All posts by Charlie Sims

Three Must-Know Plumbing Tips

Plumbing problems can quickly ruin a great home. Here are a few simple tips for maintaining and caring for your home’s plumbing system.

Use A Water Softener.

Most people know when it’s the right time to use a fabric softener or a stool softener, yet water softenerthey never consider investing in a water softener. A water softener could save them quite a bit of money in the long run by extending the lifespan of your pipes and plumbing system. Perhaps they don’t consider investing in one because they aren’t even aware that hard water and soft water exists or the impact they have on their pipes.

For the most part, hard water is what is running through your pipes and coming out of your faucets. It is entirely safe water, but it contains various minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals are technically beneficial to the body to some degree but are very detrimental to your home’s plumbing network.

Soft water is simply hard water that has had these minerals slightly altered. Most water softeners work by utilizing ion exchanges and other scientific trickery. The end result is that the water still contains the same minerals, but their electrical charge has been altered so that they cannot attach to the pipes in your home.

It is when those minerals attach to the lining of the pipes that the problems begin. They can create clogs, affect water pressure, and even lead to leaks over time. The hard water can also have a negative impact on the clothes you wash with it. Likewise, the minerals can build up on dishes coated with hard water. Best of all, the metals still exist within the soft water, which means you can enjoy their nutritional benefit without suffering from the damage they cause to pipes.

Don’t Let Those Pipes Freeze.

The last problem you want to encounter this winter is pipes that freeze and then burst. This is a risk that every homeowner must deal with at least once a year. Many new homeowners aren’t aware of this problem and don’t find out until it’s too late. Use what you learn here to prepare your home for the winter so that you don’t suffer from this catastrophic event.

What exactly is the problem? The problem is that the water inside of the pipes freezes. This is terrible news because it means there can be no water flow through that section of the pipe. It could even mean an absence of water flow for the entire home. Yet, a lack of water isn’t also the worst-case scenario.

The major disaster that can come from frozen water in a pipe is bursting of that pipe. When water freezes, it goes through a quick expansion. However, it’s not this rapid expansion that directly causes a pipe to burst. The bursting usually occurs elsewhere in the pipeline.

The expansion and the blockage will cause a continual increase in pressure further down the line between the frozen water and the faucet. That constant increase in pressure is what results in an eventual break in the pipe.

You want to avoid bursting pipes at all cost. It’s messy, dangerous, and can be pretty expensive to repair. To prevent a burst pipe, you need to avoid frozen blockage. The water inside a pipe will freeze when the water’s heat is transferred to air that is below freezing temperature. Thus, to mitigate this severe problem you need to block the transfer of heat from the pipe to the atmosphere.

For starters, you never want to leave pipes completely exposed to the air during winter time. That’s why tubes are usually placed in heated areas or packed with tons of insulation. Bare pipes that run through attics, crawlspaces, or outside of the home are at high risk of freezing and bursting.

Of course, you likely don’t want to rework your entire home’s plumbing system if there are some areas already at risk. That’s why you head to your local hardware or plumbing supply store and purchase piping insulation.

Do everything you can to ensure that pipes inside the home stay warm during the winter time. Treat them like a member of the family that hates the cold. And if you leave home for a vacation during the winter shut off the water supply to the house so that there’s no water to freeze.

Small Problems Make A Big Difference.

Is there a slight leak from one of your pipes? I suppose you could just catch the water in a bucket, dump the bucket every day, and live the rest of your life without calling a plumber. That might seem like a cost-effective solution at first, but you need to know that small problems often become significant problems.

It might take a day, a month, a year, or a decade, but that small leak could become a flood for your home. What’s worse is that if you ignore leaking water for years and then it destroys most of your home it’s doubtful that your insurance company is going to reimburse you.

A better solution is to place the bucket beneath the leak (or turn off the water supply to that particular pipe if possible) and then contact a local plumber Springdale AR. Sure, it’s going to cost you some money at the time, but probably only a fraction of what it would cost you further down the road.

What if the leak is so tiny and minuscule that you decide you don’t even need a bucket. Or perhaps you can see some moisture build up behind a wall, but can’t reach it yourself. The moisture buildup is so small that you don’t think calling a plumber is necessary. Consider that it only takes forty-eight hours for a small amount of moisture to begin supporting mold growth.

The bottom line is that you need to keep the number for a local plumber handy at all times. When you experience small problems, merely make a call and speak with the plumber. They might even offer some DIY advice and save you some trouble.

Dealing With Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems are something that most people have to deal with at one point or another. Thankfully, these kinds of issues don’t have to be a big hassle. As a matter of fact, a lot of common problems can be dealt with quickly.

If you encounter plumbing problems, just follow these tips. As long as you use this guide, you’ll be able to get all of your questions sorted out.

Troubleshoot

If you have an issue, you should try to do some light troubleshooting. There are some problems that have straightforward causes.

If your toilet isn’t functioning, don’t call a plumber immediately. If your drain is clogged, you don’t have to call for help before you do anything else. Instead, you should do a little bit of research. See if you can figure out what the cause of the problem is.

If you do some light troubleshooting, you may be able to take care of the problem on your own. If you aren’t able to solve the problem, you’ll know that you exhausted your research.

Coping With Clogs

If you have a clog in your home, there are a few things you can do to deal with it. You may want to start out by using a drain snake. With a snake, you might be able to pull the clog loose from the drain.

If you aren’t able to get rid of the clog, you can turn to commercial drain cleaners. While some drain cleaning products can be very effective, some of them can also cause damage to pipes. You should read labels carefully when choosing a product like this.

If you do decide to buy a drain cleaner, you’ll have to make sure you’re satisfied with the product you choose. Read plenty of reviews before you make your purchase.

Mixing different types of drain cleaners can produce harmful fumes, and it can erode your pipes. Once you’ve selected a drain cleaner, you are going to have to stick with your choice.

Don’t Take On Problems You Can’t Handle

There is nothing wrong with trying to handle minor plumbing issues on your own. However, if you’re out of your depth, you shouldn’t try to fix things on your own.

It’s smart to do some things yourself, but it’s even brighter to seek help when you need it. Instead of trying to handle all plumbing problems on your own, you should call a plumber when you are dealing with a big problem.

A lot of people assume that taking care of things themselves will save them money. However, in a lot of cases, the opposite happens. If you want to handle a more complicated plumbing problem, you’re going to have to invest in some tools; this can cause a pretty penny.

Beyond that, any mistakes you make could wind up causing severe damage to your plumbing. In some instances, people wind up having to hire a plumber to fix the damage that they have created.

It’s okay to use a plunger or a drain snake on your own. However, the moment you don’t feel comfortable, you should reach out to a plumber. A skilled plumber is definitely worth the price.

The Tools Every Home Should Have

As mentioned above, you’re going to want to have a plunger in your home. The right plunger will make it much easier for you to deal with a clogged toilet.

It’s a good idea to have some essential tools as well. A wrench will allow you to tighten up a pipe if you need to. A screwdriver will give you the chance to fix loose screws.

A drain snake is something else that is worth investing in. Drain clogs are very common, and it’s nice to have a way to deal with this problem.

Shut Off Your Water

If it’s the middle of the night or the weekend and you have a plumbing emergency, you don’t necessarily have to call a plumber right then and there. You may be able to shut off the water in the affected area. Once you’ve done that, you can call a plumber in the morning.

This fix isn’t going to work in all situations. With that said, it can be beneficial if you’re trying to avoid paying additional fees. Turning off the water isn’t going to solve your problem, but it will buy you a little bit of extra time.

Hiring The Right Plumber

If you have decided that you want to hire a plumber, you’re going to want to make sure you choose someone that is qualified for the job. There are a number of factors you should consider when hiring a plumber.

What sort of things should you think about? To begin, you’ll want to look at what a plumber charges. It should go without saying that you’ll want to hire someone that you can afford. Most plumbers will be able to give you a quote over the phone.

You’ll want to hire a licensed plumber if you can. In many states, having a license is a requirement. Even if your state doesn’t require a permit, selecting a plumber with extra training is only going to help you.

You should look for a plumber that comes highly recommended. If a lot of people have said great things about a plumber, it’s safe to say that they do good work. You should talk to some of the people you know and see if they can suggest a plumber to you.

Finally, you’re going to want to pick a plumber that you can trust. You’re asking someone to work on your home, and you’ll want to make sure you can trust them to handle this job.

Are you struggling to deal with plumbing problems? If you have a problem that you can’t take care of, make sure you follow some of the tips above. These suggestions will help you to overcome the challenges that you’re facing. You’ll be able to deal with your problems and have functional plumbing again.