Your house’s plumbing is a complex system that can be disrupted by the smallest issues. A blockage outside, or even sometimes in a neighbor’s house, can lead to backups in your home. However, you probably don’t know everything about maintaining your home’s plumbing system.
Asking a few plumbing questions can help save you fistfuls of cash when you discover how easy it is to do it yourself.
Why Do Pipes Get Clogged?
Clogs are a frequent plumbing issue. From the toilet in the bathroom to the drain inside the kitchen sink, they all get blocked by different materials. Kitchen pipes are usually clogged by solid foods, grease and fat, powders, and oils. Bathroom pipes are usually blocked by soap or hair buildup. Try to avoid excess quantities of these materials going down the drain. You can easily remove clogs with the right tools, but more serious cases require a call from a professional plumber.
What Is the Difference Between Soft and Hard Water?
You might have heard of “soft” and “hard” water, but not the context behind the terms. Hard water contains a high amount of dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium. In contrast, soft water has a moderate amount. While these minerals are beneficial to your health, hard water also has drawbacks beyond foul taste and odor. The minerals can damage pipes and laundry machines, as well as any clothes and utensils washed with them. They can also cause skin problems. Resolve this issue by getting a water softener.
Why Is My Toilet Running?
Sometimes you might notice that your toilet continues to run after flushing it. This is a regular scenario with a couple of simple explanations. One is likely an issue with the rubber flap in the water tank not sealing completely. Remove the tank lid and adjust the flap by moving the handle, then flush again to verify. If the flap is too small or broken, replace it. You may need to adjust the chain to prevent it from getting caught on the flapper. Another issue is the fill valve not working properly, which messes with tank water regulation. Upgrade the valve to stop the running.
What Can I Send Down the Garbage Disposal?
This is a really frequent plumbing question. Your kitchen’s garbage disposal is handy in cleaning the mess after a meal, but it cannot handle every type of food. Certain materials are too strong to break down, which can damage the device and the pipework. Stick to organic materials such as vegetables, fruits and meat. Avoid non-organic items, starch or fiber-rich foods and grease since they can damage the disposal or clog the pipes. Don’t forget to clean your garbage disposal regularly, too.
How Do I Prevent Frozen Pipes?
During the winter season, you run the risk of the pipes freezing due to the low temperatures. Water expands when it freezes, creating high pressure that damages your plumbing system. Prevent this by sealing air leaks that allow cold air inside. You will also want to purchase and install pipe insulation. This is generally a long length of foam that helps to keep the temperature stable. Finally, let some faucets drip, or run at a trickle. This helps keep the water moving through the pipes, so it doesn’t just become an ice block, and relieves some pressure.
When maintaining your home, you will have many plumbing questions. Believe me, you are not the first to ask them. Research these home repair plumbing questions and their potential solutions to resolve problems, then contact a plumber for anything you cannot handle alone.