When something goes wrong with our homes’ plumbing, our first instinct is to call a plumber. While this is the safe route to take, a plumber isn’t always warranted. As a homeowner, you should at least be able to tackle these five plumbing tasks on your own.
1. How To Shut Off The Water
What’s the first thing you should do if there’s a leak in your home? Turn off your whole house’s water supply. Many homeowners are unsure of how to do this. The first step is to find your home’s water meter. Sometimes, it’s located on the side of the house. Sometimes, it’s buried near your street.
Once you’ve found the meter, you’ll want to turn the shutoff valve all the way to the off position. This will shut off all of the water to your home. It’s also important to know how to shut off the plumbing fixtures in your home. Every toilet, sink, and bathtub has a shut-off valve, and it’s typically located on the wall underneath the fixture.
2. How To Clear A Clogged Drain
Drain clogs happen. Sometimes, we put them on the backburner and procrastinate on fixing them – until it becomes a serious nuisance. A monthly or weekly drain cleaning can help prevent clogs in the future, but if your water is no longer draining properly, try this trick:
Baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.
The baking soda eliminates odors while breaking down grime. The vinegar interacts with the baking soda to create a fizzing action that helps clear drains. It also cleans the drain at the same time. Boiling hot water helps push the solution down the drain while also loosening grime and debris. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for one hour or overnight. Finally, pour the boiling water down the drain.
3. How To Fix A Minor Pipe Leak
Most homeowners call a plumber at the first sign of a pipe leak, but some minor leaks can be fixed without having to call in a professional.
Epoxy putty and repair clamps can help fix minor leaks. The putty needs to be applied properly for this method to work, but it’s worth a try if you have the time and patience. If not, do yourself a favor and call in a plumber.
4. How To Stop A Running Toilet
A running toilet is a nuisance and a money-waster. If your toilet is running non-stop, the water level is either too high, or the flapper is worn out.
The float height in the toilet tank can be adjusted by sliding the rod to a lower setting. Replacing a flapper is pretty straightforward.
5. How To Turn Off The Water Heater
If you’re having issues with your hot water heater, the first thing you need to do is turn it off. How you do this will depend on the type of water heater you have in your home.
Water heaters are either powered by electric or gas. Electric models are easy to turn off. Just flip the power off from the breaker. For gas heaters, you’ll need to turn the gas knob off. If you need to keep water from entering your water heater, you’ll need to turn off the cold water shutoff valve that goes into the unit.
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