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    7 Useful Plumbing Tips for Beginners

    While there are certainly some plumbing problems you shouldn’t attempt on your own, there are a few you can handle.

    If you learn how to do simple plumbing tasks around the house, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.

    Not all plumbing tasks need the assistance of a professional — but if you’d rather leave it to them, that’s your choice.

    Keep reading if you’re looking for a few plumbing tips to save you some money…

    7 Handy Plumbing Tips to Help You With Home Plumbing Maintenance

    First things first, get yourself a decent set of plumbing tools.

    This includes tools such as a plunger, tongue and groove pliers, a basin wrench, pipe wrench, adjustable wrench, tubing cutter, compression sleeve puller, and a drain snake.

    Small clogs, basin leaks, toilet leaks, running toilets, and showerhead issues can be resolved easily with these tools.

    In spite of this, it’s always a good idea to keep a plumber’s number handy in case of a plumbing issue that is beyond your abilities.

    1. Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves

    If you’ve recently moved into a new home, this is especially important.

    If a plumbing issue arises and you need to turn off the water, familiarize yourself with all the shut-off valves.

    Similarly, if you need to clean out a sewer line, you need to know where the sewer line access points are.

    Generally, apartments and condos do not have their own shut-off valves.

    1. Learn What’s Flushable and What’s Not

    You must first identify the type of sewer line system you have.

    Septic tank systems are especially sensitive, as most homeowners are already aware.

    The following items should never be flushed down the toilet, regardless of your sewer line system.

    In this case, there may be nasty clogs that will require professional help and a lot of money.

    Baby wipes, face wipes, sanitary towels, dental floss, cotton balls, q-tips, diapers, cooking oil, and more should be avoided.

    1. It’s Easy to DIY Replacement Parts Inside Your Toilet

    If you are completely new to plumbing, you should avoid fiddling with a few fixtures.

    Pipes leading to the shower, sink, or toilet falls into this category.

    Otherwise, you can replace the parts in your toilet and faucet yourself.  

    Some of these include changing a faucet’s cartridge or a toilet’s flapper.

    A worn-down flapper is characterized by a leaking toilet bowl.

    They’re cheap and easy to replace. A leaking faucet can also be fixed too by replacing the inner cartridge.

    1. Use a Vacuum or Chemicals to Unclog a Drain

    The use of a wet-dry vacuum or chemical cleaner can often unclog a clogged drain, which may seem like a major plumbing issue.

    Using a wet-dry vacuum, remove hard items lodged in your pipes, such as toys or toothbrushes.

    Certain chemicals can be used to dissolve and eat away the gunk that’s clogging your drain if it’s slow-moving or clogged.

    To prevent damage to plumbing pipes, however, use chemicals sparingly. Drain snakes are also extremely effective at dislodging or clearing out drains after a few plunges.

    1. Don’t Over-Tighten Your Pipe Fittings

    Overtightening fittings and connections between pipes and drains is one of the most common DIY plumbing mistakes.

    This can eventually lead to broken bolts and stripped screws, which can lead to leaks. A good rule-of-thumb to remember is: “hand tight is just right.”.

    In other words, fittings should be tight enough that they can only be loosened by hand (with a wrench) and not by any other means.

    1. Thread Tape is Far Handier Than You Think

    Use thread tape instead of thread sealing compound, also called pipe dope. It’s commonly known that the sealing compound can drip and smear, causing a mess.

    Thread tape is easy to use, readily available, and performs the same function as thread.

    When choosing your thread tape, go for a multi-purpose tape that’s white in color.

    Also, go for a thicker variation as they are a little easier to handle. For effective threading, roll the tape counterclockwise at least three times.

    1. Identify When Your Septic Tank is Acting Up

    Regular maintenance is crucial if your plumbing depends on a septic tank system.

    As a septic tank backup can cause absolute havoc on your home and plumbing, it is important to recognize what to look for in terms of warning signs.

    If the sediment builds up for too long in the tank, there is a possibility of a backup.

    For this reason, make it a priority to check on your septic tank system regularly. Here a few common warning signs to keep in mind:

    Your lawn has changed colour — it may look greener than usual thanks to extra ”fertiliser” escaping the tank.

    There are wet patches cropping up throughout your garden, especially around the septic tank .

    The septic tank area has a strong odour. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call a professional right away.

    Maintaining your septic tank is very important because neglecting it can cost you both money and your family’s health in the long run. 

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