As a homeowner, it is important that you know at least the basics about your plumbing system. Some rudimentary knowledge of your plumbing system will allow you to make basic repairs on your own instead of having to call a plumber. It can also help you to avoid costly problems in the future.
Familiarize Yourself with the Layout of Your Plumbing
In order to get comfortable with your home plumbing system, you first need to familiarize yourself with the layout of your plumbing. You should identify the shutoff valves to all of your faucets and appliances, as well as the main shutoff valve to the house. You should also locate the water meter and make sure that you know how to take the cover off. Take a look at your pipes, and make sure that you know what the pipes are made of; they are most likely either PVC or copper.
About once a month, take a look at any exposed pipes. Check for signs of leaks, like puddles or watermarks. Look for small cracks, rust, or corrosion on the pipes, as well. Catching a small leak before it becomes a large leak can prevent significant water damage and large expenses.
Learn How to Unclog a Drain
One simple repair that every homeowner should learn to handle is unclogging a drain. Drains are frequently clogged by foreign objects, such as toys or socks, or by the accumulation of paper or organic matter. Whatever the cause, clogged drains are bound to happen at some point, and you can avoid calling a plumber by taking a few simple steps. If a drain clogs, first try clearing it with your trusty plunger. If that doesn’t work, you can make a natural drain cleaner by pouring baking soda into the drain, and following it with vinegar. The solution will bubble up and fizz. Let the combination of vinegar and baking soda sit for a little while, and then flush the drain with hot water. If all else fails, you could use a chemical drain cleaner, like Drano. However, it is best to avoid these products if at all possible. They are extremely toxic, and it is best to not introduce them to the water system.
Learn How to Take Care of Your Water Heater
Typically, most people don’t think twice about their water heater until it quits working. However, giving your water heater a little bit of attention occasionally can add years to its life. One component of your water heater that you should be aware of is called the anode. This part is simply a metal rod. The anode screws into the lid of the water heater. Its purpose is to prevent the accumulation of rust. This part is considered sacrificial, meaning that is normal and expected that routine wear will cause the rod to rust, and it will have to be replaced. You can easily check the anode for signs of wear and be prepared to replace it.
Mastering these basic tasks will make you a more capable homeowner and help you to avoid major plumbing pitfalls. However, if you find yourself facing a plumbing disaster, call the professionals at Scott English Plumbing. We have an experienced staff of plumbers who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond quickly to any plumbing emergency. We also handle routine plumbing maintenance and repair at fair, reasonable rates. When you need a reliable, trustworthy plumber, call Scott English Plumbing.