You need to winter-proof your house. You have to make sure you switch of the master circuit breaker or the shut-off valve before you leave your house. Since one small hole or congested water can quickly freeze and cause pipes to break and expand, you need to drain and open all outdoor and household water lines.

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.

To keep your drains moving freely and free from gunk and buildup, pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar down each drain once a month. The foaming action helps to push stuck substances through the pipe, while the vinegar neutralizes odors. You can follow this solution with a kettle of boiling water for extra cleaning power.

To get rid of dirt that accumulates under the edges of faucets, consider using an old toothbrush, rather than cleaning products. Many cleaning products will just cause damage to your faucets, and some of this damage could be severe. Just dip the toothbrush into warm water and then use it.

Plunging is not the only way to unclog a troublesome toilet. If the water in the basin is sitting low and you know there’s a clog, try dropping hot water directly into the basin with a little bit of elevation, to apply enough force to help move along the clog.

The next time you have a clogged drain, avoid the simple solution of dumping drain-clearing chemicals into the pipes. While this method involves the least amount of effort, the chemicals in these liquid cleaners are destructive to your piping. Instead, consider using a little bit of elbow grease with a plunger, snake, or other device designed to clear your clog without chemicals.

As the weather begins to get cold, attend to all of your exposed pipes by adding insulation to them. Pay particular attention to pipes located in crawl spaces and the outside walls of your residence. Taking this step will help ensure that your pipes continue to function throughout the winter.

Never pour grease of any kind down your kitchen drains, especially grease from animal sources, which tends to harden rather quickly. The grease can congeal in your pipes and cause disastrous clogs and back-ups. It’s better to dispose of grease in the trash to keep your drains flowing well.

During the summer, purchase a timer that will restrict the amount of water that your sprinklers give off. Using excess water on your lawn can lead to an increase in your water bill and create plumbing issues down the road. Also, this will help to automate a manual process, saving you time and effort.

Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking.

Anchor down pipes if there are noises that are getting on your nerves. If your pipes are making those annoying squeaking and knocking noises, the best solution could be to anchor down your pipes. Make sure that you are checking the exposed pipes first then working your way into the home.

Never pour grease down the kitchen-sink drain. This will help you avoid clogs in your kitchen sink. Place grease in a can or other receptacles and dispose of in the trash. Grease that has congealed on pots, and pans can be wiped off with paper towels that can be thrown in the trash.

If your water bill seems unusually high and you haven’t changed your water usage, the problem is most likely in the service line. The cost to hire a professional to find and repair the service line most often is far greater than installing a new line and then having the old one shut off permanently.

In any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you always test the drains and the supply lines before you close up the walls. It is a lot easier to find and solve problems if you look for them while you are still in the process of actively doing the job.

Make sure that your tool box is ready for any project you are preparing to do. The last thing you want is to be knee deep in a job only to find that you are missing the one tool you need to finish. Be sure to have various sizes of pipe wrenches that can be used to complete any job.

In conclusion, you know that it is more than significant to obtain reliable and helpful information when it comes to plumbing. Your time is important and so is the work that you do. Go out and use the advice provided here and be assured you are doing the right thing.

Deangelo Markoff is a scholar on Plumbers south shields