from liquid to solid. The repeat habit of dumping grease in the sink is a sure-fire way to ensure a hard-to-reach clog forming in the future.
To winterize a house that will sit unused during the winter months, you must completely drain all of the pipes. After turning off the main water supply, let all of the water drain from the faucets, toilets, and water heater (turn off the gas). Add a quart of antifreeze to sinks and the tub to prevent water from freezing in the drain trap.
Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking.
Got a leaky pipe? In many cases you can repair this yourself without the expense of a plumber. If a joint is leaking, tighten it with a pipe wrench. If the leak is coming from a damaged section of pipe, you can try repairing with a store-bought patching kit. One method involves applying waterproof tape to the section of pipe where there is leakage. Before applying the tape, make sure the pipe is thoroughly dry. Make sure that the tape covers two to three inches on either side of the breakage in the pipe.
Plumbing can be an advanced, highly technical profession where more often than not, you need an experts help. However, sometimes that is not the case and there are some simple do it yourself home fixes. If you take a little time to read about them you will find some of the most common plumbing problems are able to be handled by the common man.