Back flow can happen to anyone on municipal water systems, so it’s important to prepare your plumbing for it. For example, put a vacuum-breaker fitting on your outdoor faucets to ensure that the water never ends up flowing backwards and causing you a massive headache due to water damage in your home.

In order to keep your shower and bath tub drains in proper working order, try pouring a potful of boiling water into the drain at least every other week. Using this approach will clear out the constant hair and soapscum build-up that may occur even if you have installed a drain screen.

Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut off valve is and that they know how to work it. That way, if there is a water problem, anyone in your household can turn off the water, thereby reducing the chances that your home will incur major water damage.

Drain cleaning chemicals may seem like a good way to eliminate build up in your drains but they should not really be used as often as you may think. There are many that contain very corrosive chemicals that are harmful to your pipes and may cause more damage than what the help your pipes.

If you have drains in your house that have not been used for a long period of time, pour one gallon of water through them to keep them functional. Furthermore, this will have the added benefit of reducing any odors from entering your house from lack of use during the year.

In the winter time to avoid your pipes freezing you should insulate them. If the pipes are going to be in a place that is exposed to severely cold weather, you should drain them if they aren’t being used. If the pipes are indoor you should open up the cupboards under the sink so more heat can get to them.

When dealing with a clogged drain and no snake is available, use a hanger to clear the clog. By straightening the hanger and bending a small hook at the end, you can create a long enough tool for most drains. Slide the hangar in as deep as possible and poke in and out repeatedly till the clog is cleared.

Rigid copper is used for main water lines in many homes. You cannot bend rigid copper, so joints and tees must be soldered on. When soldering, always apply flux (also called soldering paste) to both surfaces. Flux retards oxidation when the copper is heated. Always use lead-free or nearly lead-free solder when sweating a copper joint.

Believe it or not, it is not a very good idea to use a plunger if your toilet is clogged. Plungers just push whatever is stuck deeper into the drain. Instead, it is a better idea to use a closet auger. It will do a better job and is affordable.

You may want to consider tankless water heaters if you want to conserve water in your home. These kind of water heaters heat up your water as soon as it is being used, so you are not wasting energy on keeping your water hot when it is not being used.

If water is flooding your home, immediately switch off the main electrical power. If water comes into contact with any electrical components, it can become a fatal situation. Once the power is off, then deal with the flood water. Put your own and your family’s personal safety first, and show each member of the family how to shut off the power.

Regular maintenance of your plumbing lines is a great idea. Your options are getting your lines snaked or jetted. Jetted is a technology that is proven more effective than snaking is. It gets deeper and cleans harder. So jetting is a good idea next time you are having maintenance performed on your lines.

To be successful in any plumbing project, make sure you turn the water off before you start unscrewing pipes. This tip might actually sound insulting, but you are probably getting caught up in having the right tools and parts and being dressed right. Double check that there is not a splash waiting for you. Then triple and quadruple check.

If your drain in any device is taking longer to drain water, then you may need to have your pipes professionally cleaned depending on the severity of the circumstances. Before you do this, there are several different products you can try. However, some of them are professional strength and all products should be used with caution.

If you are looking to get new piping in your home, try to stay away from copper ones. Copper tends to have problems, due to water and soil corrosion. It is also harder to install these kinds of pipes. Steel or lead pipes tend to offer the best quality and are the most durable.

Hopefully, now that you’ve read the above tips, the fine art of plumbing is a little less scary to you. Remember what you’ve learned here, so that you can put in practice when you need to. Also, remember that when all else fails, a plumber is just a speed dial number away.

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