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Helpful Plumbing Tips

First, check the emergency shutoff under your sink to make sure it’s
fully open. If rubber washers or seals have begun to deteriorate, you’ll
also lose water pressure, so check those. Calcium and lime buildup will
also cause low water pressure.

Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, as much as 150
gallons a day! Be sure you regularly check under sinks for moisture or
small leaks. And always repair leaky faucets right away to avoid paying
for wasted water, and also to avoid water damage to your fixtures and
pipes. Remove and clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even
flow of water. Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanities are clear
and open to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings.

Usually, faucet dimensions and sink openings are standard throughout the
plumbing industry, so the answer is usually yes. There are a few
exceptions, so check the size of the sink opening before you buy new

Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats
solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs.
To help prevent clogs, fit all your tubs and shower drains with a
strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer

In most homes, the kitchen and laundry drains are connected. When the
lint from the laundry drains meets the grease buildup from soap and food
products, a nearly solid substance is formed, causing blockage.
Using filters and strainers will help, but you’ll also need to get the
drains snaked periodically as well.

Yes. You want to make sure they’re not stuck in the open position just
when you have a water emergency! Do the same periodic check for the
shutoff valves on your sinks, tubs, and toilets, too.

Noises can be fairly common in plumbing supply lines. If a washer in a
faucet or valve is loose, you’ll hear it rattling or knocking. If the
sound occurs when you open and close faucets rapidly, it generally means
pipes are loose, and can be corrected by anchoring pipes more securely.
If it really bothers you, you can add air chambers at the end of long
pipe runs. Their installation will probably require a plumbing

The main culprit is tree roots, and once they’ve blocked the line, there
is very little you can do. A plumbing professional can snake the line to
get it as clear as possible, and then use copper sulfide products to
kill the remaining vegetation. But odds are the sewer line will most
likely need to be replaced.

For minor clogs, they’re fine, but never use them on a drain that is
completely clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes,
and it can severely damage them. If you can’t snake the drain yourself,
contact a professional to do so. Never use caustic drain openers in a
drain that has a garbage disposal.

This is usually due to a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters
grow older, they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these
deposits are not removed periodically, the sediment will create a
barrier between the burner and the water, greatly reducing the water
heater’s performance level. At least once every three months, drain
water from the tank. Draining a gallon or so on a regular basis helps
remove the sediment.

You should also periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame
under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly
yellow, or if it’s sooty under there, your flue may be clogged, which is
a dangerous situation. Contact a professional to check it out. At least
once every two years, have your water heater inspected by a service
technician. He or she will also check the drain valve for signs of
leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion

Always use plenty of cold water when running your disposal, and avoid
overloading it. Never dispose of very hard items like bones or corn
husks. And never use a caustic drain opener. You can extend the life of
your hands by never using them to remove items dropped inside – use
tongs instead!

Before calling a professional, be sure you try using the reset switch
located on the bottom of most disposals.

Toilet leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year,
check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of red food
coloring to the tank, and then check the toilet bowl later. If the
toilet bowl water is colored red, water is seeping through from the
tank. If it is leaking, you should replace the tank ball.