Addressing plumbing problems on a regular basis can help you to prevent future problems and save you money in the long run. Below are some helpful homeowner tips that you can use to prevent water disasters in your home:
Prevent Water Pipes from Freezing
Locate your main water cutoff valve for your home. Damage from running water can be minimized when this valve is closed. Remove drain and store hoses used outside. Wrap or insulate your water pipes, especially those pipes that run near outside walls, or in the attic. Insulate both hot and cold water supply lines in unheated areas. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if water is not running through the pipe. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
If a hard freeze is predicted, you can let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. If you will be going away during the cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees F.
To thaw frozen pipes, you can apply an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or a hair dryer, or towels soaked in warm water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane burner, or other open flame devices.
Sewer Gas Smell
Occasionally, homeowners will notice a bad odor coming from the vicinity of plumbing fixtures such as a shower or bathtub that has not been used in a long time. This may be caused by "dry trap." If the fixture has not been used in a long time the trap may dry out allowing the gasses to come back into the home. Run water into the fixture and the trap to fill up with water. If this does not solve the problem, it is time to call Plumbco to check it out and make a repair.
Water Heater Leaks
The life of a water heater is usually about ten years. If the leak is from a fitting, it can be repaired. However, if the tank itself is leaking, there is no other alternative but to replace the water heater.
Yearly maintenance can help to prolong the life of your water heater. Flushing out the water heater is recommended.
Air Conditioning Drain
Putting a cup of bleach in the air conditioning primary drain helps to kill the algae.
Garbage Disposal Care
Do not use commercial drain products in your garbage disposal.
It is best to use cold water when you run your disposal. Let the cold water run as long as the motor is running, and be sure to avoid overloading the disposal.
Avoid putting the following items in a disposal: corn husks, onion skins, celery, fats or cooking oils, or coffee grounds.
Food particles that remain in the disposal can cause bad odors. Using a combination of ice cubes and lemon peel, can help clean, or de-grease and sharpen the blades. Disposal cleaner or de-greaser may help too.
To keep blades sharp, put 3 ice cubes in the garbage disposal and turn it on for approximately one minute.
If you think your toilet's flapper is leaking, put 2-3 drops of food coloring in the tank and wait 5 minutes to see if the the food coloring appears in the bowl. If it does, you may need to replace parts inside your toilet.
Low Water Pressure
If you have low water pressure, remove the screen in the aerator on the end of the faucet and clean out the sediment that has collect on the screen and replace the aerator.