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DIY plumbing can definitely be a satisfying task and could save you money, but it’s not all puppies and rainbows. Most plumbing mistakes made by home owners can be actually end up being costly in terms of safety, time wasted, and of course unwanted water and property damage. You learning about these common plumbing mistakes is your first step to plan smarter for future projects.
Not turning off the water: So many projects end in water damage because people forget to shut off the water supply. Before you remove pipes or clear P-traps, make sure to turn off the water, either to a specific fixture or the whole house.
An incomplete toolkit: Oftentimes, if you don’t have the right tools, you can make a problem worse or complicate the situation. Always research the tools you will need for each job and purchase or rent accordingly. Many jobs require a plumber’s wrench, a basin wrench and a plumber’s snake. If you’re planning several extensive DIY projects, the hand tools are worth and the snake is worth renting.
Too much drain cleaner: liquid drain cleaner chemical is fine in moderation, but it can damage some types of pipes, especially if used too often. Instead, try using vinegar and baking soda. No matter what you do, don’t rely solely on liquid drain cleaner, natural or otherwise. First try a plunger and or a hand cranked drain snake for clogs than can’t be plunged. That being said, plunging often solves the problem. If you do resort to chemical drain openers, always use eye and face protection since the chemicals are usually caustic and can inflict burns or even blindness.
Refusing to admit defeat: Often you can be so wrapped up in a DIY project that you don’t know when to call it quits. Sometimes you don’t have the right tools; other times you’ve made the situation worse. At a certain point, the project may move past your skill level or comfort zone. When that happens, you can call us at 800-768-6911. We’re happy to take over where you left off on your project or take the whole watery mess off your hands from the start.
Your sink contains something called a valve stem, which controls the flow of hot and cold water into your sink. When the valve stem ages, the washers can become loose and turn as the water passes through them. Loose washers and running water is what creates that annoying screeching sound from your faucet.
The best way is to shut off the water at the valve closest to the source of the problem. This would allow a functioning water system to the rest of the house. For faucets, toilets or similar fixtures there are shut off valves connected to the water supply usually located directly under the fixture that should be able to shut off that fixture. If that does not work, or if you don’t find the shut off valve, you can close the main shut off valve (near your water meter) which will shop the water flow to the entire home. Don’t let water cause any more damage to your home, give us a call right away for our 24/7 emergency service and we’ll get you leak-free running water, usually within the same day.
Pipes have certain signs that demonstrate when they might be experiencing an issue. The most obvious symptom is wet spots in the wall and on the floor, which indicates a leak. However, pipes can have other problems before a leak manifests. Whistling noises indicate that your pipe is dented, while bubbling noises in your pipe indicate crushed or clogged pipes. Both of these symptoms indicate that your pipes could be vulnerable to bursting. Banging pipes means your pipes are loose, which means something is either already broken or about to break.
Your pipes have a silent killer-FOGs. FOGs is the technical term for a certain class of debris: fats, oils, and grease. Soap, food waste and cooking oil are often thrown down the drain in small amounts, but over the years they congeal and form clumps. Some of these clumps can end up being the size of a tennis ball. Getting your pipes cleaned once every year or two can help prevent clogs from growing too large, but the best solution is to avoid putting any oil or greasy food down your garbage disposal.
Toilets are made of three main components: the tank, the bowl, and the flange (which connects the bowl to the drain). The tank will also have a couple of small components, namely the float, the flapper, the handle, and the fill valve and tube. All these components are responsible for filling the tank with clean water. Because the large components are so simple, it’s rare that your toilet will need replacement-usually, the problem is a broken component (like a warped flapper) or a drain clog.
Tankless water heaters are often referred to as “on-demand water heating,” because they only produce hot water as the system demands and do not store heated water. Traditional storage tank-type water heaters raise and maintain the water temperature to the temperature setting on the tank. Since the water is stored, they constantly use utilities to maintain the set temperature. In addition to producing water on demand and thus using less power, tankless water heaters are usually eligible for substantial federal tax credits.
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