Just because you own or are renting a house or an apartment doesn’t mean you know anything about plumbing, so when a toilet clogs or a fixture leaks, you’re probably going to call for professional plumber. Sure, you could save some money by doing the repairs yourself, but not everybody has the time or the willpower to develop plumbing skills on their own. This works for many people, but just because you call a professional when something goes wrong doesn’t mean you can get by with knowing absolutely nothing about your plumbing. There are three things you should know about your home’s plumbing, even if you aren’t a diehard do-it-yourself enthusiast.
The water main shut-off valve is a lever or wheel that can turn off the water supply for your entire home, and you should know where it is located. When you have a leak or a clog, you can switch this valve to prevent more water from flooding your home. If you don’t know where this valve is located and have to wait for plumbers to arrive, your plumbing won’t be the only thing that needs to be repaired. If you don’t know where your water main shut-off valve is located, check your basement (if you have one), look along the outside of your house, or look for an underground box with a cover somewhere in your yard. You can also ask your neighbor where their valve is located, as yours is likely in a similar spot.
You may not need to know how to repair your plumbing fixtures, but you should know how to operate them correctly. Practicing these plumbing best practices will keep things from needing repair, which means fewer calls to the plumber and fewer dollars spent. For toilet use, you should only flush things that the toilet is designed to flush. This does not include wipes, hair, diapers, or other trash. For your garbage disposal, you should always run water prior, during, and after its use, and should avoid using it for fruit or vegetable peels, egg shells, or anything else fibrous or stringy that could clog the blades.
You might care little about the why’s and how’s of your plumbing, but you should care about how much water you’re using. Not only is water conservation socially responsible, but it can save you money each month. Pay attention to your water bill each month, and if the charge is higher than normal, scrutinize your bill the same way you would a surprising telephone bill. Your water bill can reveal hidden leaks and wasteful appliances.
For more information, call your local Roto-Rooter today.
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