If you own property where the temperature gets below freezing for an extended amount of time each year, you should make sure that pipes located in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces and garages, are insulated. Pipes that are exposed to the outside elements or those that are prone to freezing, should be protected by heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables to prevent them from freezing.

Avoid over-tightening water faucet handles. Use only enough pressure to stop the water from flowing and dripping from the faucet. Anything else is overkill and will quickly wear out the gaskets and washers inside those handles and cause leaking or the inability to stop the water from coming out of the faucet.

Before you can fix a toilet that does not flush properly, it is important that you find out what is causing the problem. Depending on what the problem is, you may be able to fix it yourself. However, more complicated toilet flushing problems may require the services of a plumber.

Unclog drains with ease. Try using a plunger and drain cleaner, as your clog may simply be a build-up of hair and debris. If this doesn’t work you may have to clear the drain with a snake. Feed the snake into the drain line as far as it will go. Turn the crank gently, which will help to loosen the clog. Remove the snake, and run water down the drain to see if the clog has been removed. You may have to use the snake a couple of times, before the clog is cleared so don’t give up!

Always keep your garbage disposal clean. You can do this in many ways. Pour some dish soap in and let the disposal run for a few minutes with some cold water. Be sure to run it regularly, if not, it can cause rust. To eliminate foul odors, grind lemon or other citrus peels. You can clean the walls of the disposal by grinding small fruit pits or egg shells.

Keep an eye on the grout between tiles in your bathroom. Watch for cracks and areas where the grout seems to be falling out, and repair them immediately. Small grout crack issues can be easily repaired by pulling out the bad and putting in new grout. Allow any new grout to dry completely before exposing it to water.

If you have plumbing pipes that are exposed, meaning you can see them as you walk through your basement, you should take the time to insulate them. This can be done easily by wrapping them with foam tubes that slide right over the pipes. This will prevent any damage due to freezing.

To winterize a house that will sit unused during the winter months, you must completely drain all of the pipes. After turning off the main water supply, let all of the water drain from the faucets, toilets, and water heater (turn off the gas). Add a quart of antifreeze to sinks and the tub to prevent water from freezing in the drain trap.

Insulate your pipes well to avoid winter freezing in your pipes. When your pipes are frozen, you have no water, so you want to do all you can to prevent this from happening. If you have any pipes that aren’t insulated, you can find various household items, such as newspaper and foam to be effective in insulating the pipes to protect from freezing.

If you’ve replaced the drain in a sink or tub it’s very important to do a leak test to make sure nothing is going to cause you water damage. First, dry off the drain completely so you won’t be mistaken by old water or condensation. Fill the tub or sink repeatedly and touch the drain to make sure it isn’t wet.

A bad faucet might need new parts. If you need to change the cap, cut it on the side with a rotary tool. Cut the exterior part and the plastic seal, but make sure you stay clear of the brass inside of it. You can easily replace the exterior of the cap and the seal.

Make sure you get a good recommendation or check the references before you hire a plumber. With good recommendations, it will assure that you are hiring an experienced plumber. If the experienced plumber is professional, he will have a fully stocked truck and be able to complete most small jobs in one visit.

If you drop a small item like a ring or earring into a sink drain, hope is not lost. By carefully removing the U-shaped trap underneath the sink, you can probably retrieve the item. Be aware that the trap will be full of water, though, so have something under it to catch the spills.

In conclusion, you could look far and long but will not find a greater collection of advice regarding plumbing other than what you were just exposed to. Use this information and pass it on to those that you know in order to remove any risks that faulty plumbing might cause.

Walton Weill is a scholar on Plumbers south shields