Our goal with this website is simple: To help answer plumbing and heating questions that homeowners have in order to save them time and money!
Let’s face it. Calling a plumber to replace a leaky pipe, broken furnace or frozen backflow irrigation valve can be an expensive ordeal. In many cases, the fix is only a few minutes away if you can do it yourself or know what to do to prevent the issue from happening in the first place.
In today’s throw away society, there is a lot one can do to save cash by fixing things solo. Why not at least give it a try before picking up the phone and calling a service tech?
If you require the services of a plumber, be sure to check them out prior to hiring them. Hiring a plumber who is not experienced enough for your problem could make the situation worse. Always look at reviews on plumbers, or ask your family or friends if they know of one.
Do you feel that your home’s plumbing is in good condition? Do you want to learn tips to help you deal with your problems yourself? If you’re ready to get started, then this is article for you! The following article has advice for making plumbing repairs efficiently.
The Number One Rule You Need To Know
The number one home-owner rule is also the easiest to remember. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family knows how to cut off the water from the valve in your home. You’ll find a water meter right on it or nearby. Usually, toilets, sinks and other fixtures have cut-off valves of their own. Give all family members information about where these valves are located, and show them how to shut them off should an emergency occur.
Doing that alone could potentially save you a ton of water from water damage if a home water leak does occur.
The Noisy Pipe Blues
We get a lot of homeowners asking how to fix noisy pipes. Especially when pipes have been winterized and it’s time to turn the water back on again in the spring.
Noisy pipes are almost always copper. PEX piping is rarely noisy because of the softer material it is made of.
The most common cause for noisy pipes is what’s called a water hammer.
Noisy pipes are actually a lot easier to fix than you would imagine. Exposed pipes will have to be anchored. If pipes are located in the floors, ceiling or walls, a professional might be needed for the job.
Here’s a great video on dealing with annoying “water hammer” pipe noise:
Pump out your septic tank at least every five years to keep it in proper working condition. Doing so will help to avoid septic tank problems by ensuring that the tank does not become clogged with sediment. Although having a septic tank pumped costs money, cleaning up sewage backup in your home will ultimately cost much more.
Learning the basics is important with plumbing problems, including how to use the common plumbing tools. Use as many resources as you need, such as online or the library, to find the right information to repair your plumbing issues. Plan thoroughly before attempting a repair. Mistakes can be very expensive to fix.
Use strainers on all drains to keep foreign objects and debris from clogging drains. Kitchen sink strainers should be cleaned every time they collect large food particles. The ones in your bathtub should also be cleaned frequently, as needed.
Pour equal parts baking soda followed by vinegar down your bathtub drain once a month. Seal off the drain with a conventional plug or a piece of fabric while the natural chemical reaction takes place. Wait a while, and then use boiling water to flush. This procedure should be able to clear pipes of hair and soap scum.
Plumbing & Heating Resources
Here’s a list of some resources for residential plumbing and heating guides and products.
RocksFast.com (US retailer of fake rocks and backflow irrigation covers)
Hardscape (UK Supplier of Faux Rock & Fiberglass Irrigation Insulation Covers)
Home Plumbing & Heating Money Saving Tips
Before you call a plumber, think about what plumbing work you need, then schedule them all at once. It can be tempting to call a plumber each time you have a minor problem, but saving plumbing work for one time allows you to put money aside for the repairs. It can also save money since most plumbers will charge you by the hour and you will only be using one service call. Coming out just once will cut down on the time it takes, making your bill smaller.
Shower Heads: One easy way to save on energy and water is to install efficiency-oriented shower heads. Energy efficient shower heads can save you money on your energy bill and water bill. Invest in an energy-efficient shower head and you could save a hundred dollar every year on your water bill.
Furnace Filters & Maintenence: Don’t skimp on this! Have the burners and ignitor in your furnace checked and cleaned and change the filter often. Furnaces that run smooth, cost less to run!
Backflow Protection: If you have backflow irrigation valves in your yard make sure you insulate or heat them in cold months to prevent backflow freeze. Watts, Wilkins, FEBCO and other brands all make backflow protection devices used to protect the drinking water supply. They are expensive to replace! Using backflow covers is another great option and should be a part of any home winterization.
Water Softeners: If your home has a water softener make sure you check the salt level to ensure it will run smoothly. Hard water is tough on pipes and water valves.
Pipe Insulation: It’s always a good idea to use insulation on the warm water pipes in the basement to conserve energy and save money.
Outdoor Water Well Tanks: If you have an exterior water well and pressure tank with a well pump house, fake rock cover, or shed as protection, it may not be sufficient in below freezing temperatures. Consider and insulated well cover to help protect from freezing and damage.
Last But Not Least – The Thermostat: In the cold, winter months it is more efficient to leave the furnace on at the same temperature all day and night vs turn it up and down. Today’s super-efficient furnaces are designed to run best at a uniform temperature. If you turn the temp down and then back up the furnace has to work extra hard to bring the temperature back up again and efficiency is lost.
Plumbing Cabins & Mobile Homes
Many people ask us about winterizing pipes in hunting and fishing cabins and mobile homes. Winterizing water pipes is always a job best left for the pros.
If you miss one simple step it can result in a hunting cabin or mobile home full of water come spring. You don’t want to be camping outside in a tent because your cabin is flooded! (If you do need a tent though check out this site for great tent reviews).
If you ever end up plumbing a hunting shack or mobile home located on a campsite or private property, always us flexible PEX style piping. Unlike copper it will flex when cold and not break and cause backflow issues.