Everyone has plumbing issues, here and there. Be it a do-it-yourself repair or just general preventative maintenance, we need plumbing advice. This article has both angles covered. That way, you can respond to plumbing problems as soon as they appear.
You always want to solder correctly, the biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe clean and shiny. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. When soldering, never heat the pipe, but instead heat the fitting. Doing so allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.
As the weather begins to get cold, attend to all of your exposed pipes by adding insulation to them. Pay particular attention to pipes located in crawl spaces and the outside walls of your residence. Taking this step will help ensure that your pipes continue to function throughout the winter.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
Do not use the liquid cleaning supplies that are designed to clear clogs. These cleaners are harmful and can damage your pipes as they clear the clog. Instead of using damaging liquids, use a plunger or a plumbing snake. These are much more effective and will not harm pipes.
Make sure you know where your home’s water shutoff is located. You never know when there might be an emergency involving a broken pipe or damaged connection that requires you to turn off the water right away. In addition, knowing where the shutoff is located is vital before you start any plumbing project, in case anything goes wrong.
If your toilet gets clogged, your plunger is not fixing it, and your water level inside of the toilet appears low, you can sometimes fix the problem by dumping warm water into your toilet at waist level (or maybe even a little higher). The water needs to be at a low level again in order to repeat the process.
Have you tried patching your pipe with the store-bought patching kits only to have that section of your plumbing continue leaking? Replacing the damaged pipe is a more permanent solution than patching. First, you must shut off the main water valve, and drain the water from the damaged section. Cut out the damaged section of the copper pipe, leaving about an inch of extra pipe on both sides of the damaged area. Remove corrosion from inside the pipes with a wire brush. Apply flux to the replacement pipe and the remaining pipe. Slide the piece of replacement pipe into place with couplings. Apply solder all around the joint, and use a propane torch to solder the replacement section into place.
If water backs up from one sink to another, it is because the lines are connected. The part of the branch line for one device might be higher than another, but most likely there is also a blockage in the branch line connecting the two devices as well. This blockage must be cleaned.
It is important to educate yourself in advance before a problem arises. Regular maintenance can also prevent small plumbing issues from becoming serious emergencies. Following the ideas and tips contained here can help you take care of many of your plumbing repairs in the future.