Isn’t it strange that they don’t teach people how to take care of their home’s maintenance tasks at school? So many homeowners run into trouble when they have to take care of a maintenance task, especially for plumbing. A small maintenance task ignored can lead to enormous bills later.
If you own a home but don’t know how to take care of your plumbing, read on for the answers to some commonly asked plumbing questions.
Q. What is hard water? How do I get rid of the stains and build-up?
A. Hard water used to refer to water that was hard to wash in; it prevents soap from lathering properly. The reason for this is due to the level of dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other elements it contains. It can result in a buildup of scale, which can cause problems, but a water treatment system can help solve this. A simple solution of 1-part warm water and 1-part vinegar in a spray bottle can get rid of the stains left behind. Simply spray the solution on the stains, let it sit a few moments, and wipe away.
Q. What should the water pressure in my home be at?
A. Water pressure of 40 to 60 pounds is considered “normal.” If you get above 80, you can cause problems with your fixtures and water heater.
Q. My faucet is dripping. What can I do to stop it myself?
A. Leaky faucets are among one of the most common plumbing issues. To get to the root of the problem, check your aerator. This is the mesh-like cap at the end of your faucet. It’s also possible to have worn out rubber seals, washers, and O-rings. Just changing these out can solve the problem.
Q. How long should my water heater last?
A. As long as you follow a proper maintenance schedule and fix any problems immediately, your water heater should last between 5 and 13 years, depending upon usage and maintenance.
Q. One of my pipes just burst! What do I do?
A. First things first. Turn off the water at the main valve and assess the damage, including the burst pipe as best you can. Turn off electricity to the affected regions of your home. Then take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. Remove saturated items and open windows to ventilate. Use a wet vac to remove the water and run a dehumidifier to draw water from the air. Call a plumbing specialist and if needed, a water damage clean-up crew.
Q. What’s the easiest fix for a clogged sink?
A. Many times, hot water will loosen anything that’s clogged your sink. If the hot water doesn’t work, a solution of baking soda and vinegar may do the trick. Mix the baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then follow it with hot water. If this doesn’t work, you might need to head to the store for a chemical drain unclogger. The last option would be snaking the pipes or taking the pipes apart.
These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions according to plumbers. While some plumbing projects can be done on your own, if you’re unsure about anything at all, play it safe and call a plumber for advice. They’ll be glad to answer any additional questions you have and could save you a hefty repair bill.