You could think of your home’s plumbing as its circulatory system because it consistently delivers water when and where it is needed through a network of pipes. Even though it is hidden under the floors, or behind the walls it is a vital component of a well functioning house. Most people hurriedly go through a list of best plumbers trying to find one to call when something goes wrong, but there are some things homeowners can do themselves to fix plumbing issues.
While it may not be possible for the ordinary individual to do anything about water pressure, clogs and leaks are not all that difficult to fix. Anyone with a little basic knowledge about how plumbing works is sure to have what it takes to tackle simple problems with plumbing. Here are some common plumbing problems and some tips on how to repair them.
It is always a good idea to keep a few materials on hand for emergency repairs. It is nearly impossible to know where problems will occur, so determine all pipe sizes throughout the home and keep a few pieces around to fix unexpected breaks. O-rings and couplings in appropriate sizes can be purchased at home improvement or plumbing supply stores in bulk packages.
Other items to keep handy for emergency situations should include Teflon, or plumbers tape, plastic pipes, sharp hacksaw, solder, metal pipe cutters, flux and brushes for applying it and a propane torch. These days, fixing simple troubles with pipes is easier than ever with the right couplings. A visit with a plumbing specialist at a local hardware store should reveal information about fittings that require no tools and can be used with PEX, CPVC and copper pipes.
Broken or Leaking Pipes
When it is a matter of pipes that are broken or leaky, turning off the water at the shutoff valve is the first thing to do. With the materials listed above, cut the damaged section away and wait until the pipes dry thoroughly. Once accomplished, cut the replacement piece of pipe and use the couplings to fit it back together.
If the pipe is PVC, use PVC glue to coat the ends, one at a time, and use the coupling to attach them together. When repairing copper pipe, a propane torch should be used to heat the pipes before adding flux and sealing the ends and coupling together. In the event that emergency parts are not readily available, a piece of garden hose can be slipped over a small leak and held in place with clamps until a better repair can be applied.
Drain clogs are the most common plumbing issues, but they frequently have nothing to do with faulty plumbing. Many people purchase commercial cleaners to deal with numerous drain cleaning problems, but there are also some home remedies that can be just as useful. For instance, boiling water and salt poured down the drain can remove clogs caused by grease, food and hair. Vinegar and baking soda can be used efficiently to clear clogs, but be careful not to cover the drain when trying this.
Frozen pipes, faulty fixtures and other plumbing troubles can be easily be fixed by homeowners who are willing to take the time to learn easy techniques. However, more complex plumbing problems require the assistance of qualified Vancouver plumbers on the job.