You learn a lot in the course of your lifetime, and, of course, some of the facts and information you pick up along the way are more important than others. For example, we're sure you learned the Pythagorean Theorem at some point, which was useful only to pass the test you had on it. Meanwhile, you likely never learned about maintaining your pumbing, which is useful from the very moment you move out on your own through the rest of your life.
We're here to help you close the knowledge gap and learn some useful plumbing information that can help you identify small problems before they become huge disasters, and maybe even help you stop an occurring disaster before it can go from bad to worse!
Plumbing You Need to Know
- How to shut it off your water. Your main water shut off valve is either outside on an exterior wall or possibly in a box underground which you'll have to open, or inside in your basement, crawl space, near your water heater, or under your kitchen sink. Once you locate the valve, slowly turning the nozzle right/clockwise until you can no longer do so will shut the water off.
- Where each plumbing fixture's shut off valve is. Every sink and toilet in your home has it's own shut off valve where you can turn off the water supply to that individual fixture. Take a tour around your home locating each of these valves so you know how to turn the water off if your toilet explodes in the middle of the night.
- Where each plumbing appliance's shut off valve is. Along with the main water valve and the valves that control the water supply to each individual fixture, you should also know how to shut off the water to each of your plumbing appliances like your water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher in case of an emergency.
- How to read your water meter. If your home is on the older side you'll read the numbers on the 6 dials counter-clockwise to see how many gallons or cubic feet of water (these are the standard units of measure used on water meters, be sure to verify with your water company which one your meter is displaying) your household is using. Newer homes generally have digital displays that read like gas pumps. Once you start keeping regular track of your readings, you can identify leaks by noticing a spike in water usage that can't otherwise be explained.
- What your water pressure is. Your water pressure should be under 80 psi; anything over than can cause leaks as your pipes, fixtures, and appliances aren't built to withstand any more pressure. You can either pick up a water pressure gauge to check the pressure yourself, or you can call your water company to check things out for you.
- Where your sewage system's clean-out plugs are. Whether you're connected to a public sewer or a private septic tank, you need to know where your clean-out plugs are. Clearing these plugs is usually the first step in conquering a clog or battling a backup.
- Where your air conditioning condensation lines are. Because of the extreme difference in the outdoor temperature and the temperature being produced by your AC unit, your air conditioner produces condensation. Know where your condensation lines are and check them regularly; if your condensation is failing to drain, you can find yourself face-to-face with water and mold damage.
- Signs of a failing water heater. If your water heater is 10 years old (or older), your water is coming out rusty, your unit makes a lot of noise, or you notice a leak, it's time to start shopping for a new water heater.
When it comes to maintaining and learning about your plumbing, a little effort goes a long way. And remember, you don't have to do it alone! As a member of or Diamond Club you'll get a yearly plumbing checkup that will allow professionals to find and fix tiny problems before they become big, expensive disasters! Just give us a call at (864) 242-5511 or click the banner below to schedule service online!
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