Even for savvy homeowners, diagnosing — and fixing — plumbing problems can be a challenge. Although it is usually best to call a professional in the event of a major plumbing emergency, having a basic understanding of how the plumbing systems in your home work can save you a considerable amount of time, money, and frustration in the long run.
The expert plumbers at Arlinghaus have compiled this useful list of “tricks of the trade” to help you the next time you experience plumbing problems.
Tip #1: Find Your Main Water Shutoff Valve
The first thing every homeowner should know is the location of their main water shutoff valve. Usually located on an outside wall or in the basement, this valve controls all of the water flow into a home and can be used to prevent most plumbing catastrophes, such as a burst pipe.
Knowing where your main water shutoff valve is — and ensuring that you are able to shut it off by turning the handle clockwise — will help you immensely should a plumbing emergency occur.
Tip #2: Locate Your Isolation Valves
Most of the water supply sources in your home — such as sinks, toilets, and washing machines — also include shutoff valves close to where the water comes out. This allows you to stop the water flow in one place without shutting off your entire water supply.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with where these valves are located, and be sure that they are not covered with furniture or other home accessories; being able to easily access them could make the difference in the event of a plumbing disaster.
Tip #3: Be Wary of Your Washing Machine Hose
Did you know that burst washing machine hoses are one of the top homeowner insurance claims? It’s important to replace these hoses every three to five years, as aging hoses can easily lead to flooding in your laundry room and beyond. For additional peace of mind, consider investing in a stainless steel hose, which has a lower failure rate than those made of rubber.
Tip #4: Stay Prepared with a Plumbing Kit
Because plumbing problems can pop up anytime, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself by putting together a simple plumbing kit. This kit should include items such as a plunger to unclog drains and a multi-purpose screwdriver. A caulk gun can also be useful in a pinch for repairing seams on pipes and showers.
Tip #5: Don’t Always Try to DIY
Although there are many plumbing projects that can be handled in just a few hours and do not require special skills, it’s important to be aware that certain problems will require the attention of an expert.
For example, if you have standing water in your home, or if you are experiencing problems with water-based appliances such as your water heater or sump pump, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional plumber to ensure you do not create a bigger problem than the initial issue.
No matter what kind of plumbing problems you may be experiencing, the experts at Arlinghaus Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can handle it. Contact us to learn how we can help turn your home back into a “Happy House” today!