Plumbing is often one of those areas we leave to the experts. We know plenty of DIY fanatics that won’t go near the pipes. It can be daunting territory.
Water damage is hugely expensive and one wrong turn can lead to big problems. Having said that, there are plenty of basics that will help you out around the house. It’s essential that you know how to stop a leak or tighten a pipe.
More importantly, it’s good to understand how your plumbing works. That way you can isolate problems in an emergency.
You can shut off the water and take quick, decisive actions. We’re not suggesting you start messing around with the boiler or installing radiators. We’ll leave that to the pros! But we will show you a few essentials skills that every DIY plumber should know.
- Know where the water source is
Every property is supplied water through a series of pipes. The water company runs the pipes under our streets and into our home. Before each pipe enters the home, there is a stockcock. Turning this will isolate your home from the water supply. In some cases, the stopcock will restrict water to the property next to you too. If there is a big leak, this is your first point of call. Know where the source is and how to turn it off.
- Understand your water pressure
You’ll find a pressure gauge on the water tank or next to the boiler. It’s really important that you understand what this is telling you. Your water pressure must always be below 80psi. High pressure is the single biggest cause of cracks and leaks. These cracks will lead to serious water damage in the house. MPLS water damage experts respond to thousands of these problems every day. It’s almost always a result of high pressure. Learn to spot when yours is too high and release it.
- Get to know your waste system
Another big cause of water problems in the home is through the waste system. Blockages and draining trouble are usually rooted here. Take the time to research your system. It could be a septic tank or a traditional sewage system. Either way, learn how it works and understand how to diagnose a blockage.
- Know how to shut off individual appliances
Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose a water problem. There may be low pressure across the home or poor heating. You can help identify the problem by isolating appliances. Every sink and water source has its own stopcock. Find it and learn how to turn them off. This is also essential before attempting any work on the pipes on a specific appliances.
- Get the tools for the job
Every DIY plumber needs the right tools for the task at hand. Plumbing usually requires a variety of pliers and wrenches. We suggest keeping a few sizes in your tool box. Another great little tool is ‘plumbers tape’. It’s a waterproof teflon tape and works wonders!
There you have it, folks! A quick guide to DIY plumbing. Don’t attempt anything too adventurous when it comes to the pipes. However, understand the basics in your home and learn how to respond. Stay safe!