Many of us have no idea how plumbing works. Knowing a few simple tips and tricks can help you keep your money in your hands and not that of a plumber. Sometimes, it is necessary to call up a plumber, but by following a few words of advice, you can take preemptive action and stop a problem before it starts.
On very cold winter nights, allow your faucets to trickle slightly, especially if your pipes are located in a crawlspace. The running water prevents the pipes from freezing as quickly as they would otherwise. You can catch the water and use it for other household needs to prevent wasting it.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
Do not fall for the idea that liquid grease can be easily washed down the drain with hot water. While the grease may flow past the initial drain with the water, it does not take much of a temperature change as it moves through your pipes to alter from liquid to solid. The repeat habit of dumping grease in the sink is a sure-fire way to ensure a hard-to-reach clog forming in the future.
If you have issues with the plumbing making a hammering sound when you turn it off, check your water pressure. Any time your water pressure is above 80 PSI, you will hear extra water noise. This can be easily solved by the installation of a pressure-reducing valve, which can be done by most homeowners.
Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside so they don’t crack from the cold weather.
Do not forget to check the temperature of the water heater in your house, especially if you are planning to leave for an extended period of time. You should keep the temperature no higher than 120 degrees, which will help to reduce energy use and prevent your system from burning out.
Hopefully this article helped you learn a little bit more about your plumbing and how to stop issues before they start. By learning and knowing, like was discussed in this article, you can be sure to save a few dollars every year. Plumbing disasters can cost a lot of money, so use this advice well!