A leaking faucet or toilet can add up to serious water waste. And while you should always call a professional Plumber in an emergency, there are some handy plumbing tips and tricks every homeowner should know.
For instance, knowing how to shut off your water can help you avoid costly repairs in the future. So here are three plumbing basics every homeowner should know.
Locating the Water Main
A burst pipe or other water line emergency can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage in just minutes if you can’t shut off your main water valve. Having basic knowledge of your water supply line is a must for every homeowner and property owner, as it can help you deal with problems quickly and competently.
The water main is the network of pipes delivering fresh water throughout most communities, usually installed below street level. Your home’s water service line connects to this water main through a gooseneck or curb stop. From there, it branches to faucets and other fixtures within your property. Depending on your setup, you may be able to find the main water valve inside your house, near the water meter. In other cases, it’s located outside, in a pit at the streetside ground level utility box. Most of these valves have a clear handle in the shape of a circular “wheel” or other standard design.
Identifying the Water Shutoff Valve
The water shutoff valve is one of the most important plumbing tools to have on hand. It can prevent damage caused by flooding and stop the flow of water before it causes major issues that may require costly repairs.
There are a few different kinds of valves, but most homes have round quarter-turn ball valves. These valves have a handle that turns clockwise to turn off the water and counterclockwise to turn it back on. The body of the valve below the handle will have a thicker section that contains an internal mechanism with a hole in it. When open, the valve will be parallel to the pipe. When closed, it will be perpendicular to the pipe.
If you’re unsure where your main water valve is located, start by searching in the basement and crawl space for it. Also, check any exterior spigots or hose bibs for a valve that can be turned off to stop water flow.
Clogged drains are one of the most common reasons homeowners call a plumber from Melbourne. However, with a few simple tools and preventative measures, it’s possible to clear even a stubborn clog in less than an hour without the expense of hiring a professional.
Before using a chemical drain cleaner, try running water to see if the clog dissolves on its own. If not, you’ll need to grab your tools and get to work.
For small clogs, a plunger is the best option. A flexible rubber bell- or cone-shaped tool with an operating handle is best for sink or tub drains. To use, position the plunger over the clogged hole and push down hard. Repeat several times to break up the clog and clear the pipe. For a large or deep clog, try removing the pop-up assembly and inserting a wire drain snake. Most consumer-grade snakes can reach up to 25 feet. If this doesn’t work, contact a plumber. ANCHOR
Leaks are a common plumbing issue and can lead to water damage in your home. To prevent this, it’s important to understand how your plumbing system works and what you can do to keep it in good condition.
Detecting and fixing leaks as soon as they occur can help protect your home from expensive structural damage and save you money on your energy bills. This is why it’s essential to know where your main water shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off in an emergency.
If you have a pipe leak, turning off the water at the valve closest to the leak will help prevent further damage until you can call a plumber. You can also try using a patch clamp or pipe leak repair clamp to fix small leaks. These are simple tools that are easy for most homeowners to use and provide a temporary solution until a professional can fix the leak permanently.