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Plumbing Tips for Beginners

Having experienced plumbing problems like overflowing toilets and dripping faucets in my home, I have decided to learn basic tips on plumbing. This will come in handy when fixing leaks, looking through water filter reviews and repairing small clogs without contacting professional plumbers. Nevertheless, I will still retain the contacts of my regular plumber in case I encounter an issue that I can’t solve.

Fixing the Toilet Interior

In as much as I know that disconnecting pipes under my sink or shower can be messy if I don’t do it correctly, it still doesn’t do any harm to try and replace my faucet’s cartridge. Some of the common causes of a leak between the bowl and the toilet bowl are worn flappers which I can get at a cheaper price. Still, the accessories come with easy-to-follow instructions that I can rely on when replacing the worn-out part.

For modern faucets, a repair can be done by fixing a new cartridge in the whole of the interior. The procedure is relatively easy as all I have to do is remove a few screws. Therefore, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a go should I hear the toilet running more often, or the sink dripping.

Improving the Efficiency of a Water Heater

One thing that I always check is my water heater’s thermostat. I do this to ensure that it’s not too high, maintaining a maximum of 115 degrees which is enough to heat water for my domestic needs. Secondly, I check the water tank to ensure that it’s insulated but not covering the thermostat. Insulation ensures that the water stays hot for long. Some manufacturers and suppliers provide free or inexpensive blankets which I can fix with ease using a manual.

If I move to an area where there’s quick sedimentation in the lines or the systems, then I can discard the grit by draining a quarter of water from my tank quarterly. To achieve this, I must first turn off the water heater then open the drain into a bucket or a steel bowl. This empties most of the sediments that have settled at the bottom of the tank thus increasing the efficiency of the running water.

Loosening Tough Water Pipe Fittings

Getting the pipe fitting or the trap under the sink loose can be a daunting task, even if I use a pipe wrench. Using brute strength may not be enough to budge the hardened fittings. As such, it becomes necessary to apply heat if I want to loosen up old, solidified pipes. I can achieve this using a propane torch, although I will still have to apply some heat. Before heating, I will protect nearby walls using heat-resistant materials. Also, I’m keen to apply heat on metal water pipes only, not plastic pipes or gas pipes.

Using Thread Tape

Pipe done, a thread sealing compound can be used for dripping and smearing. However, a thread tape can do the same work. Tapes come in various shapes and colors depending on the use, with a thick pink tape for water, or yellow for gas, while the multipurpose one is white. The procedure is that after unwrapping, I roll the tape in a clockwise manner around the threads. If rolling into a small space proves to be a challenge, then I’ll wrap a few rounds of tape around a stick and apply from there.

Inspecting a Showerhead

I have used thread tapes to fix dripping showerheads but still experience leaks. After research, I have learned that I can unscrew the showerhead and wrap it with some tape in a clockwise direction before re-attaching to fix the drip. For a clogged showerhead, I will soak it in a bowl with water and vinegar, and then use a tiny brush to loosen blockages that might be due to mineral deposits.

Removing Clogs

After interacting with professional plumbers, I will no longer buy expensive, chemical drainers to clear my drain. Instead, I’ll use a drain snake to manually unclog a drain. All I have to do is to insert it into the drain and pull it back. It quickly removes the clog. Alternatively, I can use a wet or dry shop vacuum to pull out the clog.


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