Home maintenance is something that every home owner has to attend to or else they risk ending up with very costly repairs when problem spots go from bad to worse. The good news is that many smaller jobs can be completed without the need for qualified professionals. But what about plumbing issues? Although you must be very careful when it comes to dealing with plumbing and abide by your local laws regarding what you can and can't do yourself, not every problem requires the services of an experienced, and expensive, plumber. Here is a list of top plumbing tips from AQVA that will help keep your home plumbing in shape.
Pipes constructed of copper will expand when hot water runs through them. This expansion can cause friction between the pipe and hangers. Simply purchase some felt from your local handyman store. Felt that comes complete with adhesive backing is ideal. Cut the felt into narrow lengths ready to wrap around each pipe at the hanger points. Removing the hangers and then fastening them again once the felt is in place is a quick and easy job that virtually anyone can do.
If you're in an area prone to very cold conditions then wrapping pipes in insulation will aid in the prevention of frozen pipes that can burst. Pipe insulation is available from your local hardware store. Another benefit of insulating your pipes is that the hot water travelling along the pipe system retains more of its heat.
When you discover a pipe has worked its way loose a little you'll no doubt be keen to tighten it up. Keeping pipes tightened is certainly a good idea, however, if you're over zealous and make the fitting too tight you risk the pipe cracking or threading and that will cause quite a lot of trouble. Tightening loose pipes is a must, just be mindful to only go as far as is needed to stop any leaks. Using sealants is important too, but be sure you select the correct product for the material you're working with. Your local handyman store will be able to guide you to the optimum solution for your specific circumstances, whether it be for plastics, steel or brass.
If your toilet water is not draining the way it normally does then it's likely that there is some sort of blockage in the system. Ignoring a slow draining toilet could lead to the toilet overflowing entirely so don't put off attending to this problem that is quite often easily fixed. Grab yourself a large toilet plunger and place it inside the toilet bowl. Place the rubber end over the waste outlet and begin to pump the plunger. With only a few attempts you will find the toilet water will rush away and this is a sign that you've managed to dislodge the blockage. To prevent blocked toilets in the future it's important that unnecessary items are not placed into the toilet. Dispose of things such as cotton wool and personal hygiene items in appropriate waste receptacles instead.
Blocked Shower Drain
It's very typical of shower drains to become blocked, especially if some type of filter is not fitted to the drain. If you're finding yourself standing in pools of water in the shower due to it not running away properly then it's time to address your blocked shower drain. Most shower drains incorporate a type of insert into the design to assist in capturing hair and the like before it makes its way further into the pipe system. Most inserts will easily pop out by gently pulling them or giving them a twist. Remove any build up you can see and wash the insert thoroughly. To check whether the drain is free of blockages run fresh water into the shower tray and watch to see that it flows away easily. If the water is still banking up then unfortunately the debris has lodged itself further down the line and will require some extra effort.
With the use of a rubber plunger you should be able to clear the blockage. Run water into the shower tray until it has built up to the point of the drain being covered. Cover the drain with the plunger and pump it up and down several times. If all goes well the gunk will come up into the tray or dislodge and flow away down the pipeline.
For blockages that refuse to budge you will need to insert a spring specifically designed to clear drains. Once inserted down the drain, twist the spring in a continuous circular motion until you sense the spring has reached the trouble spot. By twisting the spring into the debris it will embed itself and enable you to pull the blockage out once and for all. Once clear, replace the drain insert and flush plenty of clean water down the drain to rid the last of any debris as well as to create a water seal that helps keep at bay the smells within the trap.
It's inevitable that taps will leak eventually and not only waste water but over the long term damage the tap itself and surrounding basin too. A leaky tap is fairly simple to fix so why put up with this annoying problem? To begin, remove the tap handle by unscrewing it. In most cases the screw will be concealed under some type of cover on the top of the tap that can be popped off with a flat head screwdriver or similar tool. It's wise to cover tools with cloth to avoid damaging the surface of the tap.
If it's a washer that needs replacing then shut off the water supply, drain the tap and then take off the top cover. Undo the nut at the base of the tap - prevent the tap from turning by using a wrench to hold it in place. Lift the top components of the tap out to then gain access to the washer and corresponding nut. Replace the washer after thoroughly removing all the broken bits of the old one. Put the tap back together and turn on the water again. Simple as that!
If you do find you have plumbing problems that are too challenging for you then choose your plumber carefully. Ask friends and family for recommendations and organise for several jobs to be completed at the same call out to reduce costs. At the end of the day, if you put in a little bit of maintenance effort yourself you will reduce the chances of having to face huge plumbing problems that can prove extremely costly. A maintained home is a happy home so get started today on all those odd jobs that are really quite simple to fix.