November 8, 2017 Posted By Matt O'Brien
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When facing plumbing issues at home, calling in a professional plumber is not exactly your first instinct. Like most homeowners, you will try to do things yourself first and if your DIY efforts bear no fruit, only then would you get the services of skilled and experienced plumbers.
In this day and age of the Internet and social media, it highly likely that a homeowner who wants to personally solve plumbing problems would look for tips online. But how reliable are those tips anyway? In any case, here are some plumbing tips that actually work.
As long as the blockage is not that bad, unclogging a toilet can be done by anyone. A plunger comes in handy when unclogging a toilet, as does a bucket of hot water. If the water level gets too low, pour a bucket of hot water from waist level into the toilet as often as necessary until it flushes normally again.
If your water heater makes use of a storage tank, make sure that you flush it once a year. Sediment builds at the bottom of the tank over the years, and it reduces the efficiency of the hot water system and causes overheating and might lead to leaks.
When one of your exposed pipes is partially frozen and still has a small amount of water running through it, all you have to do is turn on the faucet connected to it, open all hot water faucets inside the house, and let the steady trickle of warm water thaw the ice that has partially formed inside that pipe. A handheld hair dryer, on the other hand, could come in handy for thawing pipes that are frozen solid. Just make sure you don’t heat the pipe up too much, or you risk ending up with a cracked, or worse, a burst pipe.
Wrap any exposed pipes that you have with electrical heat tape, which automatically warms them when temperatures fall below freezing.
Limescale buildup is often the culprit when water pressure in the shower appears to be weak. Unscrew the showerhead, remove the spray plate and soak it in a descaling solution for a certain amount of time. Before you replace the showerhead, make sure you flush all the remaining limescale from the pipes.
There are many commercially available drain cleaners meant for unblocking a clogged tub or sink, but they carry certain hazards. A drain cleaner made out of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water, however, does not, but still works well when unblocking a clogged tub or sink. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, follow it up with boiling water, then another cup of baking soda. This time, however, pour vinegar instead of hot water and plug the drain to allow the mixture to sizzle and foam. Another cup or two of boiling water afterward will dislodge any remaining gunk and grease.
If you’re bothered by the sound of creaking copper pipes every single time you run hot water, silence them using adhesive-backed felt. Cut them into strips, remove each hanger, and wrap the pipe with the adhesive-backed felt. Afterward, refasten the hanger.
Do you hear a gonging sound every time you let the faucet drip straight into the sink? That’s the sound of the space between two stainless steel sinks. To get rid of the gong effect, fill that space with expanding foam, preferably before installation, but just fine even with the sink in place.
Do you have useful plumbing tips that actually work? If so, send them our way and we’ll share it to the world!