If you’ve ever had to call a plumber, then you know the harrowing experience that sometimes comes with it. They are expensive, difficult to find late at night, and sometimes they’re just too busy for everyone else. But don’t worry! Here are ten plumbing FAQs and things you should know so the next time your pipes burst, or your sink backs up, you have some idea of what to expect.
1. Just Don’t Flush It
Don’t flush anything that doesn’t belong in the toilet. Whether it’s a sanitary napkin, a plastic bag, paper towels, or something else that belongs in your trash can, putting it in the toilet is just going to clog the plumbing, and you could incur thousands of dollars worth of damage trying to unclog your pipes.
2. A Burst Washing Machine Hose is one of the Top Homeowner Insurance Claims
You probably don’t think about the washing machine hoses if you’re a renter. But a burst hose could easily cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home – and your insurance company may or may not cover it. It’s worth looking into if you are a renter, but you are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy if you own the home. Check with your agent to make sure.
3. Test Your Water Quality
The water quality in your area may impact the type of pipes you need and how many repairs you will have to make. Check with your local water supplier to see what contaminants can be in the water, and then do some research to find out how common those problems are where you live. This way, you’ll know what to expect ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
4. Know Where the Main Shut Off Valve Is
Knowing where the main shut-off valve is can help you avoid thousands of dollars worth of damage if your pipes burst. If you’re not sure where it is, call the water supply company and find out. This way, you’ll know how to turn the water off quickly if it bursts or backs up.
5. Dump Your Harsh Drain Cleaners
Drain cleaners can eat at the pipes, leading to more expensive repairs down the road. Instead, use a heavy-duty drain cleaner designed for your part of the country and only clean when necessary. The best policy is to prevent clogs by keeping rubbish out of your drains and using pipe screens to keep hair from winding up inside pipes.
6. Don’t Ignore Small Leaks
Small leaks can be fixed quickly and are relatively inexpensive. However, if you don’t fix them immediately, they add up quickly and turn into a huge problem that can cost a lot in the long run. Always pay attention to your pipes. If they leak, fix them immediately. Using proper plumbing fittings types, such as P-Trap and tee joints, can be an excellent place to start when fixing any minor leaks. For major plumbing issues, we advise you call a professional for help.
7. Good Plumbers Are A Property Manager’s Best Friend
If you are a property manager and have to call the plumber out for something, you need to know what the plumber charges for their services – and so does your tenant. If you don’t adhere to those fees, you could be sued. Talk with your tenants about this beforehand and tell them what the fees will be if they will call someone out. Let them choose whether or not they want to use the more expensive company or a company that can do it for less.
8. Childproof your toilet
Toilet seats can look like fun places for kids to sit on, but they can also be unsafe if a child sits on the seat and falls in. To prevent accidents, make sure your toilet is secured and safe for little ones. If you are buying a new toilet, make sure it is an ADA-compliant one so that everyone can use it. To see if yours is ADA compliant or not, check the sticker with the model number of your toilet.
9. An Old Water Heater Could Cost You
Water heaters are so typical in homes that many people have no idea how to take care of them. If you plan to install a new water heater, be sure to call in a certified plumber when you do so. That way, you can make sure that the new heater is installed correctly and will work properly for years to come.
10. Your Kitchen Sink is Not a Garbage Disposal
If you are cleaning your kitchen sink, never use your garbage disposal. Small food particles can get caught up in the disposal and lead to a clogged drain, which can cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Instead, always dispose of food particles by rinsing them down the drain with the water, so they don’t wind up causing problems further down the line.
These are just some of the things you should know about plumbing. If you are a renter, check with your landlord or find out if your plumbing is covered under your insurance policy.