Left unchecked, small plumbing issues can turn into large ones before you know it, potentially adding up to thousands of dollars in plumbing bills. Having a basic knowledge of plumbing skills will serve you well over your years as a homeowner, even if it’s just understanding how to stop water from gushing out of the pipes until a professional can arrive to fix the problem. Southern Phoenix Services is proud to offer quick plumbing services that revolve around your schedule. Our technicians can assist you with issues on clogged toilets and sinks, leaky faucets, grumbling garbage disposals and more.
Just bought a home and have no idea how plumbing works beyond turning on a faucet? Here are some basic plumbing tips for homeowners that give you good peace of mind.
Leaks are plumbing issues that require immediate solutions. If you suspect that you have a leak in your plumbing system, the following steps can be done:
There are different ways to unclog a toilet, but the most common way of doing so is through the use of a plunger. Many people think that a forceful push into the plunger is what frees up the clog, but the trust is, this can only worsen the problem. The proper way of using a plunger is by pushing gently and pulling vigorously. The pulling action actually creates suction, which effectively and safely frees up the clog.
Water conservation is very important in today’s world, especially in areas experiencing drought. If you want to try a water-saving effort in your household, using wastewater to flush your toilet is a good start. You can collect wastewater from your shower or sink by simply placing a bucket. To use the collected water for flushing toilets, just pour the wastewater onto your toilet, and the extra water and gravity will do all the work.
To extend the life of your water heater, it is important to have it flushed once a year. Depending on the mineral content of your local water supply, it may be necessary to flush it every 6 months. If your water heater is not regularly flushed, your water heater can corrode. The sediment can also clog the pressure and relief valve, which helps keep your water heater from exploding.
Of all the plumbing tips for new homeowners to learn, locating and knowing how to turn off the water is the most important. Every single home has a shut off valve for the main water line, which is either located in the basement, in a crawl space, near the water heater, under the kitchen sink, or outside of the home in a covered utility box in the ground. Your inspector should have pointed out where the main shut off valve was located in the report, so be sure to refer to that if you can’t find it. To turn the water off at the main shut off valve, turn the valve clockwise with your hand (or, if you had to go outside to find the main valve, using a meter key). This will stop the flow of water into your house and no appliances or fixtures will be able to output anything.
A garbage disposal is a surprisingly delicate thing. Understanding what can and can’t be put down the garbage disposal will save you from causing a huge clog. Here’s a list of things to avoid putting down the disposal: EggshellsCoffee groundsNuts and seedsPotato peelsCooking oil & fat Pasta and Rice
When you own a home, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to use a plunger at some point to unclog a toilet, sink, or a bathtub.
If you’re plunging a sink or a bathtub, you’ll first need to seal off any overflow holes and then ensure that there is the correct amount of water in the basin you’re plunging — not too much, not too little. Then, no matter if you’re plunging a toilet, sink, or bathtub, get a tight seal and then plunge up and down in a vertical motion for about 20 seconds.
To protect your pipes from freezing, you can do all of the following:
A plumbing problem is not something you want to wait on. Now that you’re a first time homeowner, you need to find your go-to plumber who you can call in a pinch. The best way to find someone great is to get recommendations from neighbors, your real estate agent, or to do a simple Google search and read reviews.
Gravity Tank Toilets
These are mostly used in home settings but can be used in commercial/business settings. These toilets depend on the volume of water (generally about 1.28 – 1.6 gallons) in the tank to flush wastes and usually require water pressure of at least 15 psi (pounds per square inch) to operate properly. The tank and bowl are usually two separate pieces, although this is not obvious once they are in use. A few one-piece toilets are also available and these don’t always flush as well and are mostly chosen for their looks.
Pressurized Tank Toilets
Pressurized tank toilets use water line pressure to achieve a higher flush velocity. Water is not stored inside the tank, but in a tank that compresses a pocket of air and releases pressurized water into the bowl and out the trapway. They generally require at least 25 psi of water pressure to operate well.
Flush Valve Operated Toilets
Flush valve operated toilets are usually used in public and commercial restrooms. These toilets have no tank. They use a valve directly connected to the water supply plumbing of a building. This valve controls the quantity of water released over time by each flush. Flushometer valves are typically made by one manufacturer and the china bowl by another. It is important that there is a proper match between the valve and the bowl when purchased. Unlike tank-type toilets, flushometer valve toilets must accommodate different water pressures at different points in a building.
How Do I Test If My Toilet Is Leaking?
Open the toilet tank and put a few drops of food coloring into the water. After 15 minutes, check if the color inside the toilet bowl has changed. If it did, your toilet has a leak.
My Water Bill Went Up, How Do I Check for Leaks?
The main causes of high water bills are running toilets and leaky faucets. Check for leaks by inspecting faucets, as well as removing your toilet bowl’s tank and listening for any sounds, like hissing. If you don’t find leaks in either of those locations, you’ll need to check your water line and hose bibs. You may also want to contact a plumber.
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Why Does My Toilet Smell Every Time I Flush It?
A broken airtight seal might cause your toilet to smell. Sewer gas is blocked from entering homes by the drain venting system. A U-shape in the pipe holds a designated amount of water after each flush. The water acts as an airtight seal to block sewage gases. If too much negative pressure occurs, however, the water level can lower and break the seal, causing a smell after you flush.
What Causes Residue and Stains in the Bathtub?
Low pH and acid water, both of which are caused by high amounts of carbon dioxide in the water supply, can cause rusty, blue, or green stains in the bathtub.
Can I Use Drain Cleaner in a Sink With a Garbage Disposal?
Yes, Drano® and similar brands make sink–cleaning products that are safe for all sinks, including those with garbage disposals. If in doubt, check the drain cleaner’s label before using it.
How Can I Prevent Frozen Pipes?
How Do I Prevent a Well From Freezing?
Prevent your well from freezing by using insulation material, like foam or thick fabric, or a heat lamp or well cover.
Gravity Tank Toilets