Plumbing sounds daunting, but it is something anyone who has managed, owned, or lived in a house has to do at some point. As a homeowner, you can try your hand to resolve a leaky faucet and call a professional when all else fails.
What you are about to learn today is a handful of plumbing skills. Knowing these basics won’t instantly transform you into a handyman or handywoman, but it will prove useful when the time comes.
Water Seeks Its Own Level
It is a metaphor for some but a fundamental principle for plumbers. Water seeking its own level is demonstrated in a simple experiment involving two empty bottles connected to a hose. When you pour water into one of the bottles, the liquid rises to the same level in the other container. This phenomenon is made possible by pressure and gravity and explains why you can install waterworks upstairs.
Get to Know the Main Parts
Survey your property, and meet these critical components of your water supply.
- Water main is the principal underground pipe that conveys water to your property through water lines.
- The main water shutoff valve cuts off the supply to the whole house; this fixture is likely found in the basement, outside wall, or within the perimeter of your home. Refer to the property’s inspection report to find its location.
- Individual shutoff valves are attached to a fixture or appliance. For toilets, their valves are typically on the wall and under the toilet tank. A sink’s shutoff valve is underneath the sink faucet housed in the cabinet. The valves for the washing machine are located behind it.
- The main sewer line takes all the waste from the tub, toilet, and sink out of your property and into the main sewer that runs underground. The location of the septic tank will lead you to the main sewer line.
Learn to Shut Off Water Supply
A leaking faucet, an overflowing toilet, or water seeping through the floor. What should you do?
- Pinpoint the source, and cut off the water supply connected to the concerned fixture. Read the point above on where to access shutoff valves.
- Go straight to the main water supply valve if you can’t find an individual valve, and prevent further damage in your house.
Deal with Clogs and Drains
Suppose something is blocking your sewer line and causes dirty water to back up in the tub or drain. In case of clogging, you need to not only locate the line but also to check if it has a sewer clean-out. The clean-out is a pipe with a protective cap that juts out of the ground, although sometimes it can get buried in leaves or hidden in the grass.
You can check any blockage in the clean-out and do the cleaning yourself with the proper equipment as some homeowners have done so themselves. It’s not unusual for a house without the sewer clean-out, especially if it is old and was built before relevant codes were passed.
Arm Yourself with Basic Plumbing Tools
Plumbing mishaps are an inconvenient yet regular occurrence in a household. You are more able to respond to the situation if you have the tools, even the basic ones, to help you out. What ought to be inside your toolbox?
- Wrenches loosen or tighten nuts, pipes, and fittings as in the case of leaking faucets. They are also used for gripping and handling. A basic wrench and pipe wrenches are good starters.
- Pliers enable you to grip and manipulate objects that can be too difficult for wrenches to handle. Nonetheless, nuts and bolts remain the specialty of wrenches for their torque.
- Plumbing tape ensures that water does not seep through, a sort of Band-Aid you can apply to a leak while waiting for the plumber.
Modern Problems Require Modern Plumbing Solutions
No matter how skilled you are as a DIY homeowner, there are tasks better left to professional plumbers. They have experience and knowledge in the field.
Nevertheless, specific improvements or installations such as bathroom additions require more time, energy, and expense if done traditionally. This is the appeal of toilets that flush up for homeowners who want a new bathroom without breaking up the floor and the bank.
The macerating toilet stands out because of its design and discharge system, as well as an effortless installation process that DIYers and professionals can perform. For all the upflush toilet’s efficiency, be careful with toilet paper because too much of it can still clog the toilet.
Are you ready for your first-ever major bathroom project?