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The Manliness of Plumbing: Knowing Your Stuff

We all know that feeling when you’re halfway through trying to fix the pipes and realize you’ll need to call the Plumber. It’s an embarrassing moment. Saying this though, needing the services for sewer line repair by Zurn Plumbing (or one closer to your area) could actually save you some time and know that the job was left to the professionals. As much as you like to say you can do it all, getting some help isn’t always a bad thing. You may be pretty handy and love to fix stuff around the house, but what happens when your wife calls about a broken sink and you don’t know the first thing about plumbing? Although we take it for granted, plumbing powers a lot in our homes from sinks and showers to hot water and ice. Studying up on basic plumbing knowledge can help you avoid calling the plumber and help you from fumbling around your house. However, there is no shame in having to make use of an Anytime Plumbing emergency 24 hour service when your plumbing situation becomes absolutely dire.

Know Important Locations

The first step to most plumbing problems is locating and cutting off your water supply. Know where your main valve is and how to turn it off so you can avoid excess water leaks. Most valves are located near the street and or around the house, frequently the basement, and resemble a wheel or lever. Cutting off the water is as simple as turning the wheel clockwise slowly until it stops, or pushing down the lever. If your unsure if the water has been fully stopped just test it at a sink.

In addition to the main valve many appliances have smaller valves attached to stop the water for a particular place. These can be found on toilets, sinks, and washing machines usually behind the appliance and low to the floor. The valves for bathtubs and showers can be trickier to find and these appliances may have cut off valves in an adjacent closet or basement. If you know ahead of time where these valves are you can avoid water filling your home and causing damage by quickly stopping it before it becomes a problem. However, if none of this tends to make much sense to you, you may be better off calling a commercial or residential plumber in Croydon to solve your issue.

Water Pressure and Hidden Leaks

Your water bill spiking up can also be a cause for concern, not only for your wallet. Knowing where your water meter is, if you have city water, or buying a meter and knowing how to read it can help you monitor your water usage and alert you to any problems in your plumbing. Water meters can usually be found around your home or under a street cover. You can also contact your water company to ask questions and help locate a meter.

Test your water pressure regularly, either by asking your water company or buying a tester for about 10 dollars. These gauges attach to your outside faucet and gives you a reading of the current pressure when turning on the spigot. The household standard is 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.

To adjust the water pressure you will need to find your homes pressure regulator, often found around the house, near the main water cut off valve, or near the street with the water main. Most are covered but inside you will find a wing nut or bolt to adjust pressure. Have someone watch the pressure while you slowly turn the bolt clockwise to increase pressure and counterclockwise to decrease pressure.

You can check your pressure for hidden leaks regularly by turning off your water supply and waiting about 15 minutes. If the numbers on your water meter are the same when you return then there are no problems, a higher number however means problems. Unknown or hidden leaks can be a small burst in your buried pipes, but make sure it’s not a toilet running or a sprinkler system as these can also be the cause of the higher numbers.

Water Heaters

While water heaters typically last 10 to 12 years, they almost always start to leak before that time is up. Make sure you know where the shut off valves on the water heater for electric or gas, and water are. If your heater is gas powered you can turn it off by turning the knob clockwise. If your heater is electric you should find the breaker or fuse to turn it off. The water supply is usually located near where the heater connects to the main water line, and is a handle or lever. To turn it off you’ll need to stop the cold oncoming water as opposed to the line that carries hot water out. Check all these pipes and accessories regularly for leaks.

These are just a few tips to help you fix a problem before it gets out of hand. Knowing the location of valves and how to use them, as well as knowing how to read and test pressure can prevent serious damage to your home. There’s no need to call a plumber if you catch the problem before it arises, and if you read up on knowledge beforehand, you’ll be ready for any emergency. If a professional opinion is required however, do not be afraid to call for help! Any local Atlanta plumber will be able to give you the help and instruction you need to fix any issue you might have.

1 Comment

Very interesting article on how plumbing skills can embody masculinity and expertise. It is important not only to understand the basics of plumbing, but also to have a reliable partner ready to help in case of problems such as clogged pipes. In this case, I would recommend contacting Optimized Plumbing Services. Their team of professionals offer unblocking drains services and they are ready to offer a reliable solution for any plumbing challenge. Knowledge of their craft and professionalism are key characteristics that make them the ideal choice for solving blockage problems in pipes.

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