Plumbing is one of the most basic aspects of the home. In fact, plumbing saved a lot of people in ancient Rome and the middle ages when people were given access to clean water (well not so clean) and found a way to dispose of their wastes.

Today, plumbing might seem one of the most mundane aspects of everyday living that is, until something goes wrong with it. You don’t have to be an expert but there are a few things you oughta know if you’re a homeowner.

Here are some of the things that you should know about plumbing:

1.   Your Main Shut Off Valve

In the event where you find yourself flooded or a leak suddenly turns into a burst pipe, you should know where the main shut-off valve to cut off the water supply. So it’s important that you’re familiar with it and not wait for a plumbing emergency to go through the pipes and see where the main valve is. Most houses have their main valves in the basement or the crawl space. Aside from knowing where it is, you should also try to see if the valve works or if it’s stuck. It’s no use finding it if you can’t even shut it off.

2.   Get Inspections

If you’re unsure whether the previous owner had the house’s plumbing inspected or you don’t remember when was the last time it was checked, get professionals to inspect your pipes and your heating. Inspections will provide the benefit of knowing issues in the plumbing early on and get them fixed. One Yelp review commented as to how All Service Plumbers were able to correct some “Mickey Mouse” jobs done to their home’s plumbing. Although that customer had an emergency to get the issues in their house fixed, you don’t have to wait for trouble if you can help it.

3.   Shower Drain

Maintaining your shower drain is an important part of keeping your home’s drainage system clear. Hair, soap, and shampoo are the usual suspects that can get your shower drain clogged up so take time to clean it and avoid removing the strainer on the floor drain and bathtub. If you notice that the drains slowly or is already clogged, a camera inspection is a good option to try. It allows you to see and determine the root cause of the clog and clear it. Professional plumbers can also perform hydro jetting, wherein they use pressurized water to clear the blockage fast and remove any debris stuck within the pipe walls.

4.   Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink is one of the places where the drain usually clogs. This is usually caused by the things we put down into it such as grease, oil, and food scraps. When grease solidifies, they tend to absorb larger debris which causes the pipes to clog. If the sink drains slowly, you can use a snake tool to remove the blockage and pour some warm water mixed with vinegar. You can also drain the pit trap by opening the valve cap at the bottom. Make sure you place something to catch the water and sludge from the trap so that it won’t mess up your kitchen floor.

5.   Avoid Liquid De-cloggers

Don’t use liquid cleaners or de-cloggers to solve a blockage problem. The ads may promise you fast results but it usually ends up with a damaged pipe and an unsolved clogging problem. There are available snake tools in various hardware stores where you can purchase one to help you de-clog drainage safely and effectively.

Faucets and showerheads are also prone to mineral build-ups which can affect your water flow. To remove this, soak them in vinegar and scrub them off.

6.   Winter Maintenance

During winter, avoid letting water freeze inside your pipe. The pressure built-in may cause your pipes to burst, so it’s important to take measures to prevent your pipes from freezing. To prevent the pipes from bursting and coming home to a cold wet floor, cover your outdoor pipes and detach garden hoses from the faucet.

Plumbers can also winterize your pipes before winter comes and de-winterize them during the hot season. This will prevent a costly repair of not only your pipes but also to your belongings that might get wet when you leak into your home.

It’s not difficult to maintain your home’s plumbing but it can be very costly if you neglect them and find yourself ankle-deep in water inside your house. Maintaining your home is one of the biggest responsibilities of every homeowner and the best way to do it is by getting yourself familiar with the ins and outs of the most basic components of your home – plumbing.

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