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Basic Plumbing Information Every Homeowner Should Know

Knowing the basics of your home plumbing system can minimize any potential damage and/or unnecessary cleanup if an emergency occurs.

  • Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main shut-off valve is located. If you should experience a leak, your first action should be to shut off the main water.
  • Know the location of the sewer cleanout. When the sewer starts to back up into your home, opening the main sewer cleanout may help to stop the sewage from continuing to flow into the home.
  • If steam or boiling water ever comes out of the relief valve at the top of your water heater or one of your faucets – safely turn off the power to the heater immediately. Let some faucets run on the hot side until cold water runs through them. This will let you know that the water in the heater tank is no longer overheated.
  • Garbage disposals are designed for scraps of food only & should not be used in place of a garbage can. To clean or deodorize your garbage disposal, periodically run it with ice cubes and a small number of lemon peels. This should clear any debris from the blades and remove any foul odors from the unit.
  • Even though some items say they are “flushable,” they should not be flushed down the toilet. Baby wipes, paper towels, packaging for feminine hygiene products, and kitty litter are just a few examples of so-called flushable items. Disposing of these items in a wastebasket can save you money by avoiding unnecessary repairs.

Before you call a plumber try this:

Slow Drains:
  • Bathroom sink: keep stopper free from hair/soap scum/toothpaste buildup. If necessary, remove the stopper and clear unwanted debris by hand.
  • Toilet: it may be possible to clear with a plunger. However, you do not want to over plunge…this can lead to blowing the wax seal from the base of the toilet, causing waste water to seep from under the toilet.
  • Kitchen sink/Garbage disposal: NEVER PUT HAND OR ANY TOOLS IN GARBAGE DISPOSAL. Reach underneath the unit and press the reset button. If the unit came with a wrench, try to manipulate the disposal with the wrench to clear the stoppage.
Sudden Low Water Pressure:
  • Shower: Unscrew the shower head by hand & remove sediment to increase water pressure.
  • Kitchen or bathroom sink faucet: Using only your hand (not wrench or pliers) unscrew the aerator on the spout & clean sediment to increase water pressure.
  • Check For Leaks: Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank & wait a few minutes. If color appears in the bowl, you have a leak and tank parts need to be replaced.
  • Think you have a slab leak?: 1. Check the water meter to see if it is moving. 2. Check the floor for wet or hot spots by walking around the house while wearing socks.
Saving Water Can Save You Money:
  • Repair leaks ASAP so money doesn’t go down the drain (literally).
  • Replace toilets and faucets with water-conserving fixtures.
  • Maintain water heater to ensure peak performance.

At Terry Vereen Plumbing, we have plumbers available 24 hours a day for life’s unexpected emergencies. The next time our plumber visits your home for a plumbing repair, he will be glad to assist you in locating your shut-off valves or cleanouts if you are unable to find them.

Call us at 904-384-5661 to schedule an appointment.

Schedule Your Plumbing Service Now