Having access to clean, drinking water is a basic necessity of life. One thing that can affect the quality of water in your house is plumbing. Imagine that you have just returned from work with a parched throat. You would want a glass of water to quench your thirst. But when you turn the tap, out comes a stream of smelly, brown water. Such a traumatic experience!
Plumbing can affect the value of your home as well. According to experts, plumbing upgrades increase the resale value of houses by 23%. Furthermore, who can’t deny the attraction of hot showers and long, warm baths, can you?
Updating your plumbing is also vital for a sustainable lifestyle. Water-efficient devices can help save on water bills and reduce wastage.
Unfortunately, most of us do not care about our plumbing until we have a problem. By then, it is usually too late.
If you frequently have guests over at your place or live in a big family, it is better to resolve all plumbing problems. You would not want any embarrassing issues, like a clogged toilet.
Most plumbing maintained is as simple as DIY projects. For more detailed renovations, we suggest hiring experienced professionals. And suppose your toilets become unusable during the renovation. In that case, you might have to rent facilities to make the most of the situation. For example, the Oregon government makes it mandatory to rent portable restrooms in Portland OR for active construction and renovation sites.
Anyway, let’s pull the flush on the plumbing situation with a few simple tips to avoid long-term damage and water wastage.
Fix that leaky faucet
Do you have to suffer through the drip-drip-dripping of a leaky faucet every night? Not only is a leaky faucet annoying, but it can also be costly. According to the EPA, a leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water annually. Fortunately, you can fix it on your own without the help of a plumber. Your bathroom fixture might need a new rubber seal, which is also called an o-ring washer. First, turn off the water supply and block the drain so that nothing falls in. Then loosen the assembly by prying off the screws. Now you will be able to see the washers under the handle of the faucet. Take them out if they are damaged and replace them with new ones. And voila! Your dripping faucet is as good as new!
Unclog your sink
Is your sink not draining properly? If it is not, then you should try a drain cleaner. But sometimes drain cleaners do not work. Instead, you can try a homemade solution that has instant results. To make the solution, add half a cup of vinegar to equal parts of baking soda and mix them well. Pour the liquid down the drain.
Sometimes the drain is clogged at the p-trap of the plumbing tube. Since it is u-shaped, declogging it is a little different. First, turn off the water, and then unscrew the sides of the channel. Place a bucket underneath the p-trap to catch all the waste. Now clean the pipe with some water and soap, and then screw it all back in place.
Plunge the toilet
If there is anything we have learned from movies, it is that a urinal will clog at the worst moments! Therefore, it is vital to learn how to plunge a toilet properly. First of all, buy a specially designed plunger with a round hood and extended flange. Once you have the right tool, you can put it in the hole in the bottom of a toilet. Then thrust the handle up a few times while keeping the plunger attached to the bowl. Then flush the WC to get rid of the stuff that’s been clogging your toilet. As a bonus tip, stop using your toilet as a trashcan!
Change the shower nozzle
A shower spray can really “revolutionize” your bathing experience! Get an efficient model that has an excellent jet stream. If your old one has broken down, then you can easily swap it in a few minutes. Take some pliers and turn the old shower head counter-clockwise. Then use an old rag to clean the arm of the nozzle. Doing so will improve the pressure and water quality of the spray. Third, find the threads at the end of the arm, and cover them with Teflon tape. Remember to wrap it three times to create an air-tight seal. This tape will seal the shower spray so that it does not leak water. Lastly, install the replacement head and check for any leaks in the showerhead.
Change the Toilet seat
A loose toilet seat can literally be a pain in the butt! Luckily, you can change the toilet seat easily to keep it in place. First, measure the toilet bowl since they come in all shapes and sizes. The best way to do so is by placing a tape rule between the bolt holes and install it end to end. Now that you have the measurements, you can buy a new toilet seat. You can get a pretty decent and sturdy one for under $30. Then take out the old one and fix the nuts of the new seat on the toilet. After you’re done, it’s time to enjoy a butt-pain-free poop on your throne like a king – or queen!
Test the water quality
Drinking clean water is vital for a healthy lifestyle. Experts suggest testing the water quality after every year to ensure that it is safe for drinking. You can buy a water-testing kit from suppliers at a discount. Generally, a good kit will cost anything between $45 to $200. Most kits can reveal the number of nitrates, heavy metals, bacteria, and minerals in your water and determine if it is safe for drinking or not.
Keep an eye on your water bill
If you live in the city, you might have a meter to calculate your water usage. Use this meter to monitor your usage and cut costs. A higher than usual water bill can be due to a leak in your plumbing. You can also ask the water company to locate the meter and the main cut-off valve. You must be aware of where the water main is to turn off the water supply in case of major leakage.
With a little bit of plumbing knowledge, you can save a lot of maintenance costs. Toilets are the most used rooms in the house, so they need regular maintenance. Do not treat your bathroom like a trash can and get rid of all stubborn clogs. Take care of the water valves for an efficient plumbing system. However, do not attempt to do tricky jobs that require an experienced hand on your own. You might end up drowning in your poop!