The plumbing system is one of the most important parts of any home. It’s one of those things that we don’t think about until it doesn’t work. And when it doesn’t, we need the help of expert Bellevue, WA plumbers.
As a homeowner, you should know how the plumbing system works and that following a few simple tips can prevent most problems. Here are 9 things every homeowner needs to know about plumbing.
Know where the shutoff valve is
The first thing you should do before you start any plumbing project is to find the water shutoff valve for your home. You’ll typically find it near the water heater or in the basement, but it could be in an unexpected location, so keep an eye out.
Don’t use chemical drain cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners can damage pipes over time and make future repairs more difficult. Instead, try pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drains followed by boiling water to clear any remaining debris.
Put sink strainers in your drains
Using a strainer is a simple way to keep your sink drains clear, and they’re inexpensive to buy and easy to install. A strainer is a screen that fits over the drain in your sink or bathtub. It keeps drain clogs from forming and allows water to flow freely through the tiny holes in its surface.
Keep grease and oil out of sinks
Grease and oil are slippery substances that can quickly clog pipes. Don’t pour them down the drain or into any other part of your home’s plumbing system. Otherwise, you will need the help of professional plumbers for drain cleaning services in Bellevue, WA.
Instead, place them in a designated container and dispose of them properly. You can also remove these substances from your hands with a paper towel before washing your hands in the sink.
Choose the right plunger for the job
A plunger is basically just an upside-down cup with an extended handle. It can come in many shapes and sizes, but there are two main types:
Sink plungers: These plungers have a flat cup that sits flush over the drain opening. They’re used for kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as bathtubs.
Toilet plungers: These plungers have a bell-shaped cup that fits into the narrow opening at the bottom of your toilet to force water up through the bottom to clear the clog.
Septic-safe toilet paper is a lifesaver
If you’re lucky enough to have a septic tank, you know that one of the most important things to do is use septic-safe toilet paper. This is important because unlike our city sewer systems, which are designed to process human waste and water, septic tanks are not designed to handle any other type of waste or personal care products.
Don’t flush anything but toilet paper down the toilet
Flushing anything besides toilet paper down the toilet — including makeup wipes, tampons, and diapers — can lead to clogs and overflows that will cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Make sure you have a backup plan for water-related emergencies
A good emergency plan will include not only an inspection of your plumbing system but also a review of the emergency resources available in the area. A backup plan should include a way to get water into the house if there’s an interruption in service — such as a well or septic tank failure — or if you have no water at all.
A good idea is to have an extra supply of water stored in jugs or bottles on hand. If you don’t have room in your refrigerator, consider storing them in a cool basement area or an outdoor shed or garage. You should also store enough food so that you and your family won’t need to leave home if there is no source of clean drinking water available nearby.
Call a professional plumbing service to deal with the most complicated plumbing issues
If you have a complicated plumbing issue, don’t try to fix it yourself. You could end up making the situation worse or hurting yourself in the process. Plumbing problems require professional plumbers who have experience dealing with leaks and other issues.
Following these general tips will save you time and money on expensive plumbing repairs.