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9 Plumbing Tips Homeowners need to know (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

1. Determine the location of the water shut-off valve

The main water shut-off valve is usually in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. It's noticed that this valve can be seen as the most important valve which allows water to flow through the pipe when it is opened. If homeowners find any serious leaking point or broken pipe, turning off this valve is the first step you need to do before calling a professional plumber.

2. Know how to use Plumber's tape correctly

Plumber’s tape (also called Teflon tape) is used to seal pipe threads to prevent leaks around joints and fittings. You should typically wrap the plumber’s tape three times around the pipe threads before sealing. Also note that white tape is designed for common household plumbing projects, while yellow is for gas line connections. Here are right steps to use this kind of tape

  1. Clean the male threads at the end of the pipe with a clean rag.

  2. Place the end of the plumber's tape on the second thread from the end of the pipe and hold it in place with a finger or thumb. The tape should lie flat (not bunched up) over the threads and extend perpendicularly to the length of the pipe.

  3. Begin wrapping the tape around the pipe in the opposite direction to the direction the pipe will be turned.

  4. Maintain tension on the tape so it wraps snugly around the pipe. Work away from the end of the pipe, overlapping the tape as you go.

  5. Complete four to six wraps around the pipe, finishing near the end of the threads (opposite the end of the pipe).

  6. Break the tape from the roll by gripping it between thumb and forefinger and pulling sharply; it breaks easily. Smooth the loose end down over the threads. The pipe is now ready to go into the fitting.

Source: The Spruce

3. Don't make Over-Tighten Fittings

If you try to screw plumbing fitting too tight, the risk of leak can increase due to warping the rubber seals inside the pipes over time. Remember this adage: “hand-tight is just right.”

4. Foods shouldn't go down the Drain

After cooking or enjoying your meal, almost people usually put everything down the kitchen sink as a convenient way to throw away wasted foods. Although there is a waste disposal unit underneath, some kinds of food can cause a blockage in your pipe. Let's take a look at the list below:

  1. Pasta: Pasta will continue to expand with more exposure to water each time you run the faucet, and the sticky semolina flour can gum up the pipes or fill the disposal trap.

  2. Rice: Rice grains can easily slip down the drain, but once there will absorb more water and swell.

  3. Potato peels: It’s convenient to peel spuds over the kitchen sink, but don’t send those peels down the drain. Potato peels turn into a gluey mass inside your plumbing pipes and pose a major clog risk.

  4. Coffee grounds: Since they’re not completely water soluble, when grounds mix with oil or grease already coating the pipes, you’ve got a real mess on your hands. Grounds should best be disposed of in the trash or, better yet, composted.

  5. Eggshell shards: The shells are hard on disposal blades, and the membranes can wrap around the grinding apparatus. Once ground, the tiny bits of the shell can compound other blockages. Better to compost than toss out.

  6. Seeds and grains: Chia seeds are great for weight loss, making a solid addition to your overnight oats. They're not so great for your garbage disposal. If you've ever added chia seeds to your yogurt or a smoothie, you've probably noticed them expand. They do the same thing in your garbage disposal, wreaking havoc in the same way that pasta and rice do.

  7. Flour: Flour can turn into a gluey paste if it gets down the drain

  8. Produce Stickers: They fall off easily in the sink while washing, but the plastic and adhesive stickers are rarely water soluble and can block screens and filters in treatment plants down the line

  9. Cooking oil: Oils are a major contributor to clogs and mix with other debris to create sludge (ew!). This also includes mayonnaise and salad dressings.

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