woman on the phone, distraught over her newfound plumbing problem, looking for plumbing advice

7 Things To Know About Plumbing

January 28 2021

Everyone knows that for the most part, owning your own property is much better than renting. Not only do you get more stability, but you also get some equity and even tax deductions. But not everything is all rainbows and sunshine when it comes to owning a home. One of the downsides is that you’re responsible for everything inside, including fixes.

Despite this fact, many homeowners actually don’t know much about their own homes. And that includes important workings like plumbing. Want to become more educated as a homeowner? Then read on.

Here are 7 things to know about plumbing that every homeowner should know.

1. Don’t Flush Certain Items

Growing up, your parents might’ve told you that you can just flush everything in the toilet and it’ll eventually find its way out into the open seas. But that’s just not true at all!

In reality, your toilet can only take human waste and toilet paper. Yes, this means that even feminine hygiene products and baby wipes can’t be flushed! In fact, even the “flushable” wipes shouldn’t be flushed, as they can end up clogging the sewage system anyway.

To keep it simple, don’t flush anything but your waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Anything else should go in the trash, even if its package is labeled “flushable.”

2. Don’t Put Certain Things Down Your Garbage Disposal

Just like with your toilet, there are certain things that should not go down your garbage disposal. You might think that because it’s such a powerful appliance, that you can put anything down your sink and it’ll take care of it.

But you really shouldn’t put just anything down there. Here are the main things you should throw in the trash instead of your disposal:

  • Stringy produce, like celery (can jam the disposal)
  • Starchy foods, like pasta (can swell and stick to the drain)
  • Particularly gooey or greasy foods (they’re a mess)

A good practice is to toss as much stuff into the garbage as you can. That way, you can decrease the chance of your garbage disposal acting up.

3. Know Where the Main Shutoff Valve Is

On that note, in case someone does flush something bad down the toilet or into the disposal, you need to know where the main shutoff valve is in your home so you can cut off the water supply pronto if needed.

There are a few places it might be located: the garage, crawlspace, basement, or by a hose bib. Take some time now to locate the main shutoff valve and familiarize yourself with it. For those who can’t find the shutoff valve despite looking all over your house, you might want to check your home inspection report. There should be a page where it tells you where it is.

4. Get the Right Plunger

You might think that any plunger can get the job done, but you’d be wrong here. After all, you need the right plumbing tools to get the job done right. There are actually different plungers for different clogs. In general, you’ll want to use a flange plunger for toilets, as it gives extra suction for those tough clogs. For clogs in your sinks and bathtubs, you can use a flat cup plunger instead.

There are also accordion and taze plungers. Accordion plungers can be used for toilets, but flange ones are easier to manipulate. Taze plungers are used mainly for large pipes, which means they’re more for industrial use than residential. So you won’t have to worry about purchasing one of these.

5. Know How to Stop Your Toilet From Overflowing

Toilet overflows are a very common thing that happens, so it’s worth it to learn how to stop this from happening.

When the water starts rising in the toilet after a flush, chances are, you might feel panicked. But you’d be surprised as to how easy it is to fix this problem! All you have to do is take the lid off the toilet and reach inside. Locate the flapper and close it. After you’ve done this, then the toilet should stop running and you’ll have avoided a big mess.

6. Fix Leaks Right Away

That dripping faucet that keeps you awake at night is not just an annoyance. They’re also huge water wasters, which not only drives up your utility bills, but also puts a strain on the environment. At the first sign of trouble, fix your leaks right away. It just might help you find a bigger issue as well, which means you can be proactive about it instead of finding out about it too late.

7. Know When To Get Emergency Plumbing Advice

We’ve just taught you some DIY plumbing advice that can be really handy in the future. But on the other hand, you should know when to throw in the towel and recognize when pro plumbing advice is needed.

If you ever feel like you’re in over your head and that the plumbing problem can get serious fast, then you need to call a professional plumber. Forget about YouTubing tutorials, because chances are, you’ll just be wasting time. By putting your pride to the side and knowing when you should have a pro step in, you’ll save yourself some time and money.

Take Our Plumbing Advice

Now that you know these 7 things to know about plumbing, you should be ready to conquer your next plumbing dilemma with confidence! By knowing the basics of plumbing and when you should get advice from a plumber, you’ll avoid costly mistakes that’ll have you frustrated and fed up.

So make sure you know the signs of trouble and how to fix them on your own if possible. And more importantly, know when you should call a plumber for advice so the pros can take over if needed.

Need any plumbing supplies for your home? Or are you planning on a remodel soon? Either way, get in touch with us now. We have state-of-the-art inventory and can help get you any plumbing fixtures or parts you need!