There are seven things your plumber wants you to know. It may come as a surprise, but many homeowners don’t have a basic knowledge of their plumbing system or fixtures. When something goes wrong, panic sets in. Every homeowner should have basic knowledge of their plumbing system because having that information will go a long way if a problem occurs.
Your Plumber Says “Know Where Your Shut-Off Valves Are Located”
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 plumber will want you to shut off water to the home until they arrive. There are two valves that will shut the water off to your home.
First, your home’s shut-off valve usually gets positioned within the main water meter, which monitors the amount of water entering your home from the municipal water supply. The water meter is typically positioned in the front of your property, close to the curb or sidewalk. The cover is clearly labeled “water” and is concealed within a concrete hole. To access, remove the heavy lid using a screwdriver. The meter has two shut-off valves: one is for your municipal water district, and the one closest to the house is for the residence. Some meters require a crescent wrench to shut off, while others have a handle.
The other shut-off valve is called a ball valve, and it’s attached to your incoming water supply line around the point of entry to your home. For example, you might locate it around the water heater. It usually has a lever-type handle that will quickly turn off the water to the house in an emergency or a repair.
Your plumber wants you to Know Where All Your Cleanouts Are
Your sewer cleanout is a pipe or pipe(s) fitted with a cover that allows your plumber easy access to the main sewer pipe for the purpose of removing blockages. The lateral sewer pipe is the sewer connection that links your home to the municipal public sewer system main. Typically, the cleanout gets positioned along the main sewer line.
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 usually get located near the exterior walls. 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
Your plumbing system is a vast maze of pipes that run through walls, ceilings, and in the foundation of your home. 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.
Know What You Can and should not Flush Down Your Toilet
Your toilet is not a trash can! Therefore, your plumber will tell you never flush paper towels, sanitary napkins, cotton balls, tampons, medication, cigarette butts, or baby wipes, even the ones that say flushable. In other words, solid and liquid waste, along with toilet paper, should be the only things flushed down the toilet.
Know What NOT To Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
Your plumber will tell you first hand, treat your garbage disposal right, and it will keep working for years. For example, never subject your garbage disposal to fruit pits, coffee grounds, bones, eggshells, grease, pasta, potato peels, and celery. Instead, put it in a small canister with a lid and filter. Set aside your scraps in the canister and start composting. The composting canister costs about 20 dollars on Amazon. You can pick up a used one on OfferUp, Craigslist, or eBay for cheap. The compost works great for the garden and trees, and your garbage disposal will love you for it.
Invest In A High-Quality Plunger
I think we would agree that our plungers don’t get enough credit. What would we do without our plungers? For many of us, they pulled us out of some pretty embarrassing situations. All plungers are relatively inexpensive. There are three types of plungers: the common sink plunger, the accordion plunger, and the common toilet plunger. The toilet plunger works well on both sinks and toilets. A plunger will be your best friend when clearing sinks and drains.
Don’t Ignore Water Leaks
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. Although most water leaks the average homeowner can fix, such as a worn toilet flapper. It cost less than ten bucks and takes less than ten minutes to fix. Replace old leaky showerheads and faucets with low-flow fixtures. The latest low-flow showerheads provide an excellent shower experience.