Monday, April 15
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Top 7 Plumbing Facts You Need to Know Now

Whether you’re a DIY homeowner or just starting out, it’s important to understand the facts about your home’s plumbing. Misinformation can lead to costly mistakes!

Did you know that flushing the toilet makes up 38% of the average household’s water usage? Or that a dripping faucet can waste thousands of gallons per year?

1. Water Pressure

Water pressure is something that most people take for granted. But if you notice that you have low water pressure in your home, it could be due to a number of things. A plumber can help you determine the cause and fix it so that you have great water pressure again.

The first thing that you should do is test your water pressure. A standard water pressure gauge can be purchased at most hardware stores for around $10. You should hook the gauge to a faucet close to your water meter and turn off all other appliances in your house. Then, wait fifteen minutes to half an hour and read your water meter again. If there is a dramatic change in the reading, it could be a sign that your pipes are leaking.

Water pressure can also decrease in your home due to clogged pipes or sediment buildup in the water heater. If you try to clear these issues yourself and they don’t work, it could be a bigger issue with your water line or even a leaking pipe that needs to be fixed by a plumber. Leaking pipes can cause expensive damage to your home and can rack up your water bill quickly.

2. Drain Cleaning

Clogged drains and toilets are more than just an inconvenience. They can cause serious hygienic and structural damage to your home’s pipes and lead to costly repairs.

You can keep your drains working properly by cleaning them on a regular basis. This prevents clogs, which allows water to flow through your home’s plumbing system quickly and easily.

If you have a clogged drain, there are several methods you can try to fix it. You can use an acidic drain cleaner, which typically contains lye and aluminum, or an oxidizing drain cleaner, which uses peroxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach).

A plumber can also perform a video inspection of your home’s drain lines to identify the source of the clog. This allows them to use a variety of tools to clear your drains, including a snake and a hydro jetting machine.

In addition to reducing the risk of emergency repairs, regularly cleaning your drains can also improve your home’s indoor air quality by removing bacteria and mold from your drains. Additionally, drains that are routinely cleaned can extend their lifespan by preventing the buildup of chemicals that corrode your pipes.

3. Water Heaters

Water heaters are one of the most important plumbing appliances in your home. They heat incoming cold water so that fixtures like dishwashers, clothes washers, showers, and tubs can output warm or hot water for upkeep and cleaning purposes.

If you don’t take care of your water heater and send a drain cleaning service, sediment can build up inside the tank. This material can narrow or block your water line, resulting in decreased water pressure. It can also cause the water in your faucets to look cloudy or yellow, due to the mineral content in it.

The water heater can also explode, causing flooding and significant damage to your home. This is a common problem with older models of water heaters, but newer ones are less likely to explode. This is why it’s critical to have a properly installed water heater and to perform regular maintenance on your plumbing.

4. Faucets

Whether you’re browsing options at a home center or bath-remodeling showroom, it’s not just the color and finish that matters when selecting a faucet. How the fixture works — and how it mixes water to reach your spout or shower head — is crucial information to know.

Brass is the most common material for faucets because it’s tough and resists corrosion. The metal is machined, forged or cast and shaped before it’s finished with plating and coating processes to achieve the desired appearance.

Most faucets include a valve-like device that allows the handle to pivot and change water temperature or flow. In a rotating ball faucet, for example, a slotted plastic or brass ball sets on a pair of spring-loaded rubber seats. The handle rotates the ball to adjust water temperature and flow. If the faucet leaks from the spout, the adjusting rings or O-rings may need replacing.

Leaking pipes can damage a home and result in costly repairs. Typically, a leaking pipe is caused by worn washers or valve seats that no longer seal tightly. It’s easy to replace a washer on a faucet, but doing so on a pipe requires specialty tools and is often better left to a professional.

5. Pipes

Pipes carry water throughout a building, carrying waste away from toilets and sinks or bringing water to showers and faucets. Pipes are located in walls, ceilings and floors and may even travel underground.

There are a variety of pipes available, including copper, steel, PVC and plastic. Copper is a popular choice because it’s resistant to high water pressure and is also less expensive than other metals like galvanized steel or iron. It comes in both rigid and flexible forms, with rigid copper piping used for the entire plumbing system, while flexible copper tubing is used where space is limited or corners are tight.

Rigid PVC is an affordable option that’s commonly used for drain, waste and vent (DWV) and hot and cold water supply lines. It has a smooth inner lining that helps to speed up the draining process, protecting against sediment buildup and blockages.

Steel pipe is usually made of carbon-steel or cast or ductile iron, and can be welded, threaded or joined using mechanical couplings. It’s often lined with material able to resist chemical attack to allow it to carry actively corrosive fluids. In the past, some pipes in homes contained lead, which can be harmful for kids and adults. Newer pipes are now often labeled as being “lead-free,” although older pipes may contain traces of toxic lead.

6. Water Leaks

Leaking pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems and can lead to major water damage if not addressed in a timely manner. Whether from frozen pipes, physical damage to the pipe or its connection, or excess water pressure, leaks are dangerous and costly for any home.

Pipes and their connections are subject to a lot of wear and tear. That’s why it’s so important to have a professional plumber inspect your piping system regularly. If you’ve noticed wet spots in your yard, a drop in water pressure, or a spike in your water bill, you may have a leaky pipe.

Another common cause of leaks is the age of your pipes. Piping systems in older homes are more likely to have pinhole leaks, rust, and other issues that can lead to leaking.

There are also some things you can do to prevent leaks, like reducing water pressure. However, if you have a leak, make sure to turn off your water supply and call a plumber immediately. They’ll be able to repair the leak and prevent any further damage. The longer a leak is left untreated, the worse it will get. This can result in expensive water damage and even mold.

7. Toilets

Toilets are a vital part of our plumbing system and provide the sanitation that keeps us healthy. Without proper sanitation, deadly diseases could spread easily. That’s why it’s important to learn more about toilets and how they work.

A toilet’s siphon tube is an upside-down “U” shaped tube that connects the toilet bowl to the sewer/cesspool. During a flush, water from the toilet bowl rises into the siphon tube and flows into the sewer/cesspool to clear away waste. The water then returns to the toilet bowl.

In addition to toilet paper, toilets can also get clogged by napkins, paper towels, facial tissue, and other personal wipes. Many of these products claim to be flushable, but they don’t break down as well as toilet paper does and can clog drains and sewer lines. If you’re unsure whether a product is safe to flush, ask the manufacturer.

When a toilet is constantly clogging, check the tank flapper for damage or looseness. Then, ensure that the toilet flange is anchored securely to the floor. Also, make sure that there are no objects blocking the vent over the bathroom. If there are, cut the vent open and remove any obstructions.