Plumbing Tips for your Home
How to spot plumbing problems before they become a major issue in your home.
- To prevent freezing outdoor spigots, detach your garden hoses and locate the shutoff valve to the outdoor spigots and shut it off. Drain down any residual water from the spigot. Do not leave hose attached, store away until springtime.
- Clogged drains can sometimes be fixed without the use of liquid plumbing products by pouring a half-cup of baking soda down the clogged drain followed by a half-cup of vinegar. It’s all right if you see foam start to come back up the drain. That simply means the solution is working as it should. Let the clogged drain and solution sit for about three hours. With a little luck, your water may be flowing freely once again.
- A leaking faucet puts wear on sink fixtures and can encourage the growth of mold, mildew and build corrosion. Be sure to find the source of the leak and if unsure how to repair give us a call.
- How do you stop a flood? Locate the main shut-off valve for the home water supply. If it’s in a dark, hidden, or hard-to-reach place, gather any tools you’ll need for a quick shut-off, and store them nearby.
- Insulate exposed pipes in a crawl space or in the garage with easy-to-install plastic insulation. It’s a peel-and-stick solution. Before winter comes, remove exterior hoses, and apply insulating caps to outdoor fixtures, as a frozen exterior spigot can damage interior pipes.
- When cold weather strikes, open the cabinets beneath sinks and bathroom fixtures; warmer household air will help prevent the pipes inside from freezing. Opening taps to a bare trickle keeps water flowing and avoids a frozen blockage.
- If pipes do freeze, don’t panic. First, shut off the water supply to the house, then open a faucet near the blocked area to vent vapors from the frozen water. If you suspect that pipes in the hot water system are frozen, turn off the hot water heater. Use a hair dryer to warm the frozen pipe (never use an open flame to thaw a pipe), starting at the end of the pipe nearest to the tap. (Don’t use a hair dryer in areas of standing water.) You’ll know the pipe has begun to thaw when water begins to trickle from the open faucet. When the flow is restored, check the plumbing carefully for cracks or leaks.
- Once a year, drain the hot water tank for a few seconds, make sure the water turns from dark to clear. All the dark water is from sediments sitting at the bottom of the tank over the years of use which reduces the life of the tank.