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When you own a home, it’s up to you to do all the little things that help prevent problems. The thing is, homeowners aren’t experts when it comes to things like electricity and plumbing. Fortunately, a bit of plumbing knowledge goes a long way when it comes to preventing plumbing problems in your Jacksonville, FL, home. If you want to avoid calling a plumber as much as you can, here are seven plumbing basics you should know.
1. Shutting off your water
When you have a bad leak or some other plumbing emergency, you have to wait for a plumber to arrive before you can actually fix the problem. As soon as you call an emergency plumbing service, you should head to your main water shutoff valve and turn off the water supply to your home. Turning off water when you have a leak can save you a ton of money in water damage, plus you don’t have to worry about wasting water. If you’re not sure where your main water shutoff valve is, have somebody show you so you know for the future.
2. Running toilets
If you ever hear your toilet running 15 or 20 minutes after you last used the bathroom, make sure you stop it. Toilets run for a few different reasons, but they always cause a spike in your water bill. A running toilet can cost you hundreds monthly, so you don’t want to let your toilet run. You can usually stop a running toilet by jiggling the flusher or straightening out the chain in the tank, but you can always call a plumber if these simple solutions aren’t fixing your problem.
3. Preventing burst pipes
Perhaps the biggest plumbing problem you can have in your home is a burst pipe. Not only do burst pipes cause major damage to your water lines, but they also lead to major water damage and cause a spike in your water bill. The good news is, you can prevent burst pipes with a little bit of work. Burst pipes are a result of water freezing and expanding inside a water line, which means they only happen when it gets very cold outside. You can combat this by having a plumber install insulation around pipes that are located in exterior walls, and you can even use heat tape to keep the pipes warm.
4. Avoiding pipe clogs
You might not think clogs are a big deal, but people spend a lot of money on plumbers as a result of clogged drains. As a homeowner, you should do everything you can to avoid clogging your drains, which means being careful about what you’re putting down your drains. Even if you have a garbage disposal, you should put as much food waste in the trash as you can. You should avoid using flushable wipes and similar products in your toilet, since these products don’t break down in your drains. For more tips on preventing drain clogs, ask a plumber.
5. Using the right drain cleaner
If you’ve never thought about what kind of drain cleaner you’re using, there’s a good chance you’re using the wrong one. Despite its popularity, Drano is a chemical-based drain cleaner that can cause problems with your pipes. The heat created by the chemical reaction that these products cause can corrode and break down pipes, leading to leaks deep in your drains. Instead, you should use an enzyme-based drain cleaner that eats away at clogs without creating any heat or chemical reaction. You can use these drain cleaners regularly to prevent and remove clogs since it’s safe for use in all your drains.
6. Dealing with hard water
One thing that a lot of homeowners don’t know about is hard water. Hard water refers to water with a higher mineral content, and that’s just the way water is for people in certain cities. The thing is, hard water can cause a lot of damage to the plumbing fixtures and appliances in your home. As the minerals from hard water build up in fixtures and appliances, they cause corrosion that ultimately shortens the lifespan of the unit. You can solve this by having a plumber install a water softener in your home to lower the mineral content of the water before it gets to your home. You can also install water softeners for individual fixtures for a more affordable route.
7. What does a sewer odor mean?
For the most part, you shouldn’t smell any foul odors when you’re dealing with your plumbing system. If you flush a toilet, run a faucet or turn your shower and notice a strong sewer odor, that’s a sign that your P trap isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. Each fixture has a trap that’s designed to prevent sewage gases from coming back through the pipe and into your home. When this trap dries up, however, it loses its ability to keep sewer odors out of your home. If you smell a strong sewer odor in your home, call a plumber to have your P traps checked out as soon as possible.
A Helping Hand
The truth is, it’s impossible for the average homeowner to know enough about their plumbing to prevent every problem. Still, it’s good to have a basic understanding of plumbing and what you can do to avoid and solve problems, that way you know when it’s time to call a plumber.
If you’ve got a plumbing problem in your Jacksonville, FL, home, all you have to do is call Bert Norman’s Plumbing. Whether you’ve got a minor leak, a clog or a busted pipe, we can get it fixed so you can return to your normal life. For all your plumbing needs, call Bert Norman’s Plumbing at 904-225-5888.