Is a leak-free home plumbing system just a dream?
Can it be truly possible to ensure that you are not faced with plumbing emergencies? Although it is a given that eventually everything breaks down, there are a couple of things that homeowners can do to make sure that the problem does not happen faster than it should and that damage remains at a minimum at the least. Here are things to know.
Deal with Leaking Faucets
In an average home, faucets get most of the action. This means that the probability of faucets breaking down and leaking is extremely high. If you have a faucet that leaks at the handle area when it is turned on, the possible cause would be either a bad packing washer or a loose packing nut.
Now that you know the cause, fixing it would be easier. All you have to do is to tighten the nut using a pair of pliers or a wrench. What if the faucet still leaks when the nut is tight? Try to shut off the water supply first and proceed to remove the handle by unscrewing the nut. This will allow you to remove the packing washer and take it to the store to get the exact replacement.
Do you have an older type of faucet? This should have a valve packing rather than a packing washer. The replacement should be winded clockwise with the packing nut tightly compressed. Wind one layer then tighten the nut and repeat the process to the point where the space surrounding the stem is filled with valve packing. This should fix your leaking faucet, otherwise, replacement should be in order.
Flexible Supply Tubes
How can flexible supply tubes lead to leak-free plumbing? Normally, chrome or copper supply tubes are used for connecting toilets and faucets to the water supply line. Unfortunately, these are difficult to cut, bend, and align to get a leak-free connection.
Using flexible supply tubes that have braided covering will make it easier to get around bends and need less force to create a seal, due to the rubber gaskets placed on both ends. The important thing with ensuring a leak-free connection is to make sure that the nuts at the end of the flexible supply tube is the same size as that of the supply line. Make sure that you do not overtighten the connections to prevent the nuts and threads from cracking.
Transitioning to Other Pipes
Eventually, with more effective piping materials released into the market, there will be a need to replace older pipes. Unfortunately, transitioning to other piping materials is not always as straightforward as you think. You do not just slip it into place of the older one.
You also have to check existing plumbing codes as they typically vary especially when it comes to brass-to-steel connections. For this type of connection using the right amount of Teflon tape as well as pipe joint compound would lessen the possibility of water leaks as well as reaction between the two metal materials.
If the transition is from copper to steel or CPVC piping material, proper soldering, gluing, or threading to the transition fitting is necessary before crimping the PEX line to the barbed fitting.
Professional plumbers may suggest using ABS plastic pipe rather than PVC because the cement lasts longer allowing them to finish work faster. The material is also lighter and more flexible resulting in reduced risk of connections breaking apart causing water leaks. Its flexibility allows its installation in tight places a lot easier. The amount of time saved in the installation results in savings even if there is additional cost for fittings.
If you are really conscious about leak-free home plumbing systems, licensed professional plumbers are always worth the investment.