Top 10 Plumbing Tips for Better Plumbing


Plumbing is a useful skill to have as a homeowner. This guide will cover the top 10 tips you should know to make sure your plumbing stays problem-free. Let’s get started.

#1 Basics First: Locate Your Main Water Valve

Plumbing is a part of every house but more often than not we don’t know too much about it. That’s the first thing to correct. At the least, you should know where your main water valve is so that when there is an issue, you know to shut it immediately and avoid wasting water.

This is very useful if and when there is a pipe burst. Apart from saving water, you will also be able to contain water damage till you can call a professional.

#2 Some More Basics: Locate Your Shut-off Valves

Every time you move, you need to see if your home has a main shut-off valve which is sometimes outside your home. You must also locate the drain which will tell you about the sewer lines and how you can access them. This comes in handy when you have to do your regular maintenance work.

Some apartments and even condos do not have these valves. It is good to know that too.

#3 Learn How to Fix Clogged Drains

This is an inevitable situation because there will be grease of hair build up in the shower. You might want to get a drainer and get rid of it right away but that is not always the best idea.

Liquid drainers in particular might be easy to deal with but they have strong chemicals that are harmful to your internal piping. Your best option is to get a drain snake and clear whatever gunk is blocking the pipes.

#4 Dealing With Frozen Pipes

If you live in a region that experiences harsh winters, you should know that, depending on the pipe’s material, frozen piping is not an uncommon problem. If and when that happens, the best of course is to call a professional. But there are a couple of things you can do to avoid that situation to a certain extent.

You should try and maintain the temperature of your home at or above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also disconnect the garden hoses and cover all the faucets located outside the house with covers. This protects them to a great extent. You should also open the cabinet doors under the sinks and such so that the heating system doesn’t shut them out in the cold.

#5 Keep Grease and Oil Away from the Drain

This seems like an obvious one but you would be surprised at how many people inevitably pour oil and grease down the drain. This creates a grease coating on the drain, especially when you let oily foods slide down the pipe.

This build up might seem like nothing in the beginning but if you make a habit out of it, the coating will clog the pipes and lead to more serious problems with the plumbing. A better idea is to at least wait till the fat in the food turns into solid and then throw it in the compost bin.

#6 List Out Things You Shouldn’t Flush

This is particularly applicable to your toilet. It should not be treated as your dump truck but if you do, it will result in some serious clogs. Before dumping things into your toilet, ask yourself if it will earn you the epithet clog-zilla. And remember that items that are labeled as flushable actually do not belong in the flush.

Toilets are meant for human waste and other products like cotton balls, hygiene products like baby wipes don’t belong down there. If you ignore this, it might start out to be a small clogging problem but it will turn into a bigger headache soon enough.

#7 What to Do With a Leaking Pipe

About 10,000 gallons of water are wasted in the US every year because of leaking pipes. When you consider the state of the planet, it is criminal to be a part of this problem. The easiest solution to this problem is to install good fixtures in all parts of the house.

And if and when you have a pipe leak, call a professional right away to make sure you don’t waste water or any more money that you have to.

#8 Use a Plunger or a Strainer

At some point, you are going to encounter a clog in the sink or drain or toilet. When you do, the best way to clear it is to use a plunger and get the water out and remove the debris that is blocking its path.

When you are dealing with soap or hair residue, a strainer can be more useful. To have these plumbing tools on standby might sound unpleasant but they are the best options. So, shop smart.

#9 Check Water Pressure Regularly

A plumbing system is healthy when the water pressure of the overall household is kept steady. It is the equivalent of having our blood pressure monitored regularly just to be safe. You can do this by getting any basic pressure gauge which is cheap and available at every hardware store.

You can also install a smart monitoring system that will keep you updated in real time. Some of these systems also tell you how much water you are using and will alert you to possible leaks in the system.

#10 Tight Is Good but Too Tight Isn’t

If you are used to doing your own plumbing it is good to remember that your fittings must be tight but when you overdo it, you will land in trouble. This could mean screws that are stripped and bolts that are broken.

Parting Thoughts

These are just some of the basics of plumbing that everyone needs to know so that you don’t have to rush to call a plumber every time you feel like something is wrong. And the best part is, many of them are preventive measures. If you’re looking to further your knowledge of plumbing, check out our guide on the best plumbing books to read.

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