Problems with plumbing can cause problems in to home and also damage your belongings. Here are some ways to prevent problems, as well as steps to take when you do have a plumbing issue.
To keep your pipes from getting frozen, always maintain a temperature in the house above freezing and make sure all pipes exposed to outside elements are insulated properly. The pipes may freeze if the surrounding temperature drops below freezing. It could take some time in order for the pipes to thaw out so that you can have running water. The other option is the pipes may burst, which would result in significant repair costs and a mess to clean up.
If your toilet is clogged, the water level in the toilet is low, and a plunger is not doing the trick, you may be able to resolve the problem by pouring a bucket of warm water into the toilet from waist level or higher. Once the water is lower, do this again.
Use a strainer over your sink drain to catch food and other bits of material. Otherwise, you will likely get a clogged drain. Kitchen sink strainers should be cleaned every time they collect large food particles. Clean bathtub drain screens as often as needed.
Do not put any oil, fat, or greasy foods or products in your sink. They can clog your drains once they cool down. This is most true if you use a garbage disposal, as the fat causes the blades to function slower and they will become less efficient. Throw away oils nowhere near the sink.
If you have a well at your home and notice pink or orange stains around the drains of your tub or sink, this is most likely caused by an excess of iron in your water. This is fixed by using water softener, which can be bought at a store, or you can have someone come to your home and fix it.
Keep your bathtub in good shape by using a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down its drain monthly. This will cause the vigorous bubbling you may remember from the “volcano” in a grade school science project, so be sure to close the drain with a stopper. After waiting a few minutes, flush the drain with boiling water. This procedure should be able to clear pipes of hair and soap scum.
Do special checks on your sink overflow holes to ensure they are not becoming clogged. Overflow holes are used in case the sink starts to overfill, which may not seem like a big problem–until it is. As you routinely look for things needing attention, check to be sure that the overflow holes are clear and unblocked.
Water that drains back into your dishwasher is likely due to an improper sink hook up. The hose at the kitchen sink going to the dishwasher should follow a specific uphill, then downhill pattern. This prevents unwanted mixing of water between the sink and dishwasher.
To protect yourself when a plumbing problem arises, use the tips above. Research common plumbing problems, and for larger problems consult a professional plumber. Put the tips you have learned to use and solve your plumbing problems with ease.
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