Your plumbing system can seem like a maze of pipes to you. If you do not know anything about it, it is hard for you to identify the cause if you see a problem. No one is saying that you should know what the plumbers know, but you should get familiar with how your system works so you will not be in the dark. This article will go over some basics of plumbing that every homeowner should know.
Get to know how the pipes connect inside your house. Find out where the pipes are behind the walls. Learn how they run from one section of your house to another. This is useful if you ever suspect that there is a leak in one of the pipes.
Keep your plumbing system running smoothly by maintaining it as part of your routine. Clean your fixtures to prevent the build-up of mineral deposits from water. If you ever notice that the water flow from your shower is getting weaker, you may need to clean your showerhead of mineral deposits. The best way is to soak it in vinegar overnight. This dissolves the mineral deposits inside your shower head. Just rinse it clean, and you should see a difference in your water flow.
Check behind your toilet routinely to detect any leaks. Check the floor to see if there is any sign of water coming from the tank or the water line. Check under your sink inside your cabinet to make sure there is no wetness around the drainage pipes or on the cabinet floor.
When you see a problem, avoid just getting by with the easiest fix. For example, if there is a leak under the sink from a connection, do not just stick plumber's putty on the leak and hope that it will hold. The bigger problem may be the pipe sections getting out of alignment, causing a leak in the connection. A quick fix will not last long. Fix the bigger issue instead.
Keep a set of basic tools that you will need for simple plumbing fixes. You should always have a pipe wrench, an adjustable wrench, a pair of pliers, an auger, a hacksaw and a tubing cutter.
Plumbing will sometimes require you to crawl under your kitchen sink or to access tight places. Be aware that you may get a bit dirty. When you need to work on plumbing, wear your old clothes that you would not mind getting dirty. This will take your mind off of your clothes and help you focus on the plumbing task at hand.
This article discusses only a few basic ideas. Any homeowner can do simple plumbing fixes if he takes the time to learn how. There are plenty of resources on the web and in libraries that you can learn from. You may even find some instructional videos on fixing basic problems. The bottom line is, do not leave yourself in the dark. Your home's plumbing system is a major investment, and you should know how to take care of the simple problems.