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Just bought a new home in Mansfield, TX? As exciting as this time may be, there are going to be a lot of new challenges you will have to face. Owning a home is rewarding, but it is also extremely stressful since you are now responsible for every major system in your home. Even if you purchased a new home, things can still go wrong. It is to your benefit to learn how to make minor repairs and troubleshoot big problems before they become major issues. Treating your plumbing system right is one great way to make sure that you don’t have to call the plumber any time soon.
Believe it or not, a lot of major plumbing issues that result in a call to an emergency plumber are the result of simple misuse of the system or user errors. Even in older homes where plumbing may need a bit more attention, a lot of phone calls are caused by clients either misusing or stressing out their plumbing system. Reading a bit about good plumbing habits and then making everyone in your household aware of them can help keep expenses down for awhile.
Either way, there are some things that you need to learn about your plumbing system, and it is better to familiarize yourself now. For instance, do you know where your water main is? This is not something you want to be running to find in the middle of an emergency flooding situation following a pipe bursting. Even if you are just making a simple repair, you need to be able to find your water main. If you don’t know where it is, head down to your basement or the bathroom on the lowest floor and start looking around until you do. For those who tend to be forgetful, double check with your plumber on locations make a note on your phone or scribble down the location on a notepad. You will thank yourself later.
This is just one of the many things that a new homeowner has to figure out about their plumbing system. The following is a comprehensive list of how to treat your plumbing system properly. Learning a thing or two about plumbing will keep you from calling the plumbing within the next month within any luck, although it is not a bad idea to ask around and have the number of an expert plumber in your phone in case of an unforeseen emergency.
Buy the Right Plunger for the Job
Most people don’t think about a plunger until they need it, but an overflowing toilet is not the right time to run to Wal-Mart or your local hardware store. It’s a good idea to always have a plumber on hand, and if there are two floors to your home you may want to consider keeping a plunger on both floors. However, before buying a plunger you want to make sure you get the right size.
You can buy multiple types of plungers. Some are made for the sink or tub while others are made for the toilet. In general, if you have plumbing issues with our tub or sink you will need a cup plunger. If you are only worried about your toilets then you will need to buy a flange plunger. Just because you haven’t had to use a plunger yet doesn’t mean you never will. A plumber will confirm that.
Homeownership is much different than renting, and a clog in the toilet can be costly if not promptly taken care of. Even if a plunger isn’t a very impressive housewarming purchase, make sure to toss at least one or two in your shopping cart. One day down the road you will be glad you did.
Pay Attention to What Goes Down Your Kitchen Sink
Out of all of the drains in your home, your kitchen sink is the most likely to get clogged. Ask any plumber, and they will tell you that they regularly troubleshoot clogs in the kitchen sink. This is because it is easy to toss dozens of household substances down the kitchen sink that have no business in a drain.
Common issues arise from people washing fats, oil, and grease down the drain. It is very easy to just rinse and wash a greasy pan in the sink, but every time you do this a bit more grease slips down the drain. Think about what happens if you don’t get to the greasy pan right away, the grease turns into a hard solid. Eventually, after you flush enough grease down your sink it hardens and sticks to the sides of your pipes. This can cause a clog or a severe obstruction that results in a leaking or burst pipe. Instead, consider scrapping the grease or draining it into a container that you can properly dispose of later once full. If you think any of these things have gone down your disposal it might be a good idea to ask a plumber to check.
Soap can also be an issue implicated in a lot of kitchen sink clogs. When combined with minerals in hard water over time the oils from soap will build-up and eventually obstruct a pipe. This will cause water to back up and potentially sewage creating a huge mess in your kitchen. Of course, most people question how they can stop using soap in the kitchen sink since hand washing and dishwashing is a huge chore that takes place in the kitchen. First of all, consult a plumber to see if hard water in your area is an issue. If it is, consider installing a water softener which will immediately erase the issue
Finally, kitchen sinks tend to be clogged the most in homes that have a garbage disposal. This is because people think they can toss anything they want down the drain and the disposal will take care of it. Garbage disposals are made to grind food, not to pulverize it down into liquid form. If you continually toss large scraps down your sink eventually they will clog up and then you will not only have to deal with a clogged sink that doesn’t drain, but also a broken garbage disposal. Treat your garbage disposal like a backup in case food scraps slip by you accidentally, don’t use it interchangeably with your trash can and you can keep your kitchen sink in much better working condition. And have your plumber check it when they come out on a service call.
Be Reasonable with Your Water Usage
Most people don’t think much about their water usage until one of three things happens: a pipe bursts, the water bill is extremely high, or someone gets burnt. Avoid dealing with any of these scenarios by following these simple tips that have to do with your general water usage.
First off, resist the urge to turn your water pressure all of the way up. Everyone likes strong water pressure in the shower in the morning. However, there is often a high price to pay for high water pressure. High water pressure exerts a lot of pressure on the pipes in your home and can lead to joints leaking and other related issues. An older piping system may even burst under the extra force exerted on it by high water pressure. Be reasonable about the pressure you expect your home plumbing system to deliver. Keep in mind also that high water pressure will result in the use of a lot more water, which means a high water bill. You don’t need to reduce your water pressure to a trickle, but consider what a good medium is for your home.
Second, resist the urge to turn the temperature of your water up too high. Once again, there is nothing like a hot shower in the morning, but it’s not worth it if hot temperatures burn a member of your family. Young children in particular burn easily, and if you keep your water set too warm it’s possible that a faucet could get knocked at some point resulting in burns. You could even burn yourself unknowingly. Plus, your hot water heater will have to work much harder to keep extremely hot water on hand, which also results in higher energy bills.
Third, keep a close eye on your water bill. Since you are a new homeowner you are probably not aware of what your water bill should be like. Don’t just assume that paying a high bill is normal for your new home. As you get to know your neighbors ask them what their bills tend to look like. While you have to account for the size of a home and the number of people in it, there shouldn’t be a large disparity. If you are paying a lot more than your neighbors it’s time to call a Mansfield, TX plumber and have them investigate the matter.
Regularly Check Floor Drains
New homeowners are usually excited about decorating their homes and making them truly theirs. Changing flooring and painting can be exciting because the results are immediate, but don’t forget to make small routine checks on your sewage system components from time to time. Admittedly, nothing is exciting about a sewer system, but if it suddenly backs up and causes a large amount of property and flood damage you will wish you had paid a bit more attention. But it’s a good reminder to call your plumber a little more often.
In general, it’s a good idea for homeowners to check their floor drains from time to time. Cleaning out the trap and making sure there is enough water to create pressure is a great way to prevent flooding in the future. If you notice any problems with the way your floor drain is draining, such as slow draining water or puddles that appear from time to time it’s time to call in an expert.
The problem with a floor drain is that it is the lowest drain in the home in most cases. This means if there is an issue with any other system in the house, the water will back up at the floor drain. Unless you have extensive plumbing experience, troubleshooting a problem that can stem from any room in the house can be somewhat impossible. Plumbers in Mansfield, TX, on the other hand, are used to dealing with floor drains that suddenly start backing up.
Many times it is the result of a blocked sewage pipe, which has multiple solutions. Generally, an experienced plumbing company will use CCTV technology to send a small camera down the pipe via a wire to investigate where the blockage is. Once they find the blockage they can identify the problem and the best way to fix it. If you have purchased an older home, it may be a good idea to book an annual sewer cleaning package from a local plumber. This can help prevent you from unpredictable flooding around your floor drain that requires an emergency plumber.
Schedule Routine Plumbing Service Today
One of the smartest things you can do after purchasing a home is to contact a plumber to assess your plumbing system. They can provide regular maintenance and let you know if there are any issues that you may need to address in the future. Proactively addressing issues can help save you from shocking surprises down the road. They can also recommend a future service schedule and offer you some local tips for maintaining your plumbing system.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth has an extensive amount of experience helping customers in the Mansfield, TX area deal with their plumbing issues. We offer a variety of routine plumbing services along with plumbing repair services. In addition, we always have on-call plumbers that can come out in an emergency to help you get your plumbing system restored to its best condition. Give us a call today and we will send one of our trained technicians out to assess your plumbing system and offer you some pointers as a new homeowner.