When you have plumbing issues in your home, you need to fix them quickly and properly so that you do not have even worse problems later. Sometimes, you just need some simple advice from the plumbing professionals to help you find the correct solution, and these tips provide a solid resource to learn from.
Check the toilets for leaks. Drop a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Wait a few minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, the flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced. This can occur even with new toilets and flappers.
Running Toilet. A toilet that runs continuously can use as much as 4,000 gallons per day! Even a slow, silent leak can add gallons to your bill.
Check all faucets and pipes for drips. If you have a leaky faucet or pipe in your home, fix it immediately before it becomes a bigger and more expensive issue. If you don’t know if you have a leak, use your water meter readings. When water is not in use, check the meter twice in a two-hour time span. If the readings change, then there is a leak somewhere in your home.
Drain Strainer. Use a drain strainer to prevent small particles from sliding down your drain and causing clogs. You should clean your kitchen sink strainer any time there is a large particle that’s trapped in it. Don’t forget to clean out the strainer in your bathtub and showers as well.
Kitchen hose installation. An incorrectly installed hose from the kitchen sink to the dishwasher can cause unwanted water to drain into the dishwasher. The hose needs to angle uphill before going back downhill to prevent water from both the sink and dishwasher in being mixed.
Replace older showerhead models. There’s a much higher cost associated with older showerheads, which use more than five gallons of water per minute. Not only is water wasted, it also drives up your energy bills. Get an ultra low-flow showerhead model which uses only two gallons of water per minute.
Tub maintenance. Maintain smooth functioning of the drain in your bathtub by dropping baking soda and then vinegar down it once a month. Cover with a rag or plug, as a chemical reaction will occur in the pipes. Wait for a bit, then flush with boiling water. This should clear all the soap scum, hair, and other grime out of your pipes.
Garbage Disposal. Try to avoid putting things like fat, oils, peelings, and grease down the sink drain. These substances will clog the drain as they cool and harden and it will not run at its optimum speed and efficiency. Get rid of any fat or oils outside or in the garbage can.
Also use lots of cold water when you run your garbage disposal. Cold water helps the blades stay sharp and keeps the disposal running smoothly. Avoid using hot water, as this will liquefy grease, causing it to build up in the drain and obstruct your pipes.
Faucets. Make sure your faucets turn off completely. Even a slow drip can use as much as 5,000 gallons of water per month. A steady stream can lose up to 21,000 gallons per month.
Underground Leak. An underground leak may not always be apparent on the surface. Look for areas of lush grass, unexpected vegetation, or dark spots in your lawn resulting from fungus growth. Walk around the house and yard to check if there is very green spots or wet spots.
Leaking Faucet. If your outdoor faucet leaks around the handle when you turn it on, you either have a loose packing nut or a bad packing washer. First try tightening the nut with a wrench or pliers. If the leak still persists, shut off the water faucet inside the house, remove the faucet handle from the outside faucet and unscrew the nut. You should be able to pull off the old packing washer and take it to a hardware store to find an exact replacement.
Check your sprinkler system. Broken heads only leak when the system is operating. Usually a broken head does not add very many gallons to water usage, unless the sprinkler system is on. A broken pipe on the other hand, can leak when the system is on or off and will add many more gallons to the usage.
The next time you prepare to take on plumbing issues, give these tips a once over first. It’s important that you do things properly and save money when you can. Using these tips first may make your plumbing problems easier to deal with.
If you still need to hire a good plumber, make sure you research them. Some of the plumbers out there can not do every job, and they may end up causing you more problems than you started with. Make sure the plumber you choose can do the job you need done. Find some reviews of your local plumbers, or ask around to see if anyone has any recommendations or warnings.