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Dos and Don’ts of Home Plumbing

If you’ve got out the do-it-yourself home plumbing book and you’re ready to do some home repairs on your own, congratulations!  Before you put wrenches to metal, however, here are some dos and don’ts to help you get started.  Let’s start with the things that you should DO:

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  • DO – Flush your kitchen sink drain with super hot water, either from your faucet or heated on your stove or in your microwave. Then fill up one side of your sink and break out the plunger;
  • DO – Plug up one side of your sink with a cloth and hold it while plunging your kitchen sink;
  • DO – Run full pressure hot and cold water while plunging your sink;
  • DO – Run your garbage disposal before running your dishwasher;
  • DO – Fill up your sink after using the garbage disposal, and then let it drain;
  • DO – Remove and clean your kitchen faucet aerator when the pressure is getting low. If it’s too tight to unscrew by hand, use channel lock pliers;
  • DO – Remove the screws from your bath tub faucet and kitchen wash bowl, then squirt a few drops of lubricating oil in each of the screw holes, or under the handle, if it’s removable;
  • DO – Clean out the inside of your toilet tank at least twice a year.  Don’t forget to turn off the water and flush the toilet first. Then add a bit of detergent inside the tank and scrub it with a brush;
  • DO – Scrape out the holes underneath the rim of your toilet bowl and under the toilet seat with a screw driver or the small end of a knife;
  • DO – Scrub out the 3/4 inch hole at the bottom of your toilet bowl;
  • DO – Go ahead and replace the gnarly, rotted rubber tank ball;
  • DO – Set the toilet tank water level to one inch below the top of the overflow pipe. Grab the end of the 1/4 inch rod and bend it down towards the float ball to lower the water level. Bend it upwards to raise the water level;
  • DO – Spritz a bit of lubricating oil onto mechanical parts of your toilet tank that are above the water level, including the ballcock valve and handle;
  • DO – Use a cloth to plug up the overflow while plunging your bath tub or bathroom sink. Plunge drains early, before they stop up completely;
  • DO – Remove bathroom drain stoppers and swab out the down pipe where they connect;
  • DO – Fill the bathroom sink wash bowl until it drains out through the overflow after plunging the drain. Use a small spring blush to clean the overflow drain;
  • DO – Spritz a bit of disinfectant type cleanser into the overflow drain.

When it comes to plumbing, sometimes the don’ts are just as important as the do’s.  Here are some things you should never do:

  • DON’T – Dump coffee grounds down the sink;
  • DON’T – Ever use any kind of drain cleaners that have lye as one of the main ingredients;
  • DON’T – Jam any sort of rod or wire down into your sink drain;
  • DON’T – Place heavy objects on a shelf above your porcelain or china sink.  Objects that fall into your sink can crack or chip porcelain, china or even chip a cast iron sink;
  • DON’T – Use the lid of your toilet tank as a shelf – you know who you are;
  • DON’T – Place a shelf for knickknacks above your toilet – they will always end up in the toilet;
  • DON’T – Dump dirty cleaning water into your toilet; you’re likely to dump the rag with it;
  • DON’T – Pour scalding water into your toilet. The drastic change in temperature can crack the bowl.

These are just a few helpful tips from those who have been there and done that.  If you’re still ready to dive in and get started, more power to you.  If not, call in an expert.

Call Fenwick Home Services. Our team of professional plumbers will arrive on time, in uniform and ready to provide top notch service to you. You can feel assured that the service provided is backed up by knowledge of two generations of certified plumbers. Call us today to schedule your  free estimate.