Fixing your own plumbing can be a difficult and intimidating thing to try. There are so many things to know, and it seems like it could be easy to accidentally break something and make the problem worse. However, taking care of common plumbing problems can be easy with the proper knowledge. Read on for some practical tips on solving and avoiding plumbing issues.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
If a pipe freezes, make sure you turn the closest faucet to allow the thawing water to exit. This can prevent damage to your house because it lets the pressure that is in the pipe out, and keeps it from bursting.
Do not put cooking oils, fat, or grease, down your drain. These fats cause clogs by solidifying in pipes. To properly dispose of fats, put them in a bowl with a lid that you can dispose of. Once it gets hard, throw it in the trash or compost bin.
Use a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes, after you shut off the water to the house. A hairdryer will gently heat the pipe and thaw the ice without causing significant damage to the pipe. Shutting off the water first means that if the pipe is broken, there will be no rush of water into the house.
Use your garbage disposal with the cold water running so that you can preserve the blades of the disposal. Using hot water makes grease more liquid and can cause problems, including clogs. Make sure to clean blades by putting in a little dish detergent and run cold water at the same time.
If you have bad water pressure in the shower, the showerhead might be clogged. Take a plastic baggie, fill it with regular vinegar, and tie it to the showerhead so that the showerhead is covered. Leave it overnight. In the morning, take the baggie off and use a small toothbrush to …