It’s very common for remodeling and DIY home renovation projects to cross paths with the plumbing in your home. Some plumbing tasks can be manageable by the average homeowner, but you need to know what you are doing. And you need to know when to call a plumber for home water issues.
Here, we lay out a variety of suggestions and common plumbing maintenance practices to bear in mind when fixing up your house.
Key Plumbing Safety Tips
There are a couple things to know about the plumbing in your home for safety and emergency purposes.
Before Working on Plumbing, Turn Off the Main Water Supply
Always turn off the main water supply before you mess with home plumbing. Find the shutoff for water in your house before you begin any kind of work on rooms that use water. Taking this step can help prevent a flood.
What to Do if You Lose Water Pressure
If you think your water has lost pressure, you can easily diagnose the issue. Ask the people who live near you if they have the same issue. If your neighbors are not experiencing the same issue, the lower pressure is specific to your home. Check the level of pressure at all of the faucets in your home to learn if it’s a problem that is throughout the entire house. You might need to fix your aerator or perhaps you may need to call a plumber.
Suggested Plumbing Additions and Practices for Your House
Even though there are many times you can’t help but call a professional, there are also several kinds of home plumbing work that it’s really common for homeowners to do themselves. In this section, we address a few residential plumbing investments you should make and tasks you should know how to do.
You Can Fix Home Bathroom and Kitchen Faucets Easily
Even DIY home improvement enthusiasts with little experience can repair faucet leaks. If you can locate the leaks yourself and quickly fix them, you can save yourself some money and a whole lot of water. You can save significant amounts of money from these projects on your water bill each month. (See another take here.)
Safety Note: For Mysterious Home Plumbing Leaks, Don’t Dawdle—Catch Water and Call a Professional
If you should happen to spot water leaking from below the sink or under the tap, and you cannot locate the leak or figure out where it is coming from, don’t delay. It is best that you do not spend excessive time trying to locate or patch up the leak yourself—there is a risk of water damage. Just make sure you put a vessel large enough to collect the water underneath the leak and then call a plumber.
How to Attach PVC Pipes in Home Plumbing
Two PVC pipes can be easily attached using primer and cement made for PVC. Avoid costly leaks and damage by using the correct materials to join the two pieces together. Also you don’t want the surface of your pipes to be wet.
Get a Drain Snake for Your Home
Save money by purchasing a drain snake. This way, it won’t be necessary to spend money on drain cleaners as often as you did before. Using a drain snake can be difficult the first time. You might need a plumber to show you how before you try yourself. Be certain to purchase a drain snake that is appropriate for your own drain, or you may damage pipes.
Read Drain Cleaner Ingredients Before Using on Your Home’s Pipes
Before you try to flush out a clogged drain, take a moment to review the ingredients of your cleansers. There are many different kinds of drain cleaners out there, from the very mild to the incredibly harsh and caustic. Steer clear of crystallized cleaners, since they tend to stick to pipes and cause harm. Be certain that the drain cleaner you choose will not negatively impact your septic tank.
Some Long-Term Home Plumbing Investments
And finally, there are a few investments in residential plumbing that are practically necessities for the long term. In this section, we walk through a few necessary things you should bear in mind about the water, pipes, and tanks in your home.
Insulate the Plumbing in Your House
Before winter gets here, take the time to insulate your pipes. Any hardware store will have a selection of foam insulation and other products to help you easily cover your pipes and protect them from the cold. This tape will keep the lines from freezing. Because of this fact, you need to replace the lines once they burst.
Use Plumbing Fixtures that Reduce Your Home’s Water Usage
One way to improve your home is to install fixtures to reduce water usage. Low-flow toilets, shower heads and tankless heaters are all readily available. Updating fixtures and appliances to more efficient ones not only improves the value of your home but it looks more attractive too.
Take Care of Your House’s Septic Tank
Make sure you take care of your septic tank. It’s easy to purchase chemicals that speed up the process of decomposition and prevent overflowing from occurring. When you plan home improvements, make sure you do not tamper accidentally with your septic tank. If you aren’t sure of your home’s plan, get a plan that is detailed to avoid any costly damage.
Drain Your Home’s Water Heater Regularly
A common recommendation is to drain the hot water heater in your home at least every six months. When you take the time to do this, you will find that it will run much more efficiently, and you will help to improve the life of the heater, too. You simply need to find the drain valve, place a hose on it and turn the valve open.
It’s very possible to learn to do a number of DIY plumbing repairs and annual plumbing maintenance tasks yourself. Of course there will be times when you must find a local plumber—sometimes on short notice—but don’t be afraid of dealing with water pipes and valves. A certain amount of amateur plumbing work is a common part of fixing up a house and keeping a home safe for many homeowners.