If you hate paying for emergency service plumbing repairs, just a little foresight and simple planning can lessen the likelihood of a budget-busting plumbing blowout. In the same way you service your car with fresh oil, correct tire pressure, and coolant, your plumbing system will respond to some TLC you can easily do yourself, for next to no cost. Follow these plumbing tips the pros use at their own houses to save you the need for professional intervention.
Know Where the Shutoff Valve Is
Perhaps you have moved to a new house and are not yet familiar with your plumbing layout. Knowing where the shutoff valve is located, and how to use it, is essential information for all members of the household — even children. You never know who will be home during a plumbing incident.
Resist the Big Freeze
Breaks from frozen and cracked pipes can be expensive plumbing repairs. Follow these three plumbing tips to avoid frozen pipes:
- Insulate exposed pipes
- Let water slowly drip from your faucet
- Open under-sink cupboards to let warm air circulate
Steer Clear of Drain Cleaner
Drain cleaner can be hit and miss, and can even cause pipe damage. If drain cleaner proves unsuccessful, it can also then pose a danger to a professional plumber. A more effective DIY way to unclog your drain is to use an auger, which snakes down into the pipe, grabs the clog, and pulls it out — but a plumber is always your best option for clearing drains safely and properly.
What to Do With Grease?
It’s tempting to believe that grease will disappear down the drain if followed by dishwashing detergent, but don’t try it! Save yourself plumbing costs by pouring excess grease into a non-breakable container with a lid and throwing it in the trash or taking it to a designated cooking oil drop off location. Remember: It takes a professional to remove a grease clog.
A Hairy Problem
Long hair is an enemy of drains. Plumbers know that if you cover your drains with mesh and clean them weekly, plumbing problems can be easily avoided for minimal outlay.
Fix Those Drips
Dripping taps can sometimes be an easy DIY plumbing fix, but not always. If you can’t repair a dripping faucet yourself let an expert like Fletcher’s Plumbing and Contracting a call. We’re happy to help.
Flushables Are Not All They Seem
Even products marked “flushable” can cause havoc on plumbing. A top plumbing tip: Don’t rely on the label. Flushable sani-wipes and baby wipes take a long time to break down and can do damage in the meantime. If you can, throw all wipes in the trash to be safe.
On the Subject of Flushing …
Flushing inappropriate things is where many households’ plumbing repair expenses begin. Many items don’t dissolve in water and clog easily. Under no circumstances should you flush the following items:
- Dental floss
- Cigarette butts
- Cotton swabs/balls
- Chewing gum
- Paper towels
- Feminine hygiene products
Emergency Action to Shield Your Wallet
Let’s say you carried out preventive maintenance and did all the right things, but an unlikely emergency happens anyway. Here is what you should do to deal with the matter before calling professional backup.
Head for the Shutoff Valve
Remember that valve you located and practiced using? Now is the time to put that knowledge to use. Shutting off the water can potentially save you thousands in water damage costs. And for water problems that occur after normal business hours, you can avoid an after hours emergency service charge, by simply turning off your home’s main water valve and waiting until morning to request service.
Sometimes You Need a Professional
If you encounter plumbing problems more complex than the common minor issues mentioned above, you need to call a plumber. With decades of experience handling even the toughest plumbing problems, Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting, Inc. is the ideal choice.
Call us at (530) 673-2489 or click here to schedule a consultation.