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Plumbing Tips

Leaky Faucets
Pipes
Septic System
Toilets
Drains
Bathrooms
Moisture
Water
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Leaky Faucets

Fixing Benefits

Besides being annoying, fixing a leaky faucet also saves you some money! Dripping water at one drip/second wastes 400 gallons of water in a year. If this is hot water, you are watching your money go down the drain!

Fix With Washers

Although a small drip may seem inconsequential , it will cost you money. Washers that will tighten your faucets and get rid of those leaks take only minutes to install.


Pipes

Sweating Pipes

To eliminate sweating cold water pipes during the summer months, place foam pipe insulation over the pipes. The tubing keeps the warm humid air from condensing on the cold pipes.

Bathroom Expenses

The most expensive part of adding a new bathroom is “roughing in” the new plumbing. So keep in mind how far your pipes have to go.

Quick Fix for Leaks

For a quick fix on copper pipe, small leaks, keep handy an easy repair kit. All that is needed is a hose clamp and a small piece of firm rubber, such as small section of garden hose. Simply insert the rubber around the leak and clamp. It will save you from having to drain the system, until you have more time on your hands. The clamp and rubber section of hose helped me out of a few jams, especially if you don't have copper or solder on hand at the cabin, it could save the weekend! Remember: clamp and rubber, plus screwdriver.

Thanks to Ed Vatcher for this hint.


Septic System

Healthy Septic System

There are a few basic rules for keeping your septic system healthy.
  • Have the tank pumped and cleaned every 2 to 5 years.
  • Don’t pour ANY solvents, chemicals or oils of ANY kind into the drain or toilet.
  • Only flush toilet paper down the loo, no other paper or plastic products.
  • Use bleach and other cleaners sparingly.
  • NEVER dispose of grease, coffee grounds or popcorn in the sink.



Toilets

Replacing A Toilet Seat

Using an adjustable wrench you can remove the bolts that hold the toilet seat in place. If the bolts are metal and have corroded, try soaking with penetrating oil overnight. If the bolts will not budge, just saw off with a hacksaw. Coat the new bolts with some petroleum jelly to help in future removal!


Drains

Clogs In The Drains

Most drain blockages occur because homeowners put materials into the drain, that should never go there. Often liquid materials are put “down the drain”, and then solidify and cause clogging. Remember to just let materials harden, then place in trash, instead of in the drain!

Drain Odors

Running very hot water through your drains after using will help keep them free of odors somewhat. About once a week pour a handful of baking soda and hot water down the drain or pour 1 cup of vinegar, let stand 30 minutes and then run some hot water. Keeping all grease , hair, and vegetable matter out of the drain also helps with odors and possible clogging.

Drains

Don't pour grease down your drains; keep free of hair and other debris. Once a month, to prevent residual grease and soap from clogging drains:
  • Run hot water through the drain.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of washing soda.
  • Add a little hot water.
  • Let stand for 15 minutes; then "flush" by running the water.

To properly maintain the garbage disposal

  • Do not use commercial drain products.
  • Use cold water at all times when the disposal is operating.
  • Grind ice cubes to clean, lemon peels to freshen.
  • Read your maintenance manual.




Bathrooms

Preventing Burns From Hot Water

If your shower or tub douses you with very hot water when a toilet is flushed or another tap in the house is used , try installing a mixing valve with a built-in temperature and pressure regulator. This should do the trick for evenly controlled water temperatures, so enjoy!

Recaulking The Bathtub

House settling often results in cracks between the wall and bathroom sink or tub. Clean and dry the area, removing any loose caulking with a putty knife. Use some waterproof caulking compound to fill the cracks and let dry overnight before using the bath .

Porcelain Sinks

Is your porcelain sink cracked or chipped? Your hardware store has special kits that are easy to use and return the porcelain or enamel sinks to almost-new condition. They come in many colors, also.

Additional Bathroom Space

Need additional bathroom space in the house? Remember that you will need at the very least, a 4ft. x 5 ft. for the toilet and lavatory.

Showerheads: New Vs. Old

New showerheads use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, therefore saving you water and energy. By replacing your older showerhead for a new one an average family ,(of four people), can save $150 on electric hot water or $60 gas. The amount of water saved per year equals about 15,000 gallons!

Mineral Deposits

To clean mineral deposits from a clogged shower head, try soaking it in some vinegar.

Templates

Templates are used for jobs such as working out pattern ideas of fascias or cabinet bases, and working with moldings. Save some notepad backs and/or cardboard from dress shirts to use as easy templates. They are easily cut with a utility knife or just scissors.


Moisture

Water Moisture In The Home

Make sure your kitchen and baths are vented to the outside of the house. These rooms generate the most moisture in your house. A timer switch on the ventilating fans will help you remember to run the fans long enough to clear out all the moisture, and shut off automatically. Also, if the house walls are not insulated, water vapor will condense on the drywall. Think about installing some needed insulation in these rooms.

Mildew

Mildew is a fungus that grows under damp conditions on just about any surface causing stains, discolorations and eventually rot. Clean mildew, then try to remedy the conditions that caused it in the first place.

Bathroom Moisture

Moisture in the bathroom often comes from the toilet tank. The tank sweats because the cold water in the tank cools off the tank , which in turn causes the humidity in the room to condense on the tank , running onto the floor or wall. Buy a terry cloth tank cover to absorb the moisture. Or the best bet is to install a mixing valve- this warms the water coming into the toilet tank. Less condensation and less mess!


Water

Soft Water


It might be cost efficient to rent, lease or buy a water conditioner that removes calcium, magnesium, and iron by the process of ion exchange. Conditioners operate automatically and requite little maintenance.

Hard Water Deposits

Much tap water is “hard”, and leaves deposits on everything. Therefore an acid cleaner is needed to get rid of the deposits. Phosphoric acid (4%) in tile cleaner works well, or you can get 8 to 9 % solutions at a janitorial supply store.




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