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The 19 Best Pieces of Plumbing Advice You'll Hear Anywhere

In this post, we've compiled 19 of the best pieces of plumbing advice you will hear anywhere. We've included tips for your toilet, sinks, and pipes, as well as seasonal tips for getting your plumbing ready for spring, summer, and winter. If you have any plumbing issues that you need fixed, contact the master licensed plumbers at WaterSmart. We know plumbing and no job is too big or too small for us to solve efficiently and affordably.

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Toilets

 

1. Unclog with a shop vacuum. If a hard object like a toy or a toothbrush has fallen into your toilet or drain causing it to be plugged, don't use a plunger. The plunger may just push the object deeper down. Try a shop vacuum instead to suck out the water and the object.

 

2. Periodically check your toilet for leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and wait about one hour. If the water in the toilet bowl changes colour, then your bowl is leaking. Over time this can waste a lot of water and increase your water bill. A plumber can easily fix this type of leak for you. Call the experts at WaterSmart today to help you.

 

3. Flush your toilet with a bucket of water. If you are going to be turning off your water supply while doing some plumbing projects, you can still flush your toilet. Before the water is turned off, fill up some buckets of water with about 8 litres of water. When you need to flush, simply dump the water from one bucket into the toilet bowl and it will flush as usual.

 

The following video shows how to flush a toilet with a bucket of water.

 

 

Sinks

 

4. Use expanding foam to quiet a noisy sink. According to the Familyhandyman.com, if you have a noisy stainless steel sink that vibrates and sounds like a gong, fill the space between the sink basins with expanding foam. You can do this once it is installed, but it's much easier if done before. Once the foam hardens, simply trim the excess away with a knife.

 

5. Use pipe insulation to stop your kitchen sink sprayer from sticking. Do you have difficulty pulling out your kitchen sink sprayer? It may be catching on the shutoff valves. To prevent this, purchase 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation from a home centre. It will cost about $3. Slip it over the pipes and shutoff handles. You may need to tape it to make it stay put.


6. Use a plunger before removing the sink trap. If you need to remove your sink trap, take a toilet plunger and give the drain a few plunges ahead of time. This should push out most of the water and mess in the trap for you. If you have a double sink, put a plug in the second drain to keep the air pressure intact.

 

Watch the following video for tips on plunging a double sink.

 

Pipes

 

7. Protect your copper pipes with adhesive-backed felt. If you have copper pipes, you may have noticed that hot water can make them expand and then grind against their pipe hangers and joists. You can purchase adhesive-backed felt at a hardware store. Cut the felt into strips, remove each hanger, and then wrap the felt around the pipe where it would come in contact with the hanger. Refasten the hanger afterward.

 

8. Prevent clogged pipes at the drain. Purchase strainers for each of your drains to stop hair and soap from clogging up your bathroom drains and food from clogging up your kitchen pipes.

 

9. Periodically inspect your pipes. Examine your visible pipes from time to time for any leaks. Replacing damaged pipes before they cause extensive water damage will save you a lot of money.

 

10. Use electrician's tape for a temporary fix. According to diyplumbingadvice.com if you get a leak in one of your pipes you can temporarily seal it by tightly wrapping it with electrician's tape.

 

11. Take a picture or your pipes. If you are building a new home or renovating, take a picture of your pipes before closing up the walls for reference later so you know where they are all located for your next project.

 

12. Locate hidden pipes with a magnet. According to the Familyhandyman.com tie electrical fish tape to a rare earth (neodymium) magnet and feed it into the drain lines through the cleanout plug. Use an ordinary compass to locate the magnet (and the hidden pipe). When the compass is near the magnet it will turn wildly.

Winter tips

 

13. Slightly turn on a tap to prevent freezing. If the forecast is calling for some extremely cold weather, and you think your pipes may be in danger of freezing, try turning on a tap or two just enough to allow for a slight drip. Diyadvice.com says that this should help because still water freezes faster than moving water.

 

14. Thaw frozen exposed pipes with a hair dryer. If a pipe has frozen and it is exposed, you can thaw it by directing a hair dryer or heat gun at it. If you are using a heat gun, be careful not to get too close. Keep a close watch for any drips or spraying water.

 

15. Thaw frozen hidden pipes with a portable heater. If you have a frozen pipe that is hidden in a wall, set a portable heater close by and direct it towards the pipe to thaw.

 

Spring and Summer Tips

 

16. Check your sump pump. If you have a basement and you live in an area that is prone to spring flooding or heavy summer thunderstorms, it is vital that you make sure that your sump pump is working properly. To test your sump pump, pour some water into the pit surrounding it. The pump should start after a few seconds, remove the water and then turn off. If it doesn't, or it's making strange noises, then contact a plumber. You may need to have it repaired or replaced.

 

This video will show you how to test your sump pump.

 

17. Check your outside hose faucets. Once the spring thaw comes, you should check all of your outdoor faucets for any drips or leaks. If one of the pipes froze over the winter, it will need repairing.

 

Miscellaneous

 

18. Keep your showerhead clean with vinegar. If you have hard water, the minerals in the water will leave deposits and eventually clog up your showerhead. You can effectively and safely clean your shower head by simply filling a plastic bag with vinegar and securing it around it. Leave it to soak overnight and in the morning it should look like new again.

 

19. Check your water heater. Your water heater shouldn't be set any hotter than 120 degrees. This will ensure that no one gets burned and it will also save you money on your energy bill.

 

Summing It Up

 

We hope you have found our tips and advice helpful. If you come across a plumbing problem that you aren't able to solve on your own, you can trust the professionals at WaterSmart to handle it for you. We have built a solid reputation in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the surrounding areas for reliability, honesty, and efficiency. Contact us for all of your plumbing and water softening needs.

 

Sources

 

Handy Plumbing Tips and Tricks  

Plumbing Tips For Spring

Plumbing Tips For Summer 

Thawing Frozen Winter Pipes and Winterizing 

 

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