Basic Plumbing: Tips & Tricks For Homeowners

Posted on Posted in Plumbing

There’s a certain level of pride that comes with owning a home. There is also a certain level of worry too. Houses have many systems that work together to create a comfortable living situation. Some of these include the electrical, the HVAC, and one of the most important, the plumbing. Most systems of the home aren’t for the faint of heart to work on. Contractors would even be as bold to say, attempting certain repairs or upgrades on your own is asking for trouble. But are there any tips and tricks for homeowners when it comes to the essential system of their home, the plumbing? Are there things you should know for the rest of your life, for those just in case moments? Take a look at some of these plumbing basics, hacks, and tips that can make like much more straightforward.


Toilet Bowl

Solving A Clogged Drain

One of the most frequent calls a plumbing services company will get is for a clogged drain. When this happens, the whole house comes to a halt. In most cases, the homeowner will try to plunge the toilet drain to get it flushing. This is an excellent first course of treatment. However, it doesn’t always work. Instead, head to your local hardware store. Shower drains, and sink drains are often filled with hair and oils.

An easy way to avoid calling the plumber, or using harmful chemicals is to yank out the clog, if reachable. There is a tool called a Zip it, that will cling to hair and other debris by merely circulating it around the drain pipe. For toilets, sadly, this tool won’t be useful, instead, for clogs that aren’t fixable with good old fashioned ‘putting some muscle into it,’ you’ll likely have to call the plumber.


Replacing Metal Drain Lines With PVC Piping

Metal pipes aren’t always the best choice, and most newer homes have all made the switch to using eco-friendly PVC piping. Not only will PVC not rust like traditional metal piping, but they are also actually less prone to break because they don’t expand or contract. A weekend activity you might want to do is looking under your sinks for metal U-bend drain pipes. If present, replace it. This is a VERY simple task.

You will want to turn off the water to the sink. Often there is a shut-off valve located under the sink too. Once the water is shut off, place a bowel under the pipe to catch the water when you start to lose. Using a plumber’s wrench, you will then loosen each connection top and bottom to remove the metal pipe. Fit the new pipe in place and secure it by tightening. Double-check for leaks by turning back on the water. While this might seem like a task fit for plumbing companies, the average household handyman should do just fine.


PiggyBack Valves

Most fixtures in the home have their very own shut-off valves. This allows you to kill the water supply to the one fixture without interrupting the whole house. However, over time, shut off valves can become less effective, not shutting all the way, which creates leaks when wanting to use them. A piggyback shut off valve can be installed just a little ways further up the line if not immediately aver the shut-off value to solve the problem of a leak.