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Everyone has questions about plumbing at some point in time. Some of us may need to know how to do general repair work, while others simply want to gain knowledge on doing general maintenance. Read on to learn the answers to these questions so that you can handle plumbing problems yourself.

You always want to solder correctly, the biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe clean and shiny. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. When soldering, never heat the pipe, but instead heat the fitting. Doing so allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.

Make sure everyone that lives in your house knows where to find and use the main water shut off valve in case there is a burst pipe emergency. This is especially important if you live in an area where your pipes may freeze. Take a moment to show your family members where the valve is and how to properly shut it off.

Do not pour grease or oil down any of your household drains. Put them in containers and place in the fridge until they are solid, then throw them away. If you pour them down the drain, they can solidify in cold pipes. These solid masses will clog your pipes and are very difficult to remove.

There are simple ways to check your toilet for leaks that can ultimately lead to great cost savings in the long run. The easiest way to do this is to pour a small amount of food dye into the holding tank of your toilet overnight. In the morning, if you have any color in the basin then you know you have a leak that needs some attention.

One of the things that you can do to safeguard your home from any serious plumbing issues is to install a flood alarm. This is a device that will sound when it comes in contact with water, alerting you if there are any issues in a particular area in the house.

Periodically, make sure that the sump pump in your house is working to full capacity. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit, and your pump should drain that water out with minimal issues. Checking that your devices are working throughout the year can pay large dividends in the event of a crisis.

In any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you always test the drains and the supply lines before you close up the walls. It is a lot easier to find and solve problems if you look for them while you are still in the process of actively doing the job.

The most important plumbing tip you need to know is -- how to turn off your home's main water supply. Once the water is shut off, you can investigate problems and figure out how to resolve them. Walk the family through the house and show them where all the water shut-off valves are, and how to use them.

If your sewer and main lines keep clogging up, then it is very possible that you have a tree root blockage problem. There are over the counter products you can buy to attempt to get rid of this problem. This is very effective, yet the problem is usually very extensive. Therefore, it may require a professional to come out and solve the problem completely.

Do not pour grease and oil down your drains. Cooking grease will build up in your pipes and could cause back-ups. Keep grease and oil in a container in your fridge and throw it in the trash when it is full. Avoid clogging your pipes with any products containing oil or grease.

To prevent the most common kitchen sink clogs, avoid putting any sort of solid foods down your drain. Many foods, such as eggs and vegetable and fruit waste actually harden with exposure to cold water and over time can form clogs that are next to impossible to remove without professional help.

To avoid water damage to walls in the kitchen, make sure all seams in your counter tops and back splash are properly sealed using a waterproof silicone. Silicone will dry out over time, crack and shrink and should be replaced once every three years. Keeping your silicone in good shape will keep kitchen spills where they belong and not running down the walls.

Do not use a chemical drain opener when you are attempting to unclog your drains. These chemicals are caustic and can actually burn you if they come in contact with your skin. If you must use them, do so while wearing protective clothing like gloves on your hands and shirts with sleeves long enough to cover your arms.

Being prepared will be of assistance, should a plumbing issue arise. Additionally, performing a bit of routine maintenance easily keeps problems from cropping up when you least expect them. Keep these tips handy so you'll be prepared for any future plumbing need.

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December 28th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

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