There are five things your plumber needs you to know. Have you ever stopped to think that your plumbing system is at the center of what takes place in your home? Without our plumbing, we don’t shower, wash clothes, shave, cook, clean, water our garden, or even flush a toilet. Yet, most homeowners know very little about it. Ask a homeowner where their water shut-off valve is, and only about half could tell you. A percentage of those people would probably take you down to the main shut-off at the meter. Most don’t even know how to check their water pressure. Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase “knowledge is power,” and nothing could be more truthful, especially when it comes to your plumbing system. You don’t need to know how to fix a water heater or repair a burst pipe, but some basics will help you in the long run. These five facts, you can save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.
Your plumber may want you to Locate your water main shut-off valve
It’s time to locate your water shut-off before a plumbing emergency strikes! Just imagine yourself scrambling to find the shut-off while water gushes from a broken pipe in your home. Any time a pipe breaks or you suspect a leak, turning off the water should be your first step before calling your plumber. There are two ways to shut the water off to your home. One way is from the water meter at the street. There is a lever inside your meter that turns the water off to your house. For quick shut-off in the case of a plumbing emergency or plumbing repair, use your home’s shut-off valve, usually located in the garage or on the perimeter of your home. A good way of locating it is by walking a straight line from the main meter to the house.
Your Plumber needs you to know how to check your water pressure
If your water pressure is too high, it can place a strain on your plumbing system and appliances. Eventually, if left unchecked, it could lead to your pipes leaking. You can purchase a simple water pressure meter from your local home center or online for less than ten dollars; it will help you determine whether your pressure is too high or too low. Simply shut off all appliances that use water in the home, attach the meter to a water outlet close to your home’s water supply, and turn on that faucet. A good water pressure reading is between 40 and 60 psi. If your water pressure is over 80 psi, it in violation of the city code. Additionally, you may need to repair or replace your home’s pressure reducing valve; if you cannot seem to get your water pressure under control, call for a Big B’s Plumbing specialist.
Never pour grease down your drains
We’ve heard it a million times don’t pour oil, fat, or grease (OFG)down your sink. It would surprise you just how many people still dispose of their OFG by dumping it into their kitchen sinks. Pouring grease down your sink once or twice will not cause it to back up, but creating the habit of doing it will wreak havoc on your kitchen drain and sewer main. You may think that running hot water down your drain will keep the grease from collecting; nothing could be further from the truth.
Once inside your pipes, hot water becomes cold quickly. The water continues to flows, and the OFG hardens, coating the pipe walls. Eventually, over some time, your drain will clog. Pour used oil or grease into a container and throw it away; clean out greasy pots and pans with a paper towel before washing them. While you’re at it, refrain from putting meats, food scraps, dairy products, butter, coffee grinds, rice, eggshells, and pasta down your drain.
Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper and human waste
No matter what the box says, feminine hygiene products are not flushable! Ditto for paper towels, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, or anything else other than toilet paper. No agency regulates these products from saying “flushable.” Any company could say “flushable” whether they are or not. The fact is, they do not break down like toilet paper and are known to clog your drains and sewer systems. Don’t flush these things down the toilet unless you want to pay your plumber to remove them from your pipes later.
Know our phone number
No matter how dedicated you are to maintaining your home, plumbing emergencies are likely. If you keep our number programmed into your phone or posted on your fridge, we can dispatch help to you immediately. In the case of a gas leak, keep your gas companies hotline number handy as well.