It may come as a surprise, but many homeowners don’t have a basic knowledge of their plumbing system or fixtures until something goes wrong. Having a basic understanding of your plumbing system will go a long way if a problem ever occurs.
Know What Your Plumber Wants You To Know
Know where your shut-off valves are. The shut-off valves will shut off all water to the home. In the case of an emergency such as a wall leak, slab leak, or even a leak in your water heater, your plumbing company will want you to shut off water to the home until they arrive.
Know where all your cleanouts are. Every home should have a cleanout, but unfortunately, some older homes do not. The location of the cleanout will vary. For those of us in California where homes have a slab foundation, the cleanouts are usually located near the exterior walls. But in some cases, you may need to look around to find it. Your cleanout gives your plumber access to the main sewer line in the case of a blockage.
Know that there are water pipes in your walls and ceilings. You need to know what walls you can drill or hammer in and what walls you cannot. Having a pipe puncture because of someone drilling or hammering is not uncommon.
Not All Plungers Are The Same
Know what you can flush down your toilet and what you shouldn’t. Your toilet is not a trash can! You should never flush paper towels, sanitary napkins, cotton balls, tampons, medication, cigarette butts or baby wipes, even the ones that say flushable.
Know what NOT to put down your garbage disposal. Treat your garbage disposal right, and it will keep working for years. Never subject your garbage disposal to fruit pits, coffee grounds, bones, egg shells, grease, pasta, potato peels, and celery.
Invest in a high-quality plunger. All plungers are relatively inexpensive. There are three types of plungers: the common sink plunger, the accordion plunger, and the toilet plunger. The toilet plunger is the best and works well on both sinks and toilets. A plunger will be your best friend when clearing sinks and drains.
Don’t ignore a water leak. If your faucet, shower or toilet is leaking then fix it. Water leaks account for one trillion gallons of wasted water every year. One drop of water per second is equivalent to 3,000 gallons of wasted water per year. Take faucet leaks and running toilets seriously.