No plumbing professional wants to see a client dealing with a preventable issue, and one of the most common things we find ourselves saying is, to prevent such and such in the future just... We want to share these justs with you! Check out 10 things you as the homeowner can do to keep your toilet and pipes in tip top shape.
1. Know the location of the main water shut off valve. Everyone in your home should know where the main water shut off valve is. By knowing where to find this valve, you'll be able to shut off the water in the event a pipe bursts, a bathtub or toilet overflows or any other emergency that requires you to turn off the water.
2. Beware of black water in your toilet tank. Chances are, the color is caused from too much magnesium or iron in your water. Although this is usually harmless, it can be annoying for some people. If it is iron or magnesium in your water, the only way to fix it is by filtering the water.
3. Add insulation to your hot water heater. A great way to save a few dollars is to add insulation to your hot water heater. Much of the energy required to heat the water in your home is the expense from keeping the water in the tank hot for when it is needed. Adding an extra layer of insulation can help reduce this cost.
4. Are you seeing a bubbling effect? Many people deal with clogged toilets. However, if your toilet will not flush every time, the water rises to the top, and there is bubbling effect occasionally, this can be due to a much deeper blockage in the main pipe. The main pipe must then be cleaned in order for your toilet to work properly.
5. Do not shock yourself! Water and electricity do not mix well! If you are working with both electrical and plumbing issues at the same time, then you must avoid crossing them. Beware! The two together can be deadly! When water and electricity are mixed, the risk of getting a shock can be incredibly high, as well as deadly.
6. You can check for leaks too! To check for toilet leaks, especially if it seems like your toilet is chronically running, use a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If water is leaking into the bowl, you will see color in about a half hour. Replacing tank parts can repair leaks and greatly save on water consumption.
7. Be careful with putting household cleaners in your toilet. They sometimes cause the toilet to malfunction. The debris that these cleaners leave can sit in your toilet's pipes and harden, making them almost impossible to get rid of. If it does harden, it usually requires the help of a professional.
8. Unclog drains with ease. Try using a plunger and drain cleaner, as your clog may simply be a build-up of hair and debris. If this doesn't work you may have to clear the drain with a snake. Feed the snake into the drain line as far as it will go. Turn the crank gently, which will help to loosen the clog. Remove the snake, and run water down the drain to see if the clog has been removed. You may have to use the snake a couple of times, before the clog is cleared so don't give up!
9. Try the red-dye system first. If you have a leak and your water bill is going up, there is a method you can try before you call a professional. You can use the red-dye system to detect whether the leak is above ground, underground, or whether it has anything to do with the toilets.
10. Do you have mold present? Mold growing at the base of your toilet can indicate that condensation is forming on your toilet bowl thanks to room temperature versus bowl and water temperature, or that you have a leak in the wax seal around your toilet. To replace the wax seal, turn off the water to the toilet, disconnect from the water supply and then lift the toilet and replace the ring. The real trick is setting the toilet back down on the ring correctly. Buy an extra ring in case you mess up and to avoid having to run to the hardware store in the middle of the job.
Calling a professional plumber will save you money, the experience and know-how can fix your problem sooner and with less fuss. Call Mr. Rooter or download and use your Rooter 911 app if you find yourself dealing with a plumbing situation.