Natural disasters are a threat to your plumbing system.
Recent research has shown that between the years 1900 to 2016 the United States has experienced a lot of natural disasters inclusive of 24 heat waves.
As a matter of fact, the data shows that aside from China, the United States is the country with the most natural disasters.
Furthermore, there have been over 106 cyclones, 40 earthquakes, and 2 tsunamis from 1900 to 2016 alone, which affected over 13.5 million people.
Crazy right? Well, that’s not all, in 2015; the United States recorded 22 natural disasters being ousted only by China.
By now you should understand the importance of knowing exactly what to do in the event of an evacuation due to natural disasters. It’s extremely vital!
The data revealed that 13.5 million people have been directly affected by natural disasters but how many of them knew the right steps to take to protect their plumbing and ultimately their home before being evacuated?
The effects of unprotected plumbing can be disastrous to any home when disaster strikes.
So what do you do when you are a certain disaster is on its way? Below are a few steps that you’ll need to follow to ensure you adequately preserve your home with proper plumbing protection.
Basic Protection of Your Plumbing System
Studies have shown that tornadoes are accompanied by exempt destructive winds moving at speeds of over 289 MPH and what’s more? A tornado’s leaves a messy trail of destruction measuring up 50 miles long and 1 mile in width!
Can you imagine the wreckage? Regardless, of the damage, you can still save your home by preparing it before evacuation and the first thing you need to do is:
1. Ensure Your Water Heater is Safely Hooked to the Wall
This cannot be overemphasized, as the damage a loosed water heater can cause to your home is immense. Before you leave your home due to evacuation ensure that it is properly strapped to the wall. One wrong fall can initiate a domino effect of problems.
It can easily fall off during a storm and break gas lines or cause other damages that could become irreparable.
So how do you safely strap your water heater to the wall? Well first things first, you need to check for the plumber’s tape.
Keep in mind that prior to the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes in 1989 and 1994 respectively, only 1 single strap of plumber tape was recommended by experts, however, now more is recommended due to numerous water heaters bursting as a result of single strapping.
So, what is acceptable now is a heavy-metal gauge strapping instead of a regular plumbing strap. Next, you need to secure both the top and bottom of your heater rather than just the top or bottom as this won’t pull through.
Then ensure that you replace all metal and copper piping with flexible water connectors or natural gas pipes. These will prevent a disastrous outcome in the event of breakage.
Below is an image of what a properly strapped water heater should look like:
2. Switch off Your Main Water Valve
After your water flows through your cities valves it gets to what is termed as the main water valve. This is a very important valve that you need to know its exact location before any form of disaster occurs.
Why? Well, the main water valve is responsible for allowing the full flow of water into your home when turned on and when it is turned off, usually in anti-clockwise motion it shuts off the complete water flow into your home.
You might be wondering why shutting off water is essential during an evacuation. It is highly vital because a simple pipe break can leave your house flooded, which will eventually ruin things left over in your home.
Now, your main water valve is usually located either in your basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of your home, so simply turn it off by turning in an anti-clockwise direction.
Ensure you find the location before you have to hurriedly leave due to an incoming natural disaster; otherwise, it might be quite difficult to locate it when in panic mode.
There are two types of designs for the main valve:
i). Gate Valve: The gate valve has one of the most durable valve design there is, however, they usually become very stiff and extremely difficult to move if they haven’t been touched for some years.
Hence, it’s best you find its location as it’ll be a lot easier getting a tool to move it when you’re in a peaceful state of mind that when a natural disaster is looming over your head.
Take a look at the image below to see exactly what you’re looking for:
b). Ball Valve: If your home uses a plastic or copper pipe then you most likely have full-blown ball valve. In order to know when a ball valve is open or close you need to check its placement. For instance, if the ball valve handle is directly aligned with the pipe then it’s open.
Hence, to turn it off, the ball valve handle has to be turned clockwise, placing it at a right angle to the pipe. The Image below, shows you, what direction it should be turned.
You have to keep in mind that the main valve is a major way to prevent a lot of plumbing disasters, so you need to ensure that you know it’s a location like the back of your hand. So in the event of an evacuation, you can easily turn it off without any complications.
Also, if you are using a gate valve and haven’t touched it for years, you need to keep a plier around you that’s easily reachable, as you may have to use it to change its position in order to shut it off in the event of a hurried evacuation.
If you’re still not sure how to differentiate between a gate and a ball valve below is another picture of the difference.
Furthermore, whenever you adjust the position of the valve, whether open or close, it may begin to leak a bit. All you need to do to stop it is tighten the nut, as the stem of the valve is held in place by a nut called the packing nut.
3. Remove Debris From Your Drains and Sump Pump
The purpose of a Sump Pump is to remove or get rid of water from around your home. They prevent water from getting into your crawl space, basement or home in the event of a flood, so they are extremely important.
However, they can easily get clogged up if proper maintenance is not carried out on them before an evacuation takes place.
Hence, you have to ensure they your Sump Pump has all debris and clogs efficiently removed from it and serviced adequately before leaving.
Now, you should also make sure that your home gutters are a properly cleared of debris as they can easily get clogged up with grass clippings and leaves, so, to ensure that your sewage system works efficiently clear it out completely.
a. How to Clean Out Your Sump Pump
In order to efficiently clean out your Sump Pump, you’re going to need a few tools such as plastic sheets, plastic scraper, container, dry or wet shop vac, and a garden hose.
The next step is to turn off everything your Sump Pump is linked too. All you need to do is turn off the electricity being supplied to it, by either switching off the circuit breaker connected to the Sump Pump or simply turning off the electric connection of the Sump Pump itself.
Second, you need to locate the discharge pipe your Sump Pump is connected too and disconnect it.
After doing all of that, it’s now time to clean it off. So simply wrap up your Sump Pump with a plastic wrapper. This is to prevent debris, dirt, and sludge from spilling all over your house as most of its dirt would be extremely dangerous to your health.
Once you’ve done that and your Sump Pump is outside, take off the plastic wrap and connect your garden hose with water and begin to wash off the sludge and dirt from off the pump.
In some instances, you’ll have to deal with caked dirt on your pump, especially if you haven’t cleaned it out for a while. Well, no worries that’s what the plastic scraper is for.
Simply scrape off all the caked dirt and slime from off the pump completely and rinse it again with water.
For the final cleaning step, you’ll have to remove standing water from the Sump pit. To do this effectively, you would need to use a way or dry vac.
If you’re a homeowner, renter or business office owner you need to have a well thought its plans in place to ensure that you effectively secure the plumbing of your building or home.
And this goes beyond just your home. The life of your loved ones and property is also at stake if these preventive measures are not taking to protect your plumbing.
Furthermore, make sure that your drains and Sump Pumps are completely cleared out before evacuation.
Follow these tips in order to efficiently protect your home plumbing system without struggles.
Having a dishwasher is a real lifesaver. All you have to do is load your dirty dishes into the machine and in a few minutes, you get your dishes sparkling clean!
Well, not so fast. Due to the fact that your dishwasher cleans dirt regularly and uses cleaning materials, it needs proper and regular maintenance.
Or else, you have a dishwasher that’s clogged and unable to wash your dishes. Now, having your dishwasher clogged could be a headache as you’ll be unable to carry out your cleaning activities as before.
So the best step here is to prevent your dishwasher from clogging. Then you’ll never have to bother yourself about unclogging a clogged dishwasher. Of course, prevention is better than cure.
By using these simple tips, you can keep your machine working in top condition and getting your dishes clean daily. Let’s consider 7 ways you can keep your dishwasher from clogging.
1. Clear your plates of food particles
In most cases, you find that what clogs your dishwasher are food particles from your plates. Many people make a mistake of just packing their plates into the dishwasher without first checking for sticky food on plates or even some grains of food.
When you pack plates into your dishwasher with these particles, it becomes more difficult for the dishwasher to wash your plates properly.
Furthermore, those food particles can end up clogging various parts of your machine.
Overall, this would lead to unnecessary stress. You can prevent this by removing food particles from your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
This would ensure that your dishwasher only needs to clean the oil and other dirt that pose little threat of clogging.
2. Wash dishes regularly
One of the ways to keep your dishwasher from clogging is to use it. Sounds simple right? Using your machine regularly will ensure there’s a flow of water and detergent in and out of the machine to flush dirt out.
Irregular use means dirt can stick around in your machine for a long time. This can happen when you travel or go on a vacation for a while. Before going on the vacation, it’s important that you clean your dishwasher.
This way, when you come back from your vacation, you won’t find dirt that has settled into your machine.
3. Run a hot water cycle
Running hot water through your dishwasher will help you to remove dirt easier as hot water is more effective with oily dirt than cold water will be. Doing this will also ensure that you have cleaner dishes after washing.
You can set the thermostat of your water heater to 120°F(50°C) to get the water warm enough but not too hot. You should do this a few times in a week to help remove all the mineral buildups.
4. Wash the exterior parts and edges
You need to take care of your exterior parts as they can affect the internal workings of your machine.
You need to clean the door and edges of the machine. In many cases, you can have the front part stained with water and fingerprints.
You can use a cleaning rag dipped in hot soapy water to wipe the surface clean. After doing this, take a clean cloth to wipe the surface dry.
While using your machine, you need to check that the door is properly closed.
If your dishwasher door opens during use, then this can lead to the escape of water onto the floor, including dirt from your plates.
When you notice an open door, you need to check your manufacturer’s manual to see how you can tighten your dishwasher’s door.
This is because dishwashers differ in their door mechanisms. Some doors have spring mechanisms while some have adjustable latch plate at the top frame of the machine.
Whenever you see water on the floor, another reason could be that your machine is unleveled. This could happen if your machine wasn’t installed properly. If your machine tilts, it could cause water and dirt to pool and leak out.
Pooled water in your machine can lead to dirt settling in some areas and over time clogging your machine. In cases when your machine is unleveled, you can just adjust the front or back feet to ensure that water is centered.
To do this, you can check the owner’s manual to get more details about how to access your machine’s feet. If you’re unable to adjust it yourself or the feet has been damaged, you may need to contact a plumber or get wooden shims.
5. Clear your dishwasher’s filter and other parts
Some of your dishwasher parts tend to gather dirt over a long period of use. This is why you should check them regularly and clean them before they start affecting your machine’s functions.
One of these important parts is the filter. The filter, as the name suggests, helps to filter water that goes into the drain. It prevents food particles and other materials from going into your drain.
Over time, your machine’s filter will have dirt stuck within the spaces. If you don’t clean the filter regularly, it can accumulate to the point that it clogs your machine.
After cleaning your filter, another part you need to clean is the whole float assembly. You need to first remove the dish racks to have space to work with. After that, you can remove your float assembly.
How you remove it will depend on your machine’s manufacturer. If you’ve never done this, it’s important to check your owner’s manual before you proceed.
After removing your float assembly, you should clean all the parts of dirt that may be stuck within.
Another thing you may notice while cleaning your float assembly and your filter is that dirt may still stick to some of these parts. One tool you can use to remove this dirt is your air blower.
With this tool, you can remove dirt stuck in your filter. All you have to do is run your blower through places where you find dirt.
The same thing applies to parts of your float assembly. You can point your blower at different openings in these parts to force the dirt out of the part.
With this, you may not remove all the dirt but it’ll be far better than without the blower. After doing this, you should remove dirt in the area around the float assembly in the dishwasher. You can then replace the float assembly. You should check other removable parts and follow the same process.
Another way to help you reach these hidden parts is to use an old toothbrush as it can reach these parts including parts of your machine you can’t remove.
After doing that, another part to check is your pipes. In some cases, dirt can settle in your pipe and clog the pipe which will make the flow of water from your dishwasher to the sink difficult.
When you inspect the pipe, you can easily clean the waste left in your pipe. You should also check the dishwasher pump.
This pump contains two impellers. The one at the top helps to pump water into the machine while the one below helps to pump water out of your machine into the drain.
Over time, gunk may settle in the impellers and affect your dishwasher’s functions as water finds it difficult to flow.
Check these parts and clean the gunk. You must ensure you turn off your dishwasher before doing all these. You should also unplug it from the wall just to ensure it’s totally safe.
6. Apply vinegar to it
Vinegar works as an antibacterial agent and can help you to remove odors that may build up over time. You can pour two cups of vinegar in a bowl and place it at the center of the bottom rack of your dishwasher.
You can then run a cycle on your machine without detergent. This will help remove bacteria and troubling odors.
You can also put lemonade Kool-Aid into your detergent cup and run the machine empty. The citric acid in this drink can help to remove stains in your dishwasher.
7. Improve the scent with baking soda
Vinegar helps you to remove odors in your dishwasher. But you can give your machine a better smell by applying baking soda to it.
To achieve this, sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher. You can leave it overnight to allow the soda soak in the dishwasher. This will kill bacteria lying in your machine and also give it a new smell.
In the morning, you can run your dishwasher on an empty cycle to remove the baking soda.
If you use your dishwasher regularly, one of the issues you should always try to avoid is clogging up your machine. Because it can waste your time and make your chores more difficult.
You can always prevent this by ensuring that you use your machine regularly to ensure that wastes are removed.
You should also follow the ways described in this post to remove dirt in your machine before they clog it up.
And lastly, you can add cleaning substances to remove bacteria and improve its smell. Then, you won’t have to worry about your dishwasher giving you sudden problems.
You whipped up dinner and threw the scraps into your kitchen sink without giving it a second thought, for the garbage disposal to do its job. We’ve all done this numerous times.
Such little lapses could eventually cause big-time damage. It’s true, that garbage disposals were invented with the aim of creating a fast and easy way to dispose of trash and clean up your kitchen.
However, disposals have limits on what they can dispose of and what they can’t. In regards to your garbage disposal, adopting good disposal habits and prevention are best practices.
With the United States producing 624,700 metric tons of waste daily, garbage disposals have become a necessity in most homes to manage waste but when damaged they can be very expensive to fix.
So how do you know what not to drop into your garbage disposal in order to prevent damage?
That’s what you’ll learn in this article, knowing this will save you tons of cash in repairs. So let’s look at 16 things you should never throw into your garbage disposal.
1. Coffee Grounds
Most likely you’ve heard about how coffee grounds help to clean your garbage disposal and eliminate odors; however, putting coffee grounds in your garbage disposal is a big no-no and should be avoided.
If you want to clean your garbage disposal you can try using lemon and ice.
Even though it’s quite tempting to toss the coffee grounds into your drain, as it seems like a quick solution, it will cause a very costly backup.
2. Egg Shells
After whipping up your bacon and eggs breakfast, you can easily form the habit of throwing the eggshells into the garbage disposal.
The eggshells may seem brittle and harmless, but after you throw them down the drain, your garbage disposal grinds it up into tiny pieces and it ends up sticking to other oily and fatty substances which creates a huge clog.
Asides from this, the inner membrane of the eggshells gets stuck in the garbage disposal blades which makes it dull in grinding up waste.
3. Fat and Oils
Fats and oil account for over 47% of all sewer overflow in the United States yearly, this shows that it’s a major problem for your garbage disposal and must be actively prevented.
As a matter of fact, these two substances spell woe for your garbage disposal.
They act as adhesives for all other substances thrown into your drain and create sticky, thick globs in your pipe which stops every other thing from passing through.
4. Pasta and Rice
Dropping cooked rice and pasta into your garbage disposal can cause a plumbing nightmare. This is because they are foods that expand in water, and will increase in size when in the disposal.
Also, the garbage disposal grinds the pasta and rice making a nasty thick paste which will cause your garbage disposal to stop functioning or block your drain.
You shouldn’t send solid substances down your garbage disposal, it may be strong but it’s certainly not strong enough to break bones and other types of solid wastes.
They will get stuck in your pipes and sink and, jam your disposal as well as cause numerous other issues. Rather, put them in the bin or compost them.
Also, seed pits should never be put in the garbage disposal, because of how thick they are.
While some veggies can slide down your garbage disposal with no issues at all, celery can cause it to back up with heavy problems.
This happens as a result of the long fibers it possesses which tie up the glides of your garbage disposal
7. Paper Towels
Even though paper towels are biodegradable, they won’t dissolve instantly because they are made to be absorbent, so they’ll end up restricting the blades of your disposal.
8. Cotton Balls
As soft as cotton balls are, if you dump a bunch of them in your garbage disposal, you’ll end up restricting the blades from moving.
Oatmeal especially when uncooked can easily slip through the disposal without being cut. Oatmeal generally swells or expands when it makes its way through the disposal.
In some occasions, the oatmeal may flow out of the garbage into the sewer but if it doesn’t flow out and it gathers in the down line and you will have to clean out the drain and this can be very discomforting.
So if you do not want to constantly do some plumbing work on your garbage disposal, try not to let oatmeal get into it.
No matter how tempting it looks don’t ever succumb to the temptation of dumping nuts into your drainage. Nuts are hard to get rid of and peanuts are not exempted.
It may look as if they glide easily into the garbage disposal but the issue is not getting them into the garbage disposal it is getting them out of the garbage disposal.
If peanuts and peanut butter get into your garbage disposal, the drain will get clogged and the process of unclogging is quite messy and tiring.
11. Onion Skins
If big chunks or diced onions are dumped into the garbage disposal, it doesn’t really cause any problem, but where the problem lies is if the thin membrane which comes after the dry outer layer gets stuck in the garbage disposal.
This inner layer is not just thin; it is also very slippery and can easily pass into the garbage disposal without your notice.
The thinness makes it easy for it to miss being cut by the blades of the garbage disposal and they it gets wound around the drain.
Once it gets wound in the drain it begins to catch more items that should pass through the drain and before you know it the drain will become blocked.
You can, however, avoid this annoying scenario by dropping the thin layer in the trash and then cut it up into tiny pieces before throwing the tiny pieces into the garbage disposal.
Trash like plastic bags, paper towels, candy wrappers, banana peels, shouldn’t be put into the garbage disposal.
What you could do is put materials like this into the recycle bin or look for alternative ways of disposing of them.
13. Fruit Pits
Some fruits have very hard and dense pits in their center and despite the fact that other parts of the fruit can be put into the garbage disposal, the pits shouldn’t be put into it to avoid running into problems.
Have you ever tried to cut through the pit of a peach fruit?
The answer is most likely no. If you are not able to cut it open with a knife then the garbage disposal will most likely not be able to grind it up either.
When hard items are dropped into the garbage disposal, the machine will begin to malfunction and will have difficulty properly disposing of waste.
Save yourself the stress by dumping your fruit pits into somewhere else order than the garbage disposal.
14. Cleaning Chemicals
Avoid pouring harsh cleaning chemicals such as industrial grade cleaners and drain busters into the garbage disposal.
Regular cleaning agents like dish soap are not capable of causing any harm but harsh chemicals can cause damage to both your garbage disposal and your drain line.
You may think that putting these chemicals will help to clean the blade of the garbage disposal but all they will end up doing is causing wear to it.
If you want to clean the blades of the garbage disposal you can use ice cube of dish soap to clean out any buildup of dirt or grease and if it is clogged, you can seek for alternative ways of unclogging it without using harsh chemicals.
When you pour paint (oil or latex) into your garbage disposal, the paint won’t go directly into the drain, it will cling to the sides of the disposal and also the pipes and then begin to get hard and clog the drainage.
You can pour heavily diluted paint into the disposal without running into any problem but once the paint is concentrated, don’t pour it into the disposal directly.
16. Wet wipes
Wet wipes are an absolute no for your garbage disposal. They create knots which prevent the disposal from functioning optimally and ultimately damage it.
While having garbage disposal makes getting rid of unwanted waste quicker, if you do not know the do’s and don’ts of using one, you may end up spending a fortune in fixing it.
However, following the above list, you can save a lot of cash by avoiding unnecessary repairs.
Water, like fire, can cause severe damage to your property and home. Breakage of plumbing pipes can lead to costly floods.
The cost can even be exponential if you live in condominiums such as a quadruplex, a condominium, or an apartment.
Water damage is not limited to your home. Water will follow gravity without limitation and all materials in contact with moisture will need to be replaced to prevent spores and mold. A lot of water can escape when a pipe bursts.
According to Schofields, 400 liters of water can escape from a burst pipe in 1 hour. In 24 hours, about 9,000 liters of water can escape through the pipe.
In homes, the main causes of pipe bursts are caused by the washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, outdoor faucets in your home, and an extended absence from your home left without sufficient heating.
So how do you deal with burst pipes in your home?
1. Use the Caulking Method to Eliminate Leaks at The Joints of Cast Iron Pipes
If the pipe flows — what should be done when it comes to cast iron pipes? If cast-iron sewer pipes are poorly connected, it’ll be more difficult to cope with the situation. It all depends on how their joints were sealed.
In cases where pipes are stained with lead, the following actions are performed:
Clean the joints until the appearance of pure metal:
They stamp the slot with lead cones using a blunt chisel (lead easily seals the gap due to its softness).
If the pipes were sealed with cement, then do the following.
Remove the remnants of old cement using a narrow chisel and a hammer;
Removing the old gasket cleanses the gap.
Hammer in new tarred strands and close the gap using cement mortar (1 part water to 10 parts cement).
2. Seal the Leak Joint of Pipes with Cement
Using cement to seal the leaky pipe can be effective if it’s not flowing. However, when the pipe is flowing — here’s what you should do aside from using cement.
Follow these steps:
Clean the joints of the pipes, remove the old seal (in order to avoid damage to the pipes, while you cannot use heavy tools).
Prepare materials necessary for work (wide gauze bandage, some cement).
Dissolving the cement in the water before the formation of a slurry, dip the bandage into it.
The pipe butt is wrapped with a bandage pretreated with cement mortar.
After hardening (about 2 hours), sanding the compound with emery paper and paint over.
If it’s required to eliminate the leak in the pipe directly, then the problem is solved differently. Depending on the circumstances, you can choose one of the following methods.
3. Installing the bandage in place of leaks
If a pipe is leaking, the leakage can be temporarily fixed by installing a bandage. First of all, determine the cause of leakage (fistula or leakage) and find the place of the emergency site. Then a rubber band is applied to the site of damage to the pipe.
The procedure is performed in the following sequence:
The emergency section of the pipe is put a rubber gasket;
It’s tightly pressed to the pipe and secured with a clamp.
Clamps are sold in stores, but if in the critical situation this desired product was not at hand, then it can be done independently.
In emergency situations, if the pipe is leaking and you need to quickly eliminate the leak, the clamp can be replaced with a flexible wire, cord, rope, and hose.
For the bandage, you can take a piece of the boot of a rubber boot, a part of a rubber hose, a thick rubber glove, a part of a watering hose, a bicycle chamber, or something similar that’s on hand.
The width of the bandage is determined on the basis of the diameter of the water (or sewer) (1.5 diameters or more).
4. Sealing the leak with a wooden wedge
When the pipe flows, the water pressure is strong, the tap cannot be closed, the bandage cannot be installed, or does it not hold water, what can be done?
The truth is that this situation, of course, is not enviable.
If the cause of the leak is a fistula, then a small, conical-shaped wooden peg can help out. Its tip should fit the hole in the pipe.
Having inserted the sharp end of the peg into the hole, then hammer it into the pipe with a hammer and thus eliminate the leak. This, of course, is a temporary measure.
Eliminating the flow temporarily, you can more calmly think about where to call if the pipe is flowing?
5. Sealing the leak hole
It’s also possible to eliminate leakage of pipes with the help of adhesive bandage.
In this case, act as follows:
Block the water tap.
Dry the area requiring repair using a hairdryer;
Select a suitable, dense flexible material for sealing the hole (a piece of rubber, plastic, fiberglass, etc.);
Glue the selected material to the emergency section of the pipe using epoxy glue.
If fiberglass is used, its length should be such that it’s possible to wrap the pipe at least five times. The width of the bandage is determined on the basis of the diameter of the pipe (at least 1.5 times the diameter).
Glue should be applied to the bandage material using a spatula or brush.
After winding the bandage fabric on the pipe, before the glue dries completely, it’s pressed with ties or clamps. The glue must dry for at least a day (at room temperature) or up to three days (at a temperature of 15 degrees).
6. Elimination of leaks in a plastic pipe
And how to eliminate the leakage of plastic pipes, other than to seal up the leak in a plastic water pipe or sewage pipe?
In this case, it is best to use the adhesive method. To do this, pick up a piece of pipe of suitable diameter and cut it along the length.
Then about 1/3 of the pipe’s surface is cut off in full length, and through the resulting incision, the workpiece is put on the damaged section of the pipe, after having applied the required amount of glue to the surface cleaned with emery paper. Having pressed a collar, allow to dry up to a junction.
7. Screw the bolt into the leak hole
To the question “what to do if the pipe is flowing because of the presence of a fistula in it?” The answer can be quite simple since this method has been known for a long time.
A small hole is drilled in the pipe at the site of the fistula and a bolt is screwed into it on the oil paint.
Remember that this method is applicable only on large-diameter pipes, and also new ones. For old pipes, it should not be used: the bolt will not hold water, and it will not work well to screw it in. All your attempts will only increase the hole.
Replacing a damaged pipe section
If the pipe is flowing, what to do in emergency cases with metal pipes?
First of all, block the water supply.
Then cut off the problematic part of the pipe, using a hacksaw for metal or “grinder” (30 cm above the site of damage).
Disconnect closest to the point of cutting the threaded connection pipe.
Carefully cut the thread on the cut-off stationary end of the pipe (the end of the pipe is held with a pipe wrench).
On the formed thread screw coupling.
Determine how long the pipe should be installed instead of the cut, taking into account the section with thread.
Cut the thread on both sides of the selected new pipe section.
Connect the newly selected section of the pipe with water through a coupling, holding it with a second pipe wrench.
Before screwing in the coupling, the threaded connection of the nipple must be sealed with flax and sealing putty or a special “tape fum”.
Although the described method is intended for use in metal pipes, it can also be used in other types of pipes.
And yet, if the question arises how to eliminate a leak in the pipe, it is better to seek help from a master plumber.
People all over the world spend billions of dollars each year on home water treatment systems because they care about their wellbeing.
What’s water filtration all about?
First, a water filtration system is a system that filters water to purify it. The water that is supplied by the public water provider in your state may or may not be safe for consumption.
t has chlorine added to it but it could still contain harmful contaminants picked on the way from the treatment plant to your home.
Having filters installed in your home is good because they work to purify the water further which means that the water you will have in your home will be clean and safe for drinking.
What are the benefits of installing a water filtration system in your home? Here we look at 10 of them.
1. Safe drinking water
When you drink water directly from your tap without having it filtered first, there are high chances that you’ll be taking in water that is unhealthy. Ideally, treated water should contain safe levels of chlorine and other chemicals used to treat water.
However, it’s not uncommon for the water to have high levels that are unsafe.
A home water filter will remove these high levels and ensure that the water you get in your home has the perfect levels of these water treatment chemicals.
Other contaminants like lead, bacteria, and others are all removed by the filters. The water that comes out of your taps is safe for consumption and will not cause any harmful effects to your health.
2. Tasty drinking water
Clean water is good for the human body. Since an adult’s body is made up of 70 to 80% water, according to HealthHub, it’s recommended enough of it would revitalize the body. But the water must not be tasty or unhealthy.
Contaminants tend to make the water taste and smell bad. Filtering the water and removing these contaminants will get rid of these contaminants and leave the water tasting and smelling great.
If you have noticed that your tap water has a weird taste or smell then you need to install filters.
Having tasty water coming from the taps in your home is encouraging and you will soon realize that everyone in the family is drinking more water.
Water is good for keeping the body well hydrated and this could even prevent problems associated with dehydration such as frequent headaches and kidney problems.
3. Healthier skin and hair
The water in your home is not just for drinking. It is also for bathing and personal hygiene. Hard water tends to dry out the skin and hair affecting the health of the body’s largest organ.
This is usually due to the high amounts of minerals in the water.
Having these removed using a filter will help you to have soft water that is safe for bathing. You will be able to get into the shower or tub without worrying about having dry skin or hair.
Your skin will be soft and smooth which is healthy and well, beautiful!
4. Prevent aggravation of skin conditions
If you already suffer from a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, you need to ensure that it does not get any worse.
One way to do this is by using purified water that is gentle on the skin. Unfiltered water contains elements that irritate the skin worsening the condition.
If any member of your family has been diagnosed with a skin condition, you need to install a water filtration system soon.
5. Healthier and tastier food
Water is a major ingredient in the kitchen and is used in a wide variety of foods. Water is supposed to be a tasteless ingredient not adding any taste to your food. If it has minerals and other contaminants, it will surely add their taste to the food.
This may give the food an unpleasant taste. These contaminants also pose health risks to your family when taken in food.
Using filtered water to cook gives you tasty food that is healthy. You will have peace of mind knowing that the food you are eating is safe and so is the water you are drinking.
Stomachaches will be a thing of the past in your home so long as you maintain high standards of hygiene when preparing all foods.
6. Save on Soap
Get an advanced water filter and it will not only filter and purify your water but also soften it. As you know, soft water uses less soap to wash.
Whether it is the dishes or laundry, using less soap means you will save on the money used to buy soap. With just a little soap you can get a lot of cleaning done.
This may not seem like significant savings but with time you will notice just how helpful these savings are to your budget.
Cleaning with hard water usually leads to the formation of scum that rests on clothes and dishes. This will decolorize the utensils and clothes over time making them look ugly and may even render some of them unusable.
On the contrary, filtered water has the opposite effects.
It leaves dishes and clothes sparkling clean without any stains whatsoever. You can have confidence using this water knowing that your clothes and dishes will be clean and smell fresh at all times.
7. Cheaper than Bottled Water
Some people do not like drinking tap water and opt to buy bottled water. Buying bottled water year-in year-out can be very expensive.
A good example is to look at a home with four members each taking around 7 ounces of water per day. With a 24 bottles water pack costing $5, the annual expenditure on water is $700 per year.
This is very expensive comparing to the installation of water filters which will cost around $400 and thereafter annual purchase of a new filter will cost around 65. Which is more cost effective?
You do the calculations and make the right choice today.
8. Extended lifespan of plumbing fixtures and cheap maintenance
Chemicals contained in the water are not only harmful to you but your pipes and other plumbing fixtures as well.
Iron causes the fixtures to rust while other metals cause scaling and other forms of damage like erosion to the pipes.
It’s not only the pipes that are affected by the minerals but also other plumbing fixtures and equipment including your dishwasher, washing machine, water dispenser, toilets, bathtubs, and showerheads.
These can be clogged with scale from hard water and this can prevent effective water flow which usually necessitates replacement of the part. Using filtered water in your home will keep the pipes and fixtures safe from any damage that may be caused by hard water or any contaminants in the water.
This causes the pipes to last a long time and the need for repairs is reduced. Since plumbing repairs can be expensive when done often, not having to do this will save you money in the long run.
9. Ensures your water is always safe and toxic-free
Water coming directly from the treatment plant to your house can be affected on the way. There may be a pipe burst that leads to the water being contaminated with dirt, other contaminants, and even the sewerage.
It might take awhile before the water supplier notices this and takes action and you may have already used the dirty water which will definitely make you sick.
Having a water filtration system in your home will keep you safe even when this happens.
The water will not come directly to your taps but it will be filtered first so it is clean. So, even when dirty water makes its way to your house, it will not get to your family members in that way. You will always have clean water to use.
10. It’s good for the environment
Clean and healthy water if life to living organisms including man. It impacts plants and animals.
One of the most common alternatives to having a water filtration system is buying bottled water. We all know that plastic is not good for the environment yet this is what is used to pack this water.
There is always the option of recycling but only a few bottles are recycled every year. What happens to the rest that’s not recycled?
They make their way to landfills from where they eventually get into rivers and other water bodies. Plastic bottles affect the life of aquatic creatures and those that live on land equally.
They are a menace whose solution is simply not using them. A good alternative is installing a water filtration system in your home. For this, you do not need to use any plastic and the environment can remain safe.
Having a water filtration system in your home is a great choice. With it, you will have safe drinking water which has so many benefits.
Your sinks, tubs, and toilets always look appealing and easy to use.
That’s until you have a stain on it. This changes the color of your fittings and the next step is to remove these stains. Why?
Because you don’t want to see an eyesore when you use your sink or go to the toilet.
More importantly, a clean environment is a requirement for healthy living and prevents the spread of diseases, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP).
There are many types of stains you can have on your fittings. One of the popular types you can have is rust.
In most cases, it’s inevitable to have stains after a period of usage. Sometimes, this can be caused by leaking water.
But when you see these stains, don’t ignore them. One of the best steps you can take is to remove these stains as soon as you notice them.
Leaving a stain for a long period of time makes it more difficult to remove successfully.
In the next section, I’ll show you the proven steps to remove rust stains from your sinks, tubs, and toilets.
You’ll also learn the essential things to do to make your fittings sparkling white again.
1. Check the type of materials for your sinks, tubs, and toilets
Before removing the stain on your fixtures, you have to consider the type of materials used to make them.
Some cleaners are unsuitable for some types of materials and you have to know this before cleaning your toilet. Popular materials used for making these fixtures are:i). Porcelain (Ceramic): This is the most popular material used to make these fixtures. Porcelain is durable, reliable, and also easy to make when it comes to production. The finishing on the porcelain also affects whether your fixtures will be more vulnerable to rust stains or not.
ii). Stainless steel: This is not as popular as Porcelain but it’s used in some houses.
iii). Composite Plastic: This is another type of material that’s uncommon in homes. With this type of material, you may not have to worry much about rust stains.
Whatever materials your fixtures are made of will also affect the type of substance you can use for cleaning.
2. Use chemical-based cleaners
There are many types of chemical-based cleaners that help to remove rust stains from your fittings. One consideration to make before using a chemical-based cleaner is whether you have a septic system.
Some chemicals are unsuitable to a septic system and can cause damage to the system. You should avoid these chemicals as much as possible.
Some chemical-based cleaners you can use to remove rust from your fixtures are:
i). Wkink rust stain remover: As the name implies, this liquid solution helps you to remove rust stains in your fixtures. To use this stain remover, sprinkle the liquid at the spot that contains rust. When you do this, you begin to see the effects on the stains almost immediately.
Before scrubbing, it’s important to put on a glove as you don’t want these chemicals to react on your skin. After putting on the glove, pick a clean cloth and scrub the area where you have the rust.
When you’re through with that, you can pour water on the fixture surface to remove the chemical and the stain.
In some cases, you have to note that if there’s an underlying cause for the rust stains, the stains might resurface over time after cleaning.
ii). Bar Keepers Friend: This is a powder cleaner that’s used to remove rust stains from stainless steel. Nevertheless, you can also use it to remove stains from your sinks, tubs, and toilets.
To use the bar keepers friend, sprinkle the powder at the regions where you have the rust stains.
After a while, pick a clean cloth and scrub the surface repeatedly for a few minutes. You can then apply water to remove the stain and the lather.
Another way to go about it is to apply the powder to the cloth and then use the cloth to scrub the rusted surface. You can use whatever method suits you best.
3. Use natural cleaners
These are the types of cleaners that pose little or no risk to your fixture, septic system, or your skin.
However, some of these cleaners require more effort and time before they can remove your stain. Some natural cleaners you can use to remove rust stains in your fixtures are:
i). Combination of lemon and table salt: These 2 substances can be combined to remove stains from your kitchen and bathroom sinks. The first step is to pour the lemon at the spots where you have the rust stains.
Then leave it to react with the stain for about 10 minutes. After this, use a washcloth to scrub the stain.
In some cases, this will be enough to remove the stain. However, if you still have stains after cleaning, add more lemon juice to the stain.
To make its effects more powerful, add salt to it and let the 2 substances react with the stain. After about 15 minutes, you can use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain until it’s removed.
ii). A combination of tartar and hydrogen peroxide: This can be used to remove stains from a porcelain bathtub. To use this, combine 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar and 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide until they form a paste.
Apply this paste on the stain. After about 10 minutes, use a brush or pumice stone to scrub the stain until it’s removed.
iii). A combination of baking soda and acetone: You can use this to remove stains from a bathtub that has a fiberglass coat. To remove stains from fiberglass, you need to be careful to be gentle while cleaning.
Applying too much force can scratch the fiberglass surface and even make your stain worse.
The first step to clean your bathtub using these substances is to apply water to the rust stain. After this, add a layer of baking soda to the stain.
Leave this on the surface of the stain for an hour before removing it from with a moist sponge.
If you have a light stain, this should be enough to remove it. If it’s a stubborn stain, soak a white cloth in acetone.
Use this cloth to rub the surface of the stain. This should remove any remaining stain on the bathtub surface. You can then rinse the surface with a wet sponge.
iv). A combination of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice: You can use these substances to remove stains from your toilet bowl.
The toilet bowl is one of the most susceptible fixtures to rust stains especially if water containing a high level of iron runs through your home.
This is because the water runs on the surface of your toilet bowl and is always present there whether you’re using the toilet or not.
Before removing the stain in your toilet bowl, you should shut the water valve to the toilet.
You should also take water out of the toilet bowl to allow you to clean the stain. After doing this, add vinegar and a small amount of baking soda to the toilet bowl. Use a toilet brush to scrub and spread the mixture around in the toilet bowl.
Leave the surface for 15 minutes and then scrub with the brush again to remove the stains. If the stains fail to remove completely, you can add lemon juice to the surface to dissolve the remaining stain.
After this, turn on the water valve and then flush to remove the stains and cleaning substances.
4. Treat water containing iron
To your own taste, it may be difficult to detect water containing a high level of iron. But over time, you’ll notice that there are rust stains in your fixtures.
As little as 0.3 parts per million (ppm) of iron in water can cause staining of fixtures.
It can also affect the tastes of foods and beverages negatively and lead to blockage of pipes. When you discover a high level of iron content in your water supply, you can use a water softener or filter.
A water softener helps to reduce or eliminate the hardness of water and also removes iron. In some cases, little amounts of iron may still pass through but there’s a high level of improvement.
Another way to remove iron from water is through ion exchange but this is most effective when the iron concentration in the water is low.
With the removal of iron from the water, you have reduced the causes of rust stains in your fixtures.
5. Change rust pipes
When you have rust pipes supplying water to your home, this can contaminate the water supply to your home. Added to that, it can cause rust stains in your fixtures.
Rust pipes can pose a health problem to your home as taking a high amount of contaminated water can lead to poisoning.
To change your pipes, you’ll have to contact a plumber to do that for you. A plumber will be able to recommend the right types of materials to you.
Rust stains are ugly to the eyes. Furthermore, you don’t want dirt or its appearance in your sinks, tubs, or toilet.
This is why removing rust stains is one of the most important maintenance activities to carry out in your toilet and bathroom.
With the steps outlined in this guide, you can remove those stubborn stains and have good looking fixtures again.
There’s always a good reason to upgrade your bathroom. Sometimes, you have free time and you’d like to try your hands on some DIY makeover. Upgrading your bathroom has many benefits.
First of all, it makes your home more beautiful and your bathroom more functional.
Likewise, it makes your home more valuable when you decide to move into a bigger and better house. You can always sell your current apartment for more.
However, it doesn’t need to cost an arm and leg to do this.
Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report shows that an average remodel will cost you about $10,500 while an upscale remodel will cost a huge $26,000. A minor upgrade could cost $9,400 on a larger bathroom.
What if you do it yourself? This ‘Old House’ reveals you can achieve your bathroom remodel for $1,000 to $3,000 or less. The amount you spend will usually depend on how extensive your upgrade is.
You can upgrade your bathroom while spending little. How do you do that?
That’s what you’re going to learn in this post.
Decide on your new design
To do a good job of upgrading your bathroom, you need to have a design in mind.
You should be able to picture how your bathroom will look after the upgrade. Are you only going to install a few materials or will it be a major upgrade?
One of the major elements to consider is the color scheme of your upgrade. Will it maintain its current color scheme or do you want to change that?
You also need to consider how your color scheme will fit into the overall design of your house.
There are basic fixtures that must be in a bathroom. But after those, the rest depends on the taste.
Do you want to replace an already existing fixture or do you want to add a towel rack or a sink? You have to specify the fixtures to be upgraded and those to be added.
You also need to know where utilities like plumbing pipes and electrical wiring are located. With this knowledge, you can avoid causing other problems while upgrading your bathroom.
Have your tools and supplies in place
To upgrade your bathroom successfully, you need tools and supplies. You may already have some of these tools, but you need to look at all the tasks you need to perform and all the tools to get them done.
With these, your work is easier and you can save time while doing a good job. Some of the tools you can use are:
Paying a painter may increase cost for your upgrade job. But painting is one of the activities you need to perform to give your bathroom that new look it deserves. The way to go about it is to carry out the paint job yourself.
However, doing the paint job is not as easy as other parts of the house.
This is because of all the fixtures like the window, tub or shower, sink, mirror, toilet, switchplates, etc. that you don’t want to smear with paint.
To pull this off, you’ll need a lot of painter’s tape to cover fixtures close to where you need to apply paint. Likewise, you need to be patient as you’ll need a lot of time to get the work done.
As much as a good paint job will make your bathroom beautiful, you also need to think of functionality.
Your bathroom is vulnerable to mold and mildew due to its functions. Moisture can also increase due to humidity and temperature change.
It’s advisable to use a paint with a satin finish to resist the growth of mold. You can apply the paint to the ceiling to have a regular color scheme and prevent mold.
Reduce the number of Tiles
The cost of tiles can drive your upgrade costs up. This can even eat more into your budget if you need to hire a contractor to lay the tiles.
The alternative is to have tiles on the high impact areas like the floor and maybe a single horizontal strip on the wall rather than up the wall.
You can paint the rest of the wall with paint that fits the color of the tiles and your general bathroom color scheme.
Another way to reduce the cost of your tiles is to combine the pricey tiles with the cheaper ones. This can make your design unique while you also save money.
Save cost with cheap countertops
Your first thought might be to throw your money at a granite countertop. And you may see this as the only way especially as it’s cheaper than a countertop you’d install in the kitchen.
However, you can still save on your countertop.
One way to do this is to avoid popular colors like light beige, brown, as they’re more popular.
These colors are also more expensive due to their popularity. To make a choice, consider a wide range of colors and their prices.
Another way to save on your countertop is to buy a slab with imperfections. With imperfections, the cost of the slab goes down.
The thing is that this part may be covered by your sink basin and doesn’t affect the overall look of your countertop.
Buy Used materials
Buying new materials can please your ego, but it will only drive up the cost of your bathroom upgrade.
You can always find used fixtures like sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, etc. on sites like eBay or Craigslist.
You can also improvise by using different accessories to replace your fitting. For instance, you can change a brightly colored vintage Tupperware into cool hanging lamps.
Redo your tubs and shower instead of buying
If you plan to buy a new tub or shower, this could lead to an increase in the cost of your upgrade job. To reduce cost, you should have your tub refinished to give it a new look.
You can also do it yourself if your tub is made of porcelain, cast iron, or fiberglass. This will take time and you’ll also need to buy a refinishing kit which can cost as much as $150.
However, you should replace your sink rather than refinish it. This is because the cost of refinishing it could end up costlier than the cost of buying a new one.
Update your bathroom fixtures
To make your bathroom even more beautiful, you need to update small features. This could be drawer pulls, sink faucets, light fixtures, towel racks, etc. This would only be a small investment but it could raise the beauty of your bathroom.
You can also get some of these parts without paying for them. Many times, fixtures like these go to waste when a house is torn down for redevelopment. You can always get some of these fixtures from the home developers which they’ll be happy to give you.
Dress your windows with shades
To improve the beauty of your bathroom, you can add Roman shades to it. These shades come in different patterns and you can buy one to suit your bathroom color scheme.
You can get shades with beautiful color patterns for as low as $100.
Make a towel rack
A towel rack helps you to keep your towels in the bathroom. If your bathroom lacks this, you can build one using wood cut into small sizes.
Small wooden pieces are nailed to another wooden piece that will serve as the mounting strip.
After this is done, the mounting strip is attached to the wall and you can now keep your towels here.
Install a self-closing toilet lid
Does your neighbor always have to know when you use the toilet? Well, you can put an end to that during your bathroom upgrade.
A self-closing toilet lid will eliminate the noise that usually results after using your toilet.
You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade your bathroom. You can always pull it off on budget and still do a great job.
However, you need the right tools, patience, and commitment to the work to turn your bathroom into a beauty.
Pets are man’s best friend. In fact, according to research by the American Pet Product Association, about 68% of American households have a family member of the four-legged variety.
That’s why it’s necessary to pet-proof your home, and also your plumbing system. It doesn’t matter how lovely your pets are, if they’re left on their own, they can ruin furniture, mess up the living room, or damage your plumbing pipes.
My neighbor’s dog is a good example of a pet that likes to play with the faucets and other plumbing systems in the bathroom. You can’t begin to imagine how far these pets can do when they’re playing.
To them, they’re having fun but you’d end up spending unnecessary money on plumbing repairs. No, I’m not suggesting you harm your pet (don’t do that), but you should be prepared to put them in their place.
So let’s talk about the best ways to pet-proof your plumbing system and keep it safe:
1. Cover Pipes
Pets love to chew everything including exposed pipes. If your animal friend makes this a habit of biting through your exposed pipes, it could lead to a damage in the furnishings and home finishes like your flooring, walls, or even the facilities used to install the plumbing.
If the pipe in question is installed is an exterior one that conveys water throughout the home, then it could damage important facilities.
Consequently, the pet could incur an injury from chewing the pipe. To prevent spending money taking your pet to the vet and even repair work, cover up all the exposed pipes and wires in and around your home.
2. Use Drain Stoppers
We often give our pets a bath. It’s a good measure to keep them healthy. However, you have to cover the drain with a drain stopper or strainer (as it’s often called).
Dogs, for examples, have coarse and thick hair that sheds a lot.
The hair can shed while you’re bathing a dog and if you fail to use a drain stopper to protect your drain, then you should be ready to hire a plumber soon. Don’t clean your pet without a strainer, it’s recommended by professional plumbers.
3. Keep the Lid on the Toilet Closed
If you’re a pet owner, you know it’s common for your pet to want to drink from the toilet bowl. This is a bad habit that any pet can adopt and it’s unhealthy for you as well since you’ll be spending time with your pet.
Why is this dangerous?
Well, there’s a residue from toilet cleaners which are harmful. Also, the residue from bleaches can cause severe health disorders.
If the pet falls into the toilet, it could shed its fur and this can lead to clogging of your drains if you don’t stop it.
4. Don’t Flush the Cat Litter
Don’t be deceived by those cat litter commercials that claim they’re flushable. Instead of risking it and getting your toilet clogged, don’t flush it.
When the cat litter builds up over time, it can clog or gum up the plumbing system. To safeguard your pipes and entire system from being affected by this, it’s advisable to only flush toilet paper and waste.
Trust me, most of those pet products are not as flush-friendly as you see on TV and billboards.
5. Prevent Dogs from Digging
Dogs can be tricky and reliable at times. When properly trained, a dog knows what to do to make the owner happy. But it’s not always the case. Hence, do all you can to stop your dog(s) from digging.
When a dog digs, it can ruin the look and layout of your yard and also affect your pipes and other plumbing lines. There are homes where their sewer and water lines are just 18 inches beneath the ground.
Consequently, a little digging from your powerful and lovely dog could expose the pipes and reach the sewer pipes and damage it.
Serious plumbing problems usually occur when the sewer pipes are broken and everywhere is messed up.
At that time, a reasonable dog will run away while you face the consequences of not watching over your dog. You have to spend money to repair it.
6. Install Pressure-Balancing Valves
One of the important steps you can take to pet-proof your plumbing system is the installation of pressure-balancing valves. These Pressure balancing values for showerheads and faucets can simplify the process of bathing your pets and make it fun at the same time.
When there’s a water pressure issue, it usually affects the water temperatures in the shower each time someone flushes the toilet or runs the faucet in the kitchen or interconnected plumbing lines.
As a result of this sudden change in temperature, the water from the shower head could get really cold or hot simultaneously which is unhealthy for your pet and dangerous as well.
An expert plumber can solve this issue by simply installing pressure balancing valves. Once installed, when you’re cleaning your pet, there’s no risk and your four-legged friend will be wagging its tail in appreciation.
7. Outside Rinses
Most pets especially dogs usually get dirty rolling in the mud and whatever environment or element they perceive is conducive to their furry nature. A good way to pet-proof your plumbing system is by rinsing your dog outside. [source]
It’s not recommended to wash your dirty dog in your bathtub or bathroom floor because he or she will shed a lot of muddy, matted fur.
In the end, this fur will clamp and clogged in your drains, potentially preventing dirty water from passing through. You can prevent clogs when you bath your dog in different stages.
Start by rinsing the dog outside. This will eliminate most of the dirt and toughest clumps from their body. Next, you can use the bathroom to give your furry family member a proper bath.
If you have enough time and you’re not rushing off to work yet, allow your dog to dry first to reduce the amount of after bath cleaning you’d have to do in your house if you let your dripping pet walk through it inside your house to the bathroom.
8. Keep Plenty of Water Out
When pets are thirsty they can drink out of the toilet or any stagnant water they find. Why not protect your pet by making sure they have clean water to drink outside. When you ensure that, then you can keep them out of the toilet water.
As a rule of thumb, endeavor to top off your pet’s water bowl several times per day or at least twice.[source]
There should be a provision for a non-toilet drinking water for your pet and they’ll appreciate it.
9. Protect Your Pets from Cleaning Chemicals
There are times when pets get into your bathroom and get involved with cleaning supplies. This could cause serious health issues for your pet. You should place your bathroom cleaners out of reach (i.e., either up or behind locked cabinet door).
Don’t place your chemical drain cleaners on the floor or anywhere the pet can reach.
Remember that chemical cleaners are poisonous to pets, they can also damage your pets if they’re used in large quantities.
Above all, make sure you use pet-safe cleaners to keep your dog alive. [source]
10. Use Perfume to Keep Dogs Off Plumbing Lines
If your dogs continually distort your plumbing lines and wires, shedding hair all over the place and not making you happy, the simple solution is that doesn’t require an expensive dog therapist is this:
Use strong perfume or mixture of essential oils on and around the environment.
When your pet approaches the lines or the environment, as strong flowery smells are not friendly to dogs, they’ll not be comfortable.
These smells tend to be overpowering and unpleasant to dogs; causing them to sneeze. Try out several scents and oils to easily determine the one your dog dislikes the most.
Inasmuch as your dog is lovely and you wouldn’t want to harm him or her, there’s nothing stopping you from protecting your plumbing system from damage.
Because in the end, you’ll waste money hiring a plumber to fix the mess caused by your furry friend.
You should only hire a plumber if, at the end of the day, you were not able to fix the plumbing issue by yourself.
Here are the top 10 plumbing tools you’ll ever need:
Bear in mind that plungers can come in a variety of styles and sizes. So you should know what kind to purchase for different types of plumbing needs.
What plungers have in common is the general design: a rubber cup attached to what is usually a wooden shaft that serves as a handle.
Sink plungers generally look like a ball that’s simply been cut in half while toilet plungers are somewhat mushroom-shaped.
2. Pipe Wrench
While perhaps not as commonly owned, the pipe wrench is the classic plumbing tool that comes to mind for most people when they think of “plumbing.”
Mostly considered a must-have for any plumber and homeowner, a pipe wrench allow gripping around objects of a wide variety of shapes and sizes — thanks to its adjustable design.
As the name suggests, they are usually used to secure or remove pipes.
There are a variety of pipe wrenches used for tightening and loosening fittings. Some are specifically used for tightening bigger parts of pipe basin while basin wrenches are used for tightening and loosening bolts in more complicated areas.
As a homeowner, you sure need a plier.
While normal pliers can be used for plumbing repairs and even be interchangeably used with wrenches in certain situations, plumbing pliers are usually highly adjustable and have an irregular clamp shape.
Such a design allows for better gripping on rounded objects such as piping, naturally.
4. Drain Snake
Possibly the least known plumbing tool and maybe even the most intimidating, drain snakes are fairly straightforward to operate and can be very useful in solving what may appear to be major plumbing issues without enlisting professional assistance.
Thanks to its rigid yet flexible design with an auger at the end. Drain snakes can remove tougher clogs when plungers can’t get the job done.
They can be pushed and navigated through piping with relative ease to otherwise hard-to-reach places.
Like plungers, drain snakes can be useful in a variety of situations ranging from toilets to bathtub drains. While they tend to be the most expensive tool on this list, they can arguably also prove to be the best investment.
Also called thread seal tape or plumber’s tape, Teflon tape is used to secure pipe leakages.
They are commonly applied to the pipe’s threading to provide an effective sealing surface when connecting piping together. Think of it like the duct tape of the plumbing world.
6. Pipe Cutter
Popularly used by plumbers, a homeowner can use this Cutter to easily cut copper water lines. Simply open the tool’s mouth, place the copper pipe in the mouth, and then tighten the cutting disc on the pipe’s surface.
Do you want to know how a plumber would use it?
Here: to slice the pipe, the plumber will turn the tool around the pipe repeatedly. Once it slices through the pipe, a clean-cut remains which is ready to be sanded and soldered.
7. Leaks detection tool
Leaks are common problems faced by homeowners. It’s irritating and troublesome to deal with. At times, it’s difficult to locate the leak. Even though a professional plumber can help you with this problem, you too can fix it.
A plumber uses the leak detection tool to locate the leak. Once the tool detects the leak, the plumber will receive an alert.
Then he will take the necessary action to repair the leak. In case of serious leak issues, the plumber will discuss the possible repercussions with you before taking any action.
Unlike the Pipe Wrenches, tongue-and-groove pliers can serve various roles in your plumbing system repair.
Most especially in your pump. You’re aware that private houses and buildings usually have well pumps and sump pumps. The latter is powered by either gas or electric power.
The usual pump issues include loss of power, bad smells, water overflow or water not getting discharged from the pump.
In all these instances, the tongue-and-groove pliers can help you grip pipes and connectors properly as you treat your tricky sump pumps.
If you decide to bring in a plumber, then they would need certain details when you need to repair your well pump such as well depth, water level and the diameter of the well.
9. Tubing Cutter
As a homeowner, you can use a Tubing cutter to achieve a clean or precise cut in copper tubing. Pipe cutters use a sharp wheel which spins around a copper pipe and then embeds in the metal. Joints and fittings are sealed when the pipes have been cut.
Plumbers use different types of sealants. A plumber’s tape is used on the threads of plumbing pipes and other types of plumbing connections. The type they use depends on the type of repair job.
Homeowners usually face problems with such systems every now and then. If you can’t deal with it, then you should seek the assistance of an expert plumber.
Bonus plumbing tool:
Compression sleeve puller
Compression angle stops or shutoff valves are prominent in houses where there is copper, CPVC tuber, or PEX. These valves are responsible for supplying water to your faucets, toilets, and even your bathtubs.
You can easily unscrew the angle stop when you hold the valve with pliers. Pipe wrench also helps.
The compression sleeve puller will help you to remove the compression nuts without damaging the pipe in the process.
As you can see, investing in just a few plumbing tools and learning how to use them can save you on potential costs and headaches that may come with hiring a plumber.
With a little practice, many common household plumbing mishaps can be quickly and easily resolved on your own.
Bear in mind, though, that when you run into muddy waters or you perceive the issue is beyond your knowledge, get help from a plumbing company or call a plumber near you.
Do you know any local plumber near you? Is it time to visit or call them? This article will help me in making that important decision.
Whether you’re taking a bath, defecating, or cleaning your dishes in the kitchen, producing waste is a part of human lives.
That said, you probably don’t want water flooding your kitchen and right into your living room. Or worse case scenario, feces finding its way into your bathroom.
Let’s face it, these types of issues can turn into a nightmare quickly. Because your house may start to stink and become uncomfortable while you accumulate money on your water bill due to wasted water.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the water consumption in the U.S. in 2015 was estimated to be 322 billion gallons per day. A lot of this water is wasted. It happened that the West and Southwest have the biggest problem, with regards to renewable supply due to water wastage.
The Problem with “Do It Yourself”
So what do you do when you notice a plumbing problem? You want to take action and stop the issue right away. Of course, you can find many “Do it yourself (DIY)” guides on how to do anything in your house — including building your house from scratch and installing plumbing systems.
But some of these guides may cause more problems rather than solve the ones you have. In cases like these, the best action you can take is to call an expert. This would cost you money, definitely but a local plumber will save you more with a better solution.
So when do you have to get on your phone and call your local plumber? Many events require it. But especially when you see these 13 signs:
Nobody wants to have clogs in their pipes. With clogs in your pipe, water is unable to flow freely. When you notice that the water in your sink takes too long to drain or water in your bathtub is not flowing as it should, it could be as a result of a clogged pipe.
This could lead to your sink or bathtub getting dirtier as some of the dirt ends up on their surface rather than in the pipe.
This is a frustrating situation that may require that you wash your sinks and bathtubs more than necessary due to the retained dirt. What are the possible causes of clogged pipes? There are many causes of clogged pipes.
Some of the causes of clogs in the kitchen are fat, oil and grease from food substances. These are substances that flow easily when they’re hot but solidify as they get cold. When this happens, they begin to clog your pipe as they accumulate over time.
Another cause of clogs in your pipe is food particles. If you have a sink in your kitchen, it’s inevitable that food particles like vegetable sticks and others will enter into your pipe. This can end up clogging your pipe over time.
In your bathroom, you may not have oily substances, but there are still enough causes of a clogged pipe in your bathroom. One of them is strands of hair. While taking your bath, it’s only natural that some strands of your hair fall off.
These strands accumulate over time to clog your pipe and block water flow. Another culprit for a clogged pipe is greasy soap. This type of soap form residues that can stick to the interior of pipes and cause a blockage. In some cases, these could also lead to the corrosion of your pipes.
When you notice a slow flow of water or liquid waste in your kitchen, bathroom, or any part of your house, it’s important to call a plumber to investigate the problem further and provide the necessary fix to allow an easy flow of waste out of your home.
Low Water Pressure
If you notice your faucets taking a long time before you can fill your sink or bathtub, or your shower head is failing to give the strong spray while taking your bath, there’s a problem. This could be a low water pressure problem in your home.
If this is only applicable to a single fitting in your house, there could be easy solutions. But you may not be the right person to implement these solutions. When you see water pressure drop for your home, there are usually some common causes.
One of the reason could be the water meter valve. When the water meter valve that transports water to your home is not fully opened, it may result in a low water pressure for your home. This could be as a result of recent plumbing work in your house where the valve had to be shut.
Another cause for low water pressure could be a faulty pressure regulator. Your pressure regulator helps to keep your water pressure at the right level. Not too low or too high.
If the regulator becomes faulty, you may have either a high or low water pressure. When this happens, you’ll have to buy another pressure regulator as a replacement. A plumber can come in and check all the important valves in your house if this is the cause.
Likewise, they can recommend the right pressure regulator, get it for you and help to fit it in your home. In some other cases, it could just be that your overall plumbing system needs to be replaced due to many years of usage.
Your local plumber can come in and troubleshoot to find the possible causes of your low water pressure and fix them.
Leaky Pipes or Dripping Faucet
Leaky pipes could cause a bad smell in your house if the pipes transporting waste is involved. Even if clean water is dripping from leaky pipes, you could see a rise in your water bill at the end of the month.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average family wastes 180 gallons per week or 9,400 gallons of water annually, from household leaks. This results into 1 trillion gallons of water that’s equal to annual household water use of about 11 million homes.
No matter what is leaking, leaky pipes are never wanted. If you’re facing this problem in your house, there are many possible causes.
One of the most common causes is broken seals. Over time, the seal connecting the joints of pipes become weak and break causing leaky pipes. Another reason closely related is damaged pipe joints. When the joint between two pipes gets destroyed, it begins to leak waste or whatever fluid it transports.
High water pressure can be a source of stress for your pipes and this could cause the pipes to leak. In the event of extreme temperature changes, the rapid expansion or contraction of pipes can lead to leaks. You could also start to see leaks when there’s corrosion of your pipes.
Dripping faucets are a waste of money. Even though the water is rarely useful to you, you’ll pay for it at the end of the month.
There are many causes of a leaky faucet. Due to regular use, the O ring may become loose or wear out which would cause the faucet to drip close to its handle. Another possible cause is a corroded valve seat. Over time, water sediments can accumulate in the valve seat to cause corrosion and consequently leakage in the spout area.
A dripping faucet can also be caused by the improper installation of the washer or using the wrong size for your installation. In some other cases, a dripping faucet could be a result of a worn-out washer.
When you notice these faults, you should call your problem to investigate the possible causes and provide solutions to them.
One way to rack up your water bill is a running toilet. With a running toilet, it’s possible for you to waste gallons of water which will be paid for at the end of the month.
A running toilet occurs when your toilet tank can’t keep water away from your toilet bowl. Even when you have not pulled the plunger.
The EPA estimates that toilets account for 30% of an average home’s indoor consumption. A running toilet will only increase this.
There are many reasons you could encounter a running toilet in your home. One reason for this is a faulty flapper seal or flush valve. The flapper seal is supposed to close off the water supply from your toilet tank when you flush the toilet after usage.
The flush valve contains the flapper seal, overflow valve, and the flushing mechanism without the chain. When this mechanism fails to shut off water flow after flushing the toilet, water will continue flowing into the toilet bowl even while it’s not in use.
One way to know if you have a running toilet is to apply dye in your toilet tank. Wait for a few minutes without using the toilet. With a good flapper seal, then the water in your toilet bowl should remain colorless as it was. However, if you see the dye in your toilet bowl, that’s one evidence that the flapper seal is not functioning properly.
A flapper chain that is too long or short may also prevent the flapper seal from doing its work properly.
Another issue that could cause a running toilet is a leaky fill valve. This valve is supposed to stop water flow into your toilet tank after usage but if it’s unable to do this, water will flow into the valve and it can cause a leak.
One other possible issue to face is an old or corroded toilet handle. When you notice that after flushing the toilet, the toilet handle stays down for a period of time and is too slow in coming back to its former position, this could be because the handle is stiff, old, or corroded. This stiff handle can make the toilet run for longer than necessary.
With these issues in your toilet, it’s important to get an expert to your home to check it for you.
Faulty Water Heater
Having a functional water heater is a part of healthy living in your home especially during winter. Having an issue with your water heater can be a big issue when you need hot water to take your bath.
Like other machines, your water heater requires regular maintenance and can get faulty. Sometimes, these faults come without any warning. This is why you must be vigilant to some changes you may see before your water heater stops working.
One of the ways to know that something is wrong is when your shower starts to produce cold water instead of hot water. Over time as you use your water heater, water sediments begin to settle at the bottom of your water storage tank.
This can create a barrier between the burner and the water. With a barrier like this, less heat is transferred from the burner to the water. This means a colder water supply. If this continues for too long, your water heater can start leaking leading to a waste of water and a possible failure of your heater.
Sometimes, you could experience a noise as your water heater is working. This could be as a result of hard water from the supply or a fault with your machine.
Likewise, if your water supply is cloudy rather than colorless, or has a metallic scent and taste, it could be as a result of mineral deposits traveling from your water tank to the supply. In some other cases, it could be that your burner and other parts of your water heater are rusty and need to be changed.
When you see these, a plumber can come in to help you flush your water heater of dirt or recommend and install another water heater if there’s a need for it.
Installing a new toilet
A new toilet may be an extra expense for you but it could actually save you money in the long run.
There are many reasons you might want to install a new toilet. If you have an old toilet, it might be susceptible to various issues due to the long period of usage. Likewise, you could have an issue with your toilet tank that requires you to change it.
Or it could be an accident that breaks your toilet. Whatever reason you’re installing a new toilet, it’s important to get an expert in to take the specifications of your space and recommend the right size and design of the toilet for your home.
Buying and installing the wrong toilet can lead to extra monthly charges in your utility bills.
It means you’ll pay for this mistake for all the years that you use this toilet. In other words, your toilet is probably one of the most important installations in your house.
One of the considerations to be made is the bowl shape. Will it be the oval or round shape? Although the oval shape is the most popular, you’ll also need to consider the space in your bathroom.
The physical space in your bathroom will usually determine the size of your toilet to allow free movement in the bathroom.
One other consideration to be made is the height of your toilet bowl. Even though the most common heights for toilet bowls is about 14.5 inches, a plumber will have to consider the height of the people who’ll use it or if there’s a disabled person to pick a height that’ll be comfortable for everyone.
One other important consideration is the flushing efficiency of your toilet. Are you going to use a gravity-fed or a pressure toilet?
To pick a type, you’ll also have to consider its cost on your utility bills. You don’t want to have a toilet that uses 5 gallons of water for a single flush.
Regarding this consideration, it might make more sense to have an installation that is costlier but will save you much more on utility bills over the coming years. A plumber will advise you on all these factors, help you to get the right toilet and install it.
Weak and incomplete toilet flush
If you have to flush the toilet more than once before the waste disappears or you see the waste coming back after a single flush, there’s an issue with your toilet that needs to be solved.
Most times when you notice this, there are many causes responsible for it. One of the common reasons for this is a low water level in your tank.
When the water level is low in the tank, there’s insufficient water to flush the waste in the tank. In a case like this, adjusting the float of the tank to allow more water into the tank would solve this issue.
Another possible cause could be that the flapper closes too quickly. The flapper opens to allow water from the tank to flush the waste in your toilet bowl.
When the flapper closes too quickly, only an insufficient amount of water would have gone through to the bowl and this would cause a weak and incomplete flush.
In a case like this, the length of the flapper chain could be the cause and adjusting it could be a remedy to the problem.
When there’s a clog in the trap, sewer pipe, or the vent pipe, it could prevent a proper flush. You’ll need a plumber to check this out for you to determine the cause and provide the solution.
A common issue with water supply is mineral buildup. Over time, mineral build up could cause blockage in your toilet and cause an incomplete flush. It’s important to get this solved quickly as you spend more money on your water bill the longer the problem continues.
When most people think of flooding, they think of flooding from external sources. Rain, an overflowing river, and other external sources. But what of flooding from pipes or fittings in your home?
Now, you don’t want to come to your house and see a pool of water. But if it happens, the next thing is not to beat yourself up about a pipe that failed or too high water pressure. The next thing to look out for is how to get this under control.
Even though flooding will raise your utility bill for that month, what is more dangerous is that it can be life-threatening if you have kids in the house, especially those who are still crawling.
It’s easy to fall as there’s a reduced friction on the floor. Also, it could destroy some of your properties. It’s a situation that usually needs urgent attention.
There are many possible causes of flooding in your house. One of the most likely causes is a leaky or broken pipe. A pipe can break when it gets weak after years of usage. In some other cases, it could be as a result of an increase in pressure in the pipe. When this occurs, your home could be flooded in minutes.
Another possible cause is clogged pipes. A small case of clogged pipe would make water and sewer flow slow.
However, if the clog continues to accumulate, it could lead to a complete blockage of water or sewage movement. When water can’t move through the right channels, it could quickly overflow and flood the house.
If you have a washing machine in your house, one day, it could cause flooding rather than clean your clothes. When there’s a leak in your water intake hose, it could be a cause of indoor flooding.
One other cause could be your water heater. When there’s a leak in your water heater, it could lead to flooding.
When you notice flooding in your house, it’s important that you contact your plumber to embark on the cleanup process as soon as possible to reduce further damages to your properties.
No matter how durable they are, pipes are not made to last forever. There are situations when pipes in your house can break. There are many causes of damaged pipes in homes and these pipes will need to be replaced when this happens.
In many cases, a broken pipe can start with a leak which may go unnoticed. Over time, this space becomes bigger and if you don’t rectify the issue on time, it can lead to flooding.
One of the main causes of damaged pipes is that they’re simply too old. After many years of work, a pipe grows weak and continues that trend until it breaks.
Another cause could be high water pressure. When the water pressure regulator for your home becomes faulty, it can lead to a high water pressure which poses a risk to your pipes. This could especially break the joints of your pipes and cause other damages in the home.
One other cause is irregular maintenance. If you rarely maintain your pipes or fail to clean off clogs, this could accumulate to the detriment of the pipe. When water tries to force its way through the clogs, it could increase pressure in the pipe and break it.
Apart from these internal causes, you could also experience damage to your pipes from an external source, tree roots. There are pipes that transport water into your house. If tree roots grow around these pipes, it can apply too much external pressure to the pipe until it breaks.
When you notice a damaged pipe, the next step is to install new pipes. It’s time to call your local plumber and let them do what they know how to do best.
For any plumbing system, pipes are an integral part. Your pipes are responsible for transporting water into your house through the water supply system, out of your house through the drainage system, and through your home appliances.
The truth is that if you use your pipe for long enough, then it’s inevitable that you’ll change them.
It’s always better to change old pipes before they break and cause more damage than you want.
However, in some cases, pipe installation may be forced on you when a pipe breaks and you need to change it immediately. Installing new pipes to replace old or broken ones is a specialist job. It’s better if you get a specialist to do it. Why?
Because there are many considerations that go into installing a pipe. One of the main factors is where the pipe will be used.
Pipes to be used to supply water into your house will be different from one that supplies water into your appliances. This will also determine the size and strength of the pipes to be used.
One other factor a plumber will consider is the quality of materials to be bought. A plumber could decide to use any type of material ranging from PVC to PEX to copper depending on the application. The durability of the material will be compared to the functions it would perform.
Another factor that will be considered in the choice of pipes is the water pressure the pipe will be subjected to. Likewise, the weather of the particular area. Is it more cold than hot? Will the pipes be exposed to the sun for a long..