Many people don’t think about their plumbing until something goes wrong with it.
However, this kind of attitude means that you often miss the chance to do the little things that can help your system run well and stay that way.
Take some time to care for your plumbing today and prevent major problems later.
Your main water shut off valve is usually in your basement or near wherever your utilities are. It’s usually labeled and has a red handle on a knob or a lever. When you turn it all the way to the right, it shuts off the flow of water into your home. This is useful when you have a major leak or you want to do some plumbing work without a flood. Just don’t use water in the house until it’s turned on again.
Many sinks, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures can have their own shutoff valves, too. These are usually around or below the fixture. Turning them all the way to the right shuts off water to that fixture only.
Know what does and does not go down your toilet. In general, only toilet paper should get flushed. Feminine products, cotton swabs, and anything else needs to go in the trash. They don’t break down the same way the toilet paper does, so they can cause major clogs if they pile up.
Your garbage disposal is not invincible. In fact, there are a lot of things that should not go down it. Throw away egg shells, coffee grounds, grease and fat, corn cobs, and most food waste. Over time, these can build up in your drains and, eventually, cause major clogs. If something accidentally goes down, the disposal can usually handle it. However, you should make every effort to throw most items away.
If you do have a clogged toilet or a clogged drain, try these DIY drain cleaning tips by fixing it with either warm water mixed with soap or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
For the water and soap, start by making water as hot as you can in the tap. Pour it in the sink or toilet. Then add as much dish soap as you want. The hot water helps break up the clog and the soap helps it slide away.
You can also start by putting a cup of baking soda down the troublesome drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Let this sit for 15 minutes, then see if your clog is gone.
Do you suspect a leaky toilet tank? Put a few drops of food coloring into it, then wait 30-60 minutes and don’t use the toilet. If the coloring gets into the bowl during that time, you have a leaky toilet and should fix it to save water and save money.
Flush your water heater at least once a year.Turn off the water supply, place a bucket under the spigot, then open the valve and let the water flow out. If you can still see sediment in what is coming out at the end, let it fill up and repeat the process until the sediment is gone.
Get a good plunger and learn how to use it. It should completely cover the hole into the drain. You should be able to squidge it up and down. Remember, you may have to plunge for up to 10 minutes to unclog a stubborn drain. Also, don’t use a plunger to retrieve objects. It will only push them farther down. Instead, get a wet-dry vacuum to use on these occasions.
Plumbing connections need to be tight, but not too tight. Additionally, you may want to use plumbers tape – aka Teflon tape – to seal connections. That way, they will be secure without needing to be overtightened.
If you need help with your plumbing in Denver, call us at Blue Sky Plumbing today. We’ve been providing the Front Range with plumbing services since 1906, going back 4 generations. We are 100% family owned, and uphold Archie Lanyon’s code of ethics by providing quality work, honest dealing and dependability on each service call we make. We’ll get there fast and take care of everything!