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Plumber checking the pipes under a sink

12 Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Household plumbing can be finicky, especially if you don’t properly care for it. Luckily, with some basic plumbing knowledge, there are plenty of things that homeowners in Knoxville, TN, can do to keep their pipes and drains in top working order. Keep these tips in mind, and you should be able to avoid — or get yourself out of — most common home plumbing problems.

1. Watch What Goes Down the Drain

Household drains are designed to handle water and a few other select waste items. They are not for trash, grease, or large pieces of food. This rule applies even if you have a garbage disposal.

2. Monitor Water Pressure

If your water pressure gets too high, there is a potential for burst pipes; too low, and you may have trouble running appliances like the dishwasher. Check your pressure regulator to ensure it is adjusted to the correct level for optimal performance.

3. Locate Shutoff Valves

Perhaps the most vital plumbing tip you could get is to locate your home’s shutoff valves now so that you can quickly turn off the water supply in the case of a leak. The most common places to look include:

Main shutoff for the houseShutoffs for specific roomsIndividual shutoff for fixtures

4. Protect Pipes From Extreme Cold

Freezing causes water to expand, which means burst pipes. Avoid the mess by learning plumbing basics for protection, such as insulating exposed pipes.

5. Learn How To Use a Plunger

Pouring clog-busting chemicals down a drain may be simple, but they can do serious harm to home plumbing and septic systems. Instead, learn how to use a plunger or snake to clear small clogs. Consider calling a plumbing professional for stubborn clogs that resist your efforts.

6. Don’t Overtighten Fittings

Resist the urge to give plumbing connections one last turn with a wrench. Many are perfectly fine with hand-tightening, and that last twist might strip the threads and cause a leak.

7. Clean Drains With a Shop-Vac

If you have kids, you know how all sorts of things can end up down the drain. In the case of toys or other hard objects, try using a shop-vac to suction the item out of the drain.

8. Look Out for Leaks

Keep an eye out for leaks in some of the most common areas of your home plumbing, such as dripping faucets, running toilets, and washing machine connections. If you spot a problem, have it fixed right away.

9. Know What Is Flushable

So-called flushable wipes have wreaked havoc on many a home plumbing system. Learn what is and isn’t flushable to avoid clogs.

10. Use Plumbers Tape

Using plumbers tape takes a few times to get the hang of, but it is one of the plumbing basics that all homeowners in Knoxville, TN, should master. It helps seal connections to eliminate leaks without overtightening and stripping threads.

11. Fix Leaks Right Away

If you take only one home plumbing tip to heart, let it be that all leaks should be addressed right away. Leaving them can lead to serious damage to drywall, flooring, and cabinets, not to mention potential mold growth you might deal with for years.

12. Maintain the Garbage Disposal

Consider a poorly named device, but you should not put all your garbage down a disposal unit. Certain food items can cause serious damage, possibly leading to the need for a new garbage disposal.

Knowing a few plumbing basics can help you get out of a sticky situation with home plumbing. However, when plumbing situations are more than you can handle, we are here to help. Contact Pioneer Heating & Air at (865) 351-0787 to schedule a service appointment today.

Image: Andrey Popov / Shutterstock

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