Every homeowner should have a basic idea of how your home plumbing system works. It isn’t until disaster hits that we realize just how little we know. Taking the time to understand your plumbing system and appliances could pay huge dividends in the future. For example, know where your shut off valves to both your home and landscaping. It might surprise you just how few homeowners know how to shut off the water in a plumbing emergency. The fact is for many homeowners we rarely call on a plumber unless something goes wrong such as a garbage disposal or water heater breakdown.
Shut Off Valves And Clean Outs
Start by making a list of plumbing system absolutes. First on the list as mentioned, know where your shut off valves are located and know how to shut off the water to your home. Shut off valves are usually found in your garage, outside wall, or utility area. Know how to shut off the water from your water meter. As a side note, if you’re going on a vacation, do not forget to turn off your water. Make sure you know where the cleanouts are around your home. This will be a significant advantage if you have ever experienced a clogged sewer line.
Know Your Garbage Disposal
Know how to reset your garbage disposal. On the bottom of your garbage disposal is a red reset button, gently depress it. If the button does not stay retracted, wait ten minutes and try again. Allow cold water to run when you turn the garbage disposal to the “ON” position. It should run again. If you cannot get your garbage disposal to reset, contact your plumbing contractor.
Know The Basic Of Your Water Heater
Have a basic understanding of your water heater, such as how to light the pilot and set the temperature. Learn how to maintain your water heater. LOWE’s has an excellent commentary on how to maintain your water heater: A water heater will usually last 10 years and up to 15 years or longer if adequately maintained. If your water heater breaks down and it’s well under ten years old, it usually only needs repairing.
Know Your Water Pressure
Low water pressure could mean many things: hard-water buildup in your pipes, a water leak, a partially closed shutoff valve or a faulty pressure regulator. These can all be the contribute to low water pressure. Whatever the case, knowing the signs can put you well ahead of the curve. Know how to check your own water pressure; you can purchase a water pressure gauge for less than 10 dollars. The pressure gauge fastens to the outside spigot just like a hose. Once connected, turn on the water. An ideal reading is 45 to 55 PSI. Knowing some basic information about your plumbing system can save you big in the long run.