Illustrated pipes

Plumbing for Beginners

If you’re a first-time homeowner, it's important to become familiar with your plumbing system. Not knowing how to handle unexpected problems can cause you a lot of stress. Here are a few plumbing tips for beginners.

Know the Location of Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

Every adult in your home should know the location of the main water shutoff valve. It’s designed to completely stop water from passing through the plumbing system. During an emergency, such as a burst pipe, you must close the water shutoff valve as soon as possible. This simple step can help prevent thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

While the location of the water shutoff valve can vary from one home to the next, it’s often found in the crawlspace or basement. If you’re having trouble finding the water shutoff valve, contact a plumber. To shut off the water, simply turn the valve clockwise.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

There’s a good chance you’ll encounter a clogged drain at some point. Chemical drain cleaners can be purchased at virtually any supermarket. While these products don’t require much effort to use, they are extremely dangerous. The chemicals create extra heat, which can gradually degrade pipes. You should also consider the fact that chemical drain cleaners are bad for the environment.

Cleaning your drains every month using a natural solution is a far better approach. A 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water is strong enough to break down built-up gunk. After pouring the mixture down the drain, allow it to sit and fizz for about 10 minutes. Next, rinse it away by pouring boiling water down the drain.

Adjust the Temperature On Your Water Heater

When installing a water heater, plumbers set the thermostat to a certain temperature. While too low of a temperature can promote the growth of bacteria, an excessively high temperature can cause your energy bills to rise. Most experts consider 120 degrees Fahrenheit to be optimal.

If you have a gas-powered water heater, the process of adjusting the temperature is extremely easy. You’ll simply need to turn a knob to set the thermostat. Meanwhile, adjusting the temperature on an electric water heater requires a few more steps. Your first action should be to turn off the power, which can be done by flipping a switch in your home’s circuit breaker. Afterward, remove the two thermostats using a screwdriver. Once the thermostats are out, the temperature can then be adjusted.

Be Careful About What You Flush Down the Toilet

Never treat your toilet like a garbage disposal. Ideally, you shouldn’t flush anything other than your “business” and bathroom tissue. Some of the worst things to flush include diapers, personal hygiene products, antibacterial wipes, and cigarettes. All of these items can block the sewer line.

An easy way to prevent a clog is to put a trash can in the bathroom. Your family and guests will be far less likely to toss stuff into the toilet. It’s also important to avoid using too much toilet tissue at one time. Just in case you still encounter a problem, keep a plunger in the bathroom at all times.

No matter the plumbing problem you face as a homeowner, it’s important to have the number of a trusted plumber in your contacts. If you’re in the Salem area, you can trust the plumbing experts at DoneRite Plumbing & Drain, LLC. Give us a call or visit us online with any of your questions or if you need a quote!