Plumbing issues can be minor nuisances that are easily repairable, or they can be the stuff nightmares are made of! If you don’t keep up with regular maintenance, these issues are more likely to develop and become a major hassle. As a homeowner, there are things you can do regularly that will prevent a plumbing nightmare situation and protect your home.

Solve your plumbing nightmares with these lightning-fast and hassle-free repair hacks! Say goodbye to water woes and enjoy a stress-free home.

Key Takeaways:
  • Small DIY plumbing repair and maintenance tasks can preserve the health of your plumbing system.
  • Routine maintenance is one of the most important parts of avoiding plumbing nightmares.

Easy Plumbing Repair Hacks You Need To Know

While you should leave the big jobs to professionals like JW Plumbing, Heating and Air, there are some things that you can do as a homeowner for your plumbing.

Despite the fear of completing a plumbing repair, it is often straightforward. Some repairs take little time. You probably have used some of these hacks without realizing it. Whether this is new to you or a refresher, here are some things you can do to tackle plumbing repairs.

How To Tighten Your Pipes

Piping is the central part of the plumbing. Plumbing includes an extensive network of piping that runs throughout your house. It even runs from your home throughout your yard. As you can imagine, simply routine maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the road. There is a delicate balance between knowing when you can do things yourself versus when you need to call a professional for plumbing repair.

If you see a leak resulting from loose connections on a pipe, here are some things you can do.

  • Use a pipe wrench to tighten nuts and fittings. It is okay to use your hand to tighten the fittings manually. Once you cannot manually twist the nuts, use the pipe wrench one to two times to ensure it is secure.
  • Don’t overtighten! You can strip the threads of the piping. A rule of thumb would be to remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.”
  • Use Plumber’s Tape or Teflon Tape. Purchase the tape that is specified for the piping of your home. As you apply the tape, make sure the piping has been cleaned. Use a toothbrush to clean the piping, and if necessary, use white vinegar. White vinegar is an excellent solution for cleaning pipes.
  • You also can alternatively use a pipe joint compound. It can be used in place of the Teflon tape or with it. This helps to seal the threading and reduces leaks.

Know Where Your Emergency Shutoff Valve Is Located

In the world of plumbing repair, knowing where your emergency shutoff valve is is vital to preventing a situation from escalating to a catastrophe. Every homeowner should know where the shutoff valve is to be proactive in avoiding plumbing nightmares!

So, where is the emergency shutoff valve located?

Know Where Your Emergency Shutoff Valve Is Located

Depending on your home, you can find it in various places. The emergency shutoff valve is not the same as the valve in your bathroom used to stop water to the toilet or similar shutoff valves near other water appliances, however, it does look similar.

The emergency shutoff valve will be close to central connections for your home’s piping system. It can be outside your house, in your basement, near your water heater, under your sink, or in a similar location.

During your home inspection, the inspector should have inspected and advised you on the location of your emergency shutoff valve. If you are a prospective homeowner, this is something to consider inquiring about during your home inspection. Turning off all water supply to your home could save you much money during a plumbing emergency.

Tips For Your Garbage Disposal

Plumbing issues related to garbage disposals significantly contribute to plumbing repair calls. It is safe to assume that many people never learned how to care for garbage disposals properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Run cold water as you use it. Do not use hot water, as it can cause fats to congeal.
  2. Check your garbage disposal regularly for large food debris.
  3. Clean it every few weeks.
  4. Check for easy-to-remove clogs. Make sure to turn it off before sticking your hand in there. Also, spin the blades to make sure they are functioning properly.
  5. Consider the size and quantity of products you dump in the garbage disposal.
  6. Avoid placing items in the disposal that can damage it.

Doing these things will extend the life of your garbage disposal and prevent costly repairs. Here are some items that you should never put in a garbage disposal.

  • Paint
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pasta
  • Bones
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Onion skin
  • Eggshells
  • Trash
  • Fibrous vegetables, such as pumpkin
  • Potato peels
  • Pits
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Corn husks
  • Shells
  • Rice

Your kitchen is used more frequently than other areas of your home. It is also a place where many plumbing issues can lurk.

How To Clean Out Clogs From Your Garbage Disposal

As we continue our discussion on garbage disposals, the next important repair hack to remember is how to clear clogs. While it may seem easy and convenient, it is best to avoid using commercial cleaners and clog removers. Over an extended period, they can do more harm than good.

Use your hand to clear clogs close to the pipe’s entrance. If this does not work, try plunging the drain. The suction can draw the substance clogging the garbage disposal to the opening of the sink pipe so you can remove it. If issues persist, replacing your garbage disposal may be the best option.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal On Your Own

A final thing to consider about garbage disposals is how to clean your disposal correctly. Cleaning your garbage disposal regularly will prevent clogs, odors, and other problems. Here is a DIY cleaning solution you can make at home:

  1. Place a few pieces of ice in the disposal.
  2. Pour approximately one tablespoon of baking soda on the ice.
  3. Place a few thin slices of lemon or orange in the disposal. The citrus acid in the fruit helps to keep the garbage disposal fresh.
  4. Follow up with one tablespoon of bleach.
  5. Grind the ingredients until you hear the clear disposal, then flush with water.

Get Rid Of Toilet Clogs

Of all the quick and easy repair hacks, we probably have had more experience clearing a toilet clog than anything. Before you grab the plunger, consider checking the water drainage in the toilet tank. Take the lid off the tank, lift the flapper, put a few cups of water in there, and see if it drains. If it doesn’t, then that is your problem.

If it drains, then continue with the traditional toilet plunging method. After thoroughly plunging the toilet to no avail, you may want to consider bringing in a licensed plumber technician to correct the problem.

Tips To Detect Leaks

Leaks are sometimes the most difficult thing to discover, especially if they’re happening in areas, you don’t normally see. Some leaks are sneaky and exist in places that aren’t obvious, like under the sink.

If you suspect a leak, here are some places to check:
  • Bathtubs
  • Showers
  • Drains
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Laundry rooms
If you can’t find the leak, you can look for other signs, such as:
  • Damp patches on the walls
  • Sudden increases in your utility bills
  • Sudden increases or decreases in your water meter
  • Dramatic drops in water pressure
  • Abnormalities in the walls and floors, like bowing or bubbling
  • Sunken earth or suddenly appearing wet spots outside when there has not been visible rain

Another option is to add dye to your toilet reservoir to see if there are any leaks. This will make the water a lot more obvious.

Drain Cleaning DIY

The process of cleaning drains is like cleaning your garbage disposal. Check for clogs first, plunge the drain, or use an auger to remove the clog. If that doesn’t work, you can move on to a DIY drain cleaner.

Instead of purchasing Drano or similar commercial products, which can damage your plumbing, you can create your dissolving mixture using simple household ingredients. Mix half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain and place a plug over the drain. Wait 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse the drain with boiling water.

You may repeat this a few times if necessary to remove buildup.

Shower Water Pressure Improvement

We all want to take a hot shower without any interruptions. To prevent poor water flow that makes your shower unpleasant, try these tips:

  • Clean the shower head to remove sediments and build-up. You may need to replace the shower head altogether.
  • Check the water shut-off valve.
  • Do not use other water appliances while you take a shower.
  • Install a shower pump or pressurized cylinder.

Next Steps To Getting Your Plumbing Repaired

These DIY tips can help you keep your plumbing system running at its best. But if you’re dealing with major plumbing issues or feel out of your element, don’t forge ahead! Our professional plumbing technicians at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air can help!

Be at peace in your home. Do not let plumbing nightmares disrupt the ambiance you worked hard to create. Contact JW Plumbing, Heating and Air to address your plumbing woes!

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