When it comes to starting out with DIY plumbing, things can be a little overwhelming for most people. If you’ve literally no idea where to start, here are fourteen essential plumbing tips that’ll get your plumbing skills started. Remember if all elase fails dial up one of our Bedford Plumbers to help
There’s no reason why anyone should put off learning a few home DIY skills, and the easiest place to start is with the simple jobs that’ll make the biggest impact.
How to Shut Off the Water
It doesn’t get more important than this. If you’re going to have a go and start cracking open toilets and sinks, you need to know that you’re not going to spray water absolutely everywhere and flood the place.
That means cutting off the water. For most homes, that just means finding the main water shut-off valve and turning it off. In emergencies, this knowledge can save you a whole lot of damage.
The Easiest Improvement: Get a Strainer
The vast majority of blockages are a result of hair, soap and bits of food going down the plughole and forming an impacted blockage down there.
Just sticking a cheap plastic strainer in place could save you a lot of hassle going forward. For the sake of a couple of quid, it’s definitely worth it.
Change out the Parts in Your Faucet or Toilet
When things go wrong or break, don’t be afraid to take the lid off the cistern or get under the sink and have a rummage around. These parts are designed to be quickly and easily taken apart and put back together, and replacing parts couldn’t be easier.
Most new parts come with explicit instructions when it comes to installation too, so the only thing actually stopping you is you!
Remove Blockages without Chemicals
The problem with chemical pipe clearing products, besides the price, is always going to be the potential damage to your piping. These chemicals are noxious enough to quickly destroy hair and grease, which means that if you use them enough, they’ll eventually go through your pipes too.
Invest in both a drain snake and plunger and get the problem sorted without shortening the life of your plumbing.
Fine Tune Your Showerhead
Is it blasting a little too hard? Not hard enough? Dripping water everywhere? If it’s all blocked up, give it a thorough clean with some vinegar to clear the mineral deposits.
If the threads are worn out, get a little thread tape in there and make sure everything is tight and functioning.
Thread Tape Makes Everything Better
So much of plumbing requires tight, perfect screw fits between parts that it’s no wonder thread tape is a plumbers best friend. Whether it’s a leak or you’re just looking to avoid future leaks, get some thread tape in there.
At the very least, it’s a useful thing to have in your toolbox, think of it as the plumbing equivalent of duct tape!
Know the Difference between PVC and CPVC
As a rule, it’s pretty key to know the differences between these two pipe materials. CPVC is generally used for hot water, as it’s much less likely to warp, whereas PVC is generally only used for cold water. Some kinds of PVC can be rated to function at high pressure too.
Use Heat to Loosen Tight Fittings
If you’ve ever spent a frustrating twenty-minutes trying to loosen a tight fitting or nut, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about here.
Use a small propane torch lightly and you’ll have the fittings apart in no time. Note: don’t try to use a propane torch near gas pipes or on plastic piping.
When Water Bills Suddenly Increase, Look for a Leak
If you’ve noticed a substantial jump in your water bills, don’t let it slide. Generally, this means you’ve sprung a leak somewhere in the home.
Whether it’s your toilet running the whole time or a leaky tap, this could be costing you a whole lot of money for the sake of a very simple quick fix. Get searching for leaks.
Optimise Your Water Heater for Maximum Efficiency
There’s all kinds of ways to make sure you’re using your water heater right. First off, the whole thing should be insulated, let’s not waste heat.
The thermostat could be set way too high, it needs to be no more than 115 degrees. As well as that, check the lines for blockages and occasionally replace the water inside. That’ll get things running efficiently.
Use Food Colouring to Check for a Leaky Toilet
If you’re searching for that annoying leak that’s costing you a fortune in your water bill, check the toilet. At least with taps, you can see and more irritatingly, hear the drip. With toilets, it can be a bit trickier.
An easy way to find the leak is with food colouring. Put a little bit in the cistern, and if the colour starts to bleed through into the bowl, you know you’ve sprung a leak and probably need to change the flapper.
How to Prolong Your Toilets Life
Don’t flush anything you shouldn’t be flushing. That means wet wipes, feminine hygiene products and anything else that occurs to you. This will shorten the life of your toilet.
Keep a plunger next to your toilet too, this should always be the first port of call when you get a blockage in your loo. If things are really serious, it’s time to call a plumber.
Maintenance is Key
Plumbing maintenance really isn’t all that hard, but it could save you some real hassle in future. It all just comes down to regularly checking everything over, looking for corrosion and build-ups.
Check things over once every season, and you’ll cut your unpleasant surprises down massively.
Keep an Eye on Appliance Warranties
Boilers, washing machines and other important appliances generally come with a warranty of some description.
Don’t just install them and forget about it, make a note and know when your appliance warranty runs out. It could save you a lot of money when it comes to putting off getting things fixed or sorted.