In addition to reducing the odds of developing health problems, proper plumbing improves our quality of life. Fully functional water and sewerage systems are therefore essential to our well-being. Since the installation, repair, replacement, or maintenance services offered by a professional plumber can ensure the best flow of water and waste, having the contact details of several plumbers is wise. Even so, these services come at a price, one you may not always find affordable. Here are five plumbing hacks that can help you save money.
1. Shutting off the main water supply
Since flowing water might escalate the situation, you must know how to shut off the main water supply and remember to do so to contain any plumbing problem. If a pipe breaks and water starts flooding your home, you’ll probably have less than a minute to prevent an even bigger disaster. The best way to stop water from flooding your entire house is to disconnect the main supply, which means locating and closing your main shut-off valves. Knowing their physical location is, therefore, crucial. Unfortunately, shut-off valve locations can vary depending on the home. Take the time to find your main shut-off valve and learn how to operate it.
2. Keep your drains clean
Flushing out your lines every few weeks is the best way to protect your plumbing system against clogs and other internal breakdowns. You will need drain repair services less often if you flush warm water down the toilet at least once a week to break up clogs and loosen any debris stuck in the pipes or along the bowl’s wall. Flushing out your sink is of particular importance if you use a garbage disposal, which increases the odds that food scraps will get trapped in your drain.
3. Unplugging the toilet without a plunger
If your toilet needs unplugging, you don’t necessarily have to use a plunger or call a plumbing company. There is a simpler and faster way, one that requires water and a waste paper basket. Bend down to the back of the toilet and shut the water off at the valve. Pour hot water into the toilet. Remember, the hotter it is, the better. Heat eliminates the problem by breaking down clog-causing substances. Add shampoo or hand soap if hot water doesn’t work, the extra ingredients will break down the toilet contents and clear the plug.
4. Unclogging your sink
Since an alarming amount of non-decomposing matter and pollutants are exposed to the environment through sinks, a simple do-it-yourself plumbing solution might be worth your while. Pour hot water down the drain and then sprinkle in a ¼-½ cup of baking soda. Mix a cup of vinegar with the same amount of hot water, and pour the solution down the pipe. The explosive reaction should loosen and dislodge food particles, oily residues, debris and other inhibitors from the tube’s inner surface. Allow about ten minutes before pouring room temperature water down the drain to wash the reaction away and clear the clog.
5. Removing mineral buildup
Lime, calcium and other minerals found in water are likely to accumulate in your faucets, showerheads and nozzles over time, especially if you have hard water. Mineral buildup and rust can clog your plumbing lines and fixtures. As a result, you will have reduced water pressure and slow water flow from those fixtures. To remove mineral buildup, carefully unscrew the affected fixtures and soak them in a vinegar solution overnight. Vinegar helps clear the buildup by eating away at the minerals. Use an old toothbrush to give each fixture a quick scrubbing before re-attachment.
If any of the simple plumbing hacks listed above fails to work, contacting a professional plumbing company is the best option. More information and resources can be found on the Drain Rescue Plumbers website.