When homeowners raise a wrench to install or repair sinks, toilets and tubs, they risk more than leaks. They risk their sanity, finances and general mechanical disaster. Here are 5 essential principles to avoid plumbing disaster.
1. Flow out, not back.
Back flow occurs in municipal water systems (or within a house) when there’s a sudden and severe drop in water pressure that causes water to flow back through pipes opposite the direction that it normally flows. This can happen if there’s a substantial leak within your house. If your house’s water is supplied by a municipal water system and you do a lot of work outside with a garden hose, use a vacuum-breaker fitting threaded onto the end of the hose bib (the valve mounted on the outside of the house).
2. Know where your pipes are.
Pounding nails and driving screws is all well and good, until you puncture a copper or plastic supply or drain. Instead, buy a stud sensor that also detects pipes and wirings.
3. Know the code.
Plumbing is a tricky business, with rules that dictate how far you can place a fixture from the home’s drain-waste-vent line based on the pipe diameter and other arcane matters. The only way you can handle a big job yourself is to know the code and what it calls for in pipe sizing, fixture spacing and related matters.
4. Always do a leak test.
It should be obvious: Make a thorough leak inspection before closing up any projects. When you’ve installed a new valve component (or the valve itself), aggressively open and close the valve as well as running both hot and cold water through it. Do the same when checking drains. Run water down a drain and fill up a sink or tub and then drain it to check for leaks.
5. Be kind. To your septic system, that is.
We get asked this question all the time: “Should I use an additive to improve the performance of my septic system and reduce the need to pump the septic tank?” An additive can be almost anything from sugar or enzymes to a dead chicken. A properly designed, built and maintained septic system will last for decades, and trying to reduce pumping intervals will more likely lead to a clogged leaching field as solids, not clear effluent, flows out of the septic tank and out into the leaching field. A septic-tank-pumping company can advise you on how often the tank needs to be pumped. It will depend on the tank’s size and how many people live in the home.
Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs 800-929-9902 or visit us at mrrooter.com