5 DIY Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Learn

Plumbing failures like leaking faucets, clogged pipes, and broken fixtures are a few common issues homeowners face that require regular maintenance. In the event of a breakdown, the initial response is to seek professional help. However, luck may not always be on your side, and you might not be able to get a maintenance specialist for emergency services.

Or worse, the issue crops up on holidays or other times when your plumber is unavailable. Such a predicament would cause a significant amount of delay, and this may not only be an inconvenience, but at times, such delays could further create complications. Additionally, plumbing repair and replacements are generally an expensive affair. Thus, to protect yourself from such adverse situations, it is helpful to know standard plumbing basics.

Read on to learn about five common plumbing problems and what you can do to fix them.

1. How To Mend A Broken Pipe

Pipe bursts are a casualty that can happen without warning. If it happens during the working hours of the repairman, consider yourself lucky, else you would be in trouble. The plumber charges extra for emergency or after-hour services. Unless you have a home warranty covering your plumbing system’s repair cost, you will have to pay a hefty fee. However, if you know how to fix the issue temporarily, you might be able to save a few dollars.

DIY Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Learn

In such a situation, the first thing to do is locate the shut-off valve to cut off the water supply. Once done, you can inspect the pipe to locate the leak. You can cover the leak with electrical or duct tape to prevent water leakage as a temporary fix. For holes bigger in size or damage in fittings, an epoxy putty is a bankable option as a temporary fix.

2. Adding Pipe Insulation

Are you tired of having to wait to get a hot water supply from the tap? It tends to cause inconvenience, especially when you are running behind schedule. Or during winters when you aren’t a fan of cold showers. An easy fix for this problem is to add a layer of insulation to the supply pipes to keep the water warm. By doing so, you prevent any wastage while waiting for hot water to arrive. Additionally, it helps reduce your energy bills as you need not heat the water every time you need it.

Now, you need not hire a plumber to take care of this job. All you need to do is locate any exposed areas in the hot water supply pipes. Take note to find any exposed critical areas that are on the exterior of your house. You can further mark the exposed pipes in unheated garages and attics. Adding a layer of protection to these pipes helps to prevent frozen pipes during winters and reduce energy bills in general.

To add a layer of insulation, use pipe wraps around the area in spiral loops to cover the pipe completely. Another option is to use foam pipe sleeves that cover the pipe completely. Use duct tapes to seal the ends of the pipe sleeves entirely and finish the installation. Voila, your pipe is now insulated.

3. Change Your Showerhead

Are you not feeling upbeat after a good shower because the water flow from your worn-out showerhead is irregular? You might consider calling a plumber. However, it is not entirely necessary. You can follow these simple steps and can replace the showerhead on your own.

The first step is to close the faucet to stop the water supply to the shower. Now, remove the showerhead by turning it anti-clockwise. If it is rusted, you will need a wrench to remove the fitting. Upon removing the fitting, clean the area for any dirt or dust on the threads using an old toothbrush or paper towel. Once done, cover the threads by wrapping around the thread sealing tape in a clockwise manner.

To smoothen the tapes, apply pressure between the tape and the thread with your fingers. Before you install your showerhead, read the product guidelines to find out whether you need a wrench or not. If you don’t, then you can quickly fix the showerhead by rotating it clockwise. Else take help of a wrench. Post installing, check for any leaks and tighten the head to make it stop. Make other adjustments that are required, and you’re good to go!

4. Fixing a Clogged Garbage Disposal

 The garbage disposal unit is prone to get clogged due to a variety of factors like not flushing enough water, grinding potato or banana peels, and even eggshells. When the clog occurs, you will find that the issue lies in the waste discharge area of the disposer. Over some time, the food waste might get accumulated at the waste line and form a blockage. The clog can cause significant disruption in the functioning of your kitchen. Hence, it needs to be fixed immediately. Luckily you can do so yourself! Here’s how you can do it.

With the help of pliers, you can remove the P-trap located beneath the disposal unit. Keep a bucket beneath the trap to allow all the contents, generally food waste and water, to fall in the bucket. Paper towels will be handy to clear any spillage. Clean any clogs, if present, with the help of a small brush. Check the trap arm and clear out any clogs in a similar manner. Once you are sure that the trap is clean, reassemble the drain pipe and tighten the fittings with your hands.

5. Replace/Install The Faucet Aerator

A faucet aerator is placed at the end of the kitchen sink or bathroom faucets. This device is a helpful addition to the faucet as they make the water stream easier to use by making the flow smoother. The faucet aerator may get worn out or get clogged with age, thereby requiring a replacement.

plumbing tips to save money

All you need to do is remove the aerator by rotating it counterclockwise. You might see the clog due to sediment deposition once you remove the device. Clean up the clog with the help of a brush or wire, and install the new aerator by rotating it clockwise.

Conclusion

Hiring a professional to take care of your plumbing projects in the house is always a good idea. However, these fundamental plumbing issues require simple fixes that you can do yourself. As a homeowner, you must be aware of these plumbing basics. It will surely make your life easier.

Top 7 Plumbing Tips for Your Home to Save Money

The plumbing system is a critical part of your home, and you may face many difficulties with it. If you don’t take care of the problems of your plumbing system, you’ll find yourself having to deal with a  significant repair or replacement cost.

Along with the price, some emergency plumbing problems are likely to happen if you postpone regular maintenance. To help you avoid emergencies, we gathered some simple but useful plumbing tips to reduce many major plumbing problems.

1. Do not allow leaks to continue

Leaks are common plumbing problems both in residential and commercial buildings. If you don’t pay attention to leaks, it can become a severe issue, leaving you with a significant repair cost. Therefore, you have to look out for possible leaks in your piping system and also your taps and fix them immediately.

plumbing tips to save money

The thing is that if you take care of the problem at the first stages, it would be so easy that you can do it yourself. But if you postpone it, you’ll need to call a professional plumbing team such as R & Z Plumbing.

This is the best option to have them check your plumbing system every often to make sure that there is not a problem.

2. Change the old valves

Changing the old-fashioned valves is another decision that can save your money in the long run. Although replacing your valves might have a huge initial cost, it will be offset when you receive your bills.

Try to go for eco-friendly valves because they play a significant role in reducing your water consumption. Some experts estimate that it will lead to a 30% saving which is a great deal.

3. Optimize your heating system

Heating systems also play a crucial role in families’ comfort and their living costs as well. Keeping your heater optimized can lead to a significant reduction in your energy bills. Try to ask a professional plumbing system to take a look at your system every winter and make sure that it’s working efficiently.

hydrogen-boiler

Remember that with the advances in tankless water heaters, you don’t keep using tank heaters because they’re not efficient at all.

You can be sure that the money you’re spending on a modern heater will return back to you soon.

4. Insulate your pipes

Another important matter regarding your heating system is the pipe insulation. Hot water that is passing through these pipes can release a great amount of energy to the ambient and therefore waste your money.

If you want to decrease your energy bills, you’d better think of good insulation for these pipes.

You have to insulate all your hot water pipes to prevent waste of energy. Also, you can insulate cold water pipes that go to your heater to prevent the water from being colder. This way, the heater will consume less energy when warming the water.

5. Check your toilet regularly

The toilet is the most critical part of your plumbing system no matter the building, residential or commercial.

A timely service can reduce many of the imminent problems of your toilet and increase the efficiency of your plumbing system.

It’s good to replace the toilet every 10 years to make sure that it’s up-to-date. Modern toilets are great in terms of water efficiency and can help you reduce your water bills.

6. Use washing machine/dishwasher to the full

The amount of load when using washing machines and dishwashers is of great importance. If you use them at partial capacity, you’ll have to face crippling water and electricity bills.

If you have a large family, the problem is easier because you’ll probably have masses of clothes and dishes to take care of.

But if you have a small family, you need to pile up your clothes or dishes to use your machines at full capacity. You have to think of small, eco-friendly machines to make sure you’re doing your tasks efficiently without extra water and energy consumption.

7. Go for smart homes

Fortunately, with the advances in new technologies, we have many other options to increase the efficiency of our plumbing systems and reduce the water bills.

The concept of smart homes is one of the newest advances that is considered to be the future of buildings. According to an expert from Condoly, the attitudes of people in advanced countries like Canada have shifted towards smart homes.

smart-homes

The plumbing system is an integral part of smart homes. You can add them to your plumbing system and see the results.

Here are some cutting-edge items in a smart home plumbing system:

a. Smart pipes

Smart pipes are one of the newest technologies in smart homes. The Internet of Things can connect your pipes to the central computer so that you can monitor the status of your pipes.

You can detect leaks, monitor water consumption, and finally save water using smart pipes.

b. LED temperature monitors

You can use LED temperature monitors to know the temperature of your water and therefore control the amount of your energy consumption.

Conclusion

ِYour plumbing system is a key part of your home and can have a crucial role in your living costs. If you want your plumbing system to perform efficiently, you have to make sure that the system has no leak or any other issue. Of course, a regular maintenance program by a professional team can be the best choice in this regard. Bear in mind that the cost of these regular services will return by preventing more severe problems.