Plumbing is one of society’s best inventions. These intricate networks keep your house’s internals running smoothly and cleanly, yet most people don’t spare it a second thought in their day to day lives.
Some care can be extremely beneficial, with just a little bit of regular attention contributing heavily to a prolonged and healthy lifespan for your plumbing. With just a little effort, you can avoid significant plumbing disasters and keep your pipes running smoothly for years and years to come.
To do this properly, you should have a basic idea of how the overall system works, which can be complicated to grasp and give you insight into when it needs more maintenance.
You can even rectify large problems with basic knowledge of your house’s plumbing system. Here’s how to ensure that everything’s running well.
The Most Common Household Plumbing Problems
It’s normal to have plumbing problems as your house ages. Some of these issues can be fixed with a bit of DIY work, but others may require a professional’s touch. With a good idea about the intensity of the problem, you can know in advance if you can fix it yourself or if you need to call a plumber.
Regardless of which route you decide to take, time is of the essence. Quickly resolving the problem can prevent havoc and chaos from water damage and leaks. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the warning signs, so you can know what is necessary to keep things safe.
The effects of a clogged drain are most noticeable, with water failing to drain away and sometimes the presence of a bad smell indicating a clog of food and debris. Generally, this will require a professional.
Other signs that something may be wrong include dripping faucets, indicating a problem with a valve, as well as screeching noises that mean there is air in your pipes. Dripping pipes are a larger issue that can indicate damage to the line. Also, keep an eye out for low water pressure and toilets that won’t stop running.
Aside from the above, other common issues include problems with the water heater, either failing to provide warm water or dripping and discoloration on the heater unit itself.
Avoiding and Solving Common Plumbing Problems
Plumbing problems come in two varieties: those you can fix on your own and those that require a professional plumber. DIY can save you money, but a mistake can lead to disaster. There are also times when you don’t even know a problem exists. Here are some tips and methods to solve issues that do crop up.
For clogs, you should try using a plunger on the toilet or drain, which is as simple as creating suction and pumping. You might also use tongs to grab clumps and remove them. Chemical drain cleaners and plumbing snakes are other possible solutions. To avoid this problem in the first place, avoid flushing down large items and try using a hair catcher so loose strands don’t collect inside the drain pipe.
You can deal with leaky faucets by replacing the washer, which requires special tools. It’s hard to prevent natural wear here, but turning taps on and off slowly can reduce excess pressure. Regular inspection also helps.
For all of these scenarios, a plumber may be necessary, mainly if you can’t fix the problem yourself after some time and don’t have the tools or experience to manage the replacement yourself.
Maintaining Your Plumbing System
The plumbing system is the most overlooked part of a house. But a tiny problem can easily make things spiral out of control, which is why some simple care is crucial in saving you time and money.
To do this properly, you must understand the system and grasp how to prevent pipes and valve issues. There’s a surprising amount you can do to avoid plumbing problems with a small amount of knowledge and care.
One thing you can do is maintain your kitchen sink by minimizing the grease absorbed with a strainer to catch it and throw it in the trash. Also, consider running heated water down the drain to get rid of grease and soap buildup.
Catching hair before it goes down the drain is useful too. A wet-dry vacuum can be handy for grabbing messes around your drainage before it goes down the line and causes issues.
Make sure to avoid draining chemicals into your toilets or sinks as they can damage the pipes. On the topic of pipes, make sure to replace the old ones before problems crop up, avoiding water damage and other issues.
Lastly, it can be useful to winterize your plumbing to handle extreme cold conditions. If you stop your pipes from freezing, you will halt many other problems as well.
Ensuring Your Plumbing is Working Well
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to catching plumbing problems and dealing with them. With effort, you can prevent water disasters and expensive bills. That said, some issues require a professional’s touch.