We surveyed some Sacramento Plumbers for some tips. Here’s what they gave us:
Use pipe insulation to prevent sprayer snarls
If you have to jiggle the hose as you pull out your kitchen sink sprayer, chances are the hose is catching on the shutoff valves. For smooth operation, slip 1/2-in. foam pipe insulation over the pipes and shutoff handles. Tape it if it won’t stay put. Get the insulation at home centers for about $3.
Wrap pipes in adhesive-backed felt
Running hot water can cause copper pipes to expand and grind against pipe hangers and joists. So pick up some adhesive-backed felt at the hardware store and cut it into strips. Then remove each hanger and wrap the pipe before refastening the hanger.
Don’t Be Afraid to Replace Parts Inside Your Toilet or Faucet
Taking apart pipes under your sink or shower can lead to messy issues if you make a mistake. However, there’s very little you can damage by trying to replace your toilet’s flapper or your faucet’s cartridge.
Worn flappers are a common cause of leaks between the toilet tank and bowl. And they only cost a few dollars! As a bonus, the package comes with easy-to-follow instructions for replacement.
Most modern faucets can be repaired by replacing the entire interior with a new cartridge. This only requires that you remove a screw or two. So, if you hear the toilet running frequently, or your sink is dripping, get replacement parts and give it a go.
Use a Shop Vacuum to Remove Hard Objects
When a hard object like a toothbrush, comb or toy plugs a toilet or drain, a plunger may not be the solution—it might only push the obstruction in deeper. Instead, suck out the water and the obstruction with a wet/dry shop vacuum.
Plumber’s Emergency Kit
Use a five gallon bucket as a tool holder. And if a leak springs mid-project, it’ll catch the water. A tool caddy can also be attached to the bucket providing a place for everything.
Keep a forced cup and a regular plunger handy. Each plunger has its own specific use and provides extra unclogging power.
Always know where the main water shut-off valve is located in case of a leak.
Know how to turn off the water heater. If it’s a gas water heater, turn the switch to the “pilot” position.
Isolation valves located at each fixture will stop the flow of water to that location. This allows water to continue to service the remainder of the house while the leak is being repaired. It’s a good idea to turn on and off each isolation valve in the house at least once a year to keep them in good working condition.