problems usually revolve around one of three things: clogs, leaks,
or drips. It pays to be familiar with your plumbing system so
you can minimize the damage caused by plumbing problems as well
as fix minor problems on your own.
The most important thing you can do is find out
where the main water shutoff valve is and how to turn it off.
This is usually either outside your home or in your basement or
crawlspace. If you can not find it or don't know how to turn it
off, contact your utility company and have them show you. If any
tools are necessary to turn off your water, keep them handy. Being
able to shut your water off at the main valve can be vital to
reducing damage to your home if a pipe were to burst.
should also check each plumbing appliance (sinks, toilets, etc.)
for their own shutoff valves and verify they work. If the valves
fail to turn off water to the appliance, you should have them
fixed by a professional plumber. These valves come in handy when
the need arises to repair individual appliances. If an appliance
has no valves, you will need to shut off your water at the main
valve to repair it.
it comes to clogs and slow drains, an ounce of prevention is worth
a pound of cure. In the tub or shower, invest in an inexpensive
hair trap or screen to prevent the majority of hair and soap scum
from going down the drain. In the kitchen, don't pour cooking
grease down your drain. It will harden and coat your pipes with
a sticky scum that will catch other particles and eventually clog
the pipe. Instead, keep it in a coffee can or milk container and
dispose of it with your garbage once it's cooled. You should also
avoid dumping coffee grounds down the drain. They're notorious
for causing clogs.
Maintaining your drains on a weekly basis is
also a good idea to keep your pipes clear. One way to do this
is to pour a half-cup of salt, a half-cup of baking soda and a
half-cup of vinegar down the drain and follow with two quarts
of boiling water.
If you do encounter a clog, don't panic. Clogs
and slow drains most commonly occur in areas that can be easily
cleared on your own without the help of a pro (if more than one
drain or toilet is affected, you will need to contact a plumber).
First, try a plunger. www.repair-home.com/Using_a_Snake, has easy
to follow instructions for the use of a pipe-snake. There is also
the option of using chemical clog removers. Be sure to follow
the package instructions when using them.
Leaks can be slowed or stopped until you're able
to get a plumber out to your home by following the steps on this
Please keep in mind that this is a temporary measure only, but
it will help prevent water damage until your plumber fixes the