12 Best Plumbing Tips You NEED to Know!
What you'll find in this article...
Everyone knows what plumbing is. Everyone knows what plumbing does, what its used for, and where to find it and where to buy it. This article is not about any of that. It’s about plumbing tips. What to do when your plumbing isn’t working at its best.
If your bathroom toilet is running constantly, even after adjusting the settings inside the tank, its time to replace the flushing unit. This is very easily done, and is quite in-expensive. The parts inside the tank do have a shelf life, and will eventually break or wear out. This is normal, and happens during the course of a toilets life.
To fix the problem, simply turn the water off to the toilet, flush it at least once to get all the water out (an additional flush might be needed). Unbolt the flushing mechanism from inside the tank, and bolt in the new one. Hook up all the hoses, turn the water on, and adjust the settings. This should fix the problem.
Old Water Heater
Water heaters are one of those things that home owners don’t think about until either the pilot light needs to be lit, or the water heater springs a leak. But this is one of the many things in a home a home owner should check on a regular basis, Water heaters deteriorate with age, and in general, have a life expectancy of about 10 years or so.
Older water heaters have the possibility of even exploding if pressures get too high. Check your water heater about once a month, and inspect it for leaks, rust, and warping or bulging. If a water heater does rupture, it can cause massive damage to the home (from the force of the explosion) as well as cause a lot of water damage.
If your not sure how exactly how old your water heater is, and it looks ancient, its probably time to replace it.
Leaks are the most common problem plumbers face. But even a very small leak can cause harmful mold, not to mention the money wasted by a dripping faucet. If an area is left damp for prolonged periods of time can cause mold to grow, which can be potentially hazardous to your health and your family’s health. Fix any leaky drain as soon as possible to prevent mold. A faucet that drips 20 times a minute will waste about 694 gallons of water a year. Leaking toilets can use up to 25,000 gallons a year.
Add value to your home, and get better, higher efficient water appliances and high end water filters by renovating and upgrading your homes plumbing. Not only will this raise your homes resale (in most cases) but will also help you cut down on your water bill, saving you money. And not to mention the misses will be happy that she has a brand new bathroom or kitchen. Its a win-win, and everyone is left happy.
Install high efficiency appliances, such as 1 gallon flush toilets, high efficiency shower heads, a water saving dish washing machine, and more. The more water saving high efficiency machines you install, the more your saving on your water bill will be. These savings, although small, will add up over time. The initial cost might be a bit much for some people, but just doing it in small steps is a step in the right direction.
If you find corrosion on any fitting, that is a sign that there is a serious plumbing issue that needs to be addressed. Its best to call in your local plumbers to take a look at the problem. There are multiple things that can cause this problem, most of them not very expensive to fix. Faucets and fixtures should be corrosion free.
If your home is going to be vacant for long periods of time (especially during the winter) it is highly recommended to drain your entire homes plumbing free of water. This will prevent any pipes from bursting, and will also prevent the water inside the pipes from going stale. Call up your plumber, and let him professionally drain your home, and shut the water off to secure your home for long periods of vacancy, or if your going to be away from your home for long periods during the winter months. There is nothing worse than coming home after a couple of months and finding that your home is flooded from a burst pipe. The home repair costs alone can be tremendous, on top of the repair costs for the broken pipe.
Everyone can claim that they know how to do plumbing, but only some are certified and licensed to do plumbing. Choose a plumber that is reputable, that has a license, and is insured. You don’t want a cut rate plumber with no insurance and no license to come into your home and preform work, because that work might not be up to code, might not be fixed correctly, and might not be safe. A professional plumber will have a license and will be able to fix the problem right the first time, and is insured in the event of an accident. Using a cheap plumber that isn’t could end up being more costly than going with a reputable plumber first.
Inspect Your Pipes
You should check over all of your pipes on a regular basis, especially during the winter months. This is more preventative than anything. You want to look for anything out of the ordinary, such as leaks, bulges, and corrosion. Check the pipe in random places for strength by squeezing the tube between your fingers. It should not give. If you find a leak, bulge, or weak spot in the pipe, you need to get help immediately. That part wont make it much longer, and could possibly burst at any movement. Prevent a major leak or damage by replacing it as soon as you find it.
Not too many people have heard of an electric timer for their hot water heater, but this only makes sense. When your not home, there is no need for hot water. So why have your hot water heater run when no one is there? On average, it takes about 150-20 minutes for a hot water heater to heat the water inside for use, after the water heater is turned off. Installing a timer will let the system be turned off when your not home ,and can turn on before you get home so that once home, you have instant hot water.
Another cost saving measure is installing a in-line hot water heater. This type of water heater does not have a tank, and heats only the water used by the hot pipes. These are a little more expensive than a traditional hot water heater, but generally take less electricity to use, and they do not run out of hot water (since they heat the water that passes through it, instead of heating stored water. Check out our top picks for the best tankless water heaters here.
Use Good Quality Piping
Plumbers know about pipes. Its there job. Copper, brass, PVC, iron. They have seen it all. But what the consumer might not know is that some of this tubing and piping comes with a warranty. PEX piping even has a 25 year warranty. Choose better quality piping for your home now, and save money down the road. Better quality piping might cost more out the door, but will experience less problems, and is less likely to fail down the road. Higher quality piping will also keep the water quality higher.
Stainless Steel Hoses
One of the biggest places leaks occur is under the sink. The plastic hoses that go from the wall to the faucet are prone to punctures and bulging more than any other part of the plumbing. To save money and to prevent the hoses from bursting, install a set of stainless steel hoses under the sink. Not only does the stainless steel look sharp, but it will also withstand higher pressures, and wont burst. They are so reliable, stainless steel hoses are used on automobiles as fuel lines and brake lines.
Plumbers Tape – AKA Teflon Tape
Plumbers tape, aka Teflon Tape (although the product is not designed, manufactured, or distributed by DuPont), is one the most important things you will find in any plumbers tool kit. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found multiple rolls in his tool box, a roll in his pocket, and many many more in his work truck. Use it. Plumbers tape on the threads of a joint will help keep that junction from leaking, and can even fix a small leak. Its extremely versatile, and can be used for more than just plumbing. An added advantage is that plumbers tape is extremely cheap. Keep a roll handy, and if you ever replace a shower head, faucet, or just need to connect two pipes that have a screw, use it.