As a homeowner, you should maintain your plumbing system to avoid dealing with the big repairs that come with neglect. To keep your system in tip-top shape, you’ll need to know some tips for general maintenance plumbing. In this article, we’ll go over some common ways to prevent possible issues you might face with your plumbing system.
Care for Your Bathroom Properly
Everyone knows that all plumbing devices require proper and careful treatment to prevent breakage.
#1: Clean Your Bathroom Fixtures
Your plumbing issues generally begin with your bathroom and toilet. Be sure to regularly clean the plumbing fixtures installed there.
#2: Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes
Enameled bathtubs will last much longer if you avoid sudden changes in the temperature of the water. When you are getting ready to take a bath, start with warm water, and gradually raise or lower the temperature. Otherwise, the enamel coating will quickly crack, yellow, and erase.
#3: Wash Your Bathtub with the Right Cleaners
After each use, the bath should be washed with warm water and appropriate detergents.
In no case can you clean any enameled bathtubs or sinks with agents that contain acid. Avoid the use of metal brushes, too.
#4: Clean Your Toilet Consistently
Your toilet must be kept clean since it can house and develop a huge number of pathogens. A good rule of thumb is to clean the toilet after 3-5 days. If it is so dirty that conventional means do not help, you can use a 5% solution of hydrochloric acid. But in normal cases, hydrochloric acid cannot be used!
Instead, try to stick to liquids, pastes, and powders. When working with them, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Keep these products in a tightly closed container (especially pastes) in a dry place.
#5: Remove Rust From Your Plumbing Fixtures
Often when cleaning plumbing fixtures, it is necessary to deal with rust. Luckily, there are various effective cleaning products.
Preparations such as Comet and other cleaning powders will remove rust. Dampen a sponge and sprinkle a small amount of powder on it. Moisten the previously contaminated surface and wipe it with your sponge. Once you are done, wash the treated plumbing fixture with clean running water.
Remember to avoid cleaners with hydrochloric acid as they can destroy the enamel of your fixtures.
Eliminate Unpleasant Odors
There are several common reasons for unpleasant odors in the kitchen or bathroom. Your sewer pipe joints may be damaged, you may have faulty hydraulic seals, something may be obstructing your sewerage, or your sewer risers could be poorly adjusted.
A lack of water in your hydraulic seal can be caused by water evaporation or the disruption of the water seal. Evaporation occurs when a plumbing device is not used for a long time. Before leaving your home for a long vacation, pour a small amount of engine oil in the hydraulic locks.
When disconnecting the water seal, water is sucked into the riser. If you hear squelching sounds in the water locks, they may indicate that a breakdown is imminent.
Seal failure can also occur due to poor ventilation of the sewage network. It can occur when a sewer riser is frozen in winter, when foreign objects enter the network (for example, from a roof), and also when the riser is a small diameter.
Unpleasant smells can also appear due to defects in siphons. The most common of these is a truncated septum. To get rid of smells, in this case, you must completely replace the siphon.
Clogs may occur in any plumbing equipment, but if a clog happens in a toilet, it can turn into a real disaster, very quickly. The situation is further complicated by the fact that it is very difficult to determine exactly where the clog happened—it could be in the toilet located in your apartment, or in the riser several floors below.
If the congestion is in the riser, fecal water can flow from your toilet bowl. Unfortunately, it usually takes a long time to clean the riser.
Method 1: Use a Plunger
If there is a blockage, first of all, it is necessary to use the plunger. The plunger will push the water under pressure through the siphon and the discharge pipe. But the plunger may not help in eliminating the congestion.
Method 2: Use a Flexible Cable
If a plunger does not work, you can try using a flexible cable. In this case, one hand should push the cable into the hole, and the other should rotate the handle.
As soon as the water starts to leave more slowly, start cleaning your siphons and pipes urgently. Bathtub siphons are not equipped with settling filters, so you can either clean the siphon by disassembling it or use the plunger. When you use the plunger, you need to close the overflow hole with a hand.
If the siphon of your kitchen sink is clogged, the cleaning should be carried out as quickly as possible, since the fat and food particles will instantly turn a small clog into a large one.
When washing and cleaning the sink, use the “tap-drain” method. On the faucet mixer, you need to clamp one end of the hose, and insert the other into the drain. Then, start the hot water.
Clogs formed in bottle plastic, bottle brass, and chrome-plated siphons cannot be cleaned with a cable. If the plunger is useless, you need to turn off the clarifiers or, at the very least, wash the siphons with hot water (but not boiling water, as there are temperature limits for polyvinyl chloride siphons). You can add detergent to the water to dissolve the accumulated fat.
To eliminate buildup in cast iron and steel siphons, you can use a solution of caustic soda (1 tablespoon of soda per liter of hot water). Use caution—caustic soda can cause a chemical burn.
Another good tool for splitting through fats and buildup is calcined soda. Use 1 tablespoon of soda per liter of hot water.
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Frozen pipes may break due to the pressure of the ice that has accumulated inside them. The best way to protect the pipes from freezing is to completely drain water from the water pipe.
But what do you do if your pipes are still frozen? You can try to start raising the temperature in the room. For example, you can use a blowtorch and gently warm the pipe, or install electric tiles in frozen areas.
Be sure to remember that you cannot start heating the pipe at a high temperature. First, you need to open the tap, then slowly warm the pipe.
If your pipe has burst, it can be temporarily repaired with a rubber bandage, which must be secured with a steel yoke.
Protect Your Pipes Against Corrosion
Metal pipes are susceptible to rust (both inside and outside). As a result of corrosion, clogs, fistulas, and water leakage can occur. In general, the lifetime of your pipes is significantly lower.
Naturally, corrosion is easier to prevent than fight it. There are various ways to do this, both passive and active.
The passive method is to insulate the pipes inside and outside.
The active method involves electrical protection. Pipes produced in factories usually do not have an anticorrosion coating. Therefore, protection against rust should be carried out before or during the laying of pipes. As an external insulation for steel pipes, bitumen-polymer, bitumen-mineral, ethylene, and similar coatings are used, the choice of which depends on the soil.
Coatings of cement are used for internal protection of steel and cast-iron pipes. They are reliable and economical. Also, cast iron pipes are covered with oil bitumen or a layer of whitened cast iron to increase strength.
If your pipes already have rust, then before they are laid, you must clean them and apply a protective coating. When the coating is dry, the pipes must be oiled and painted with oil paint.
The electrochemical method of corrosion protection involved applying a zinc coating, which significantly slows down the destruction of steel pipes.
Now you have a few more maintenance plumbing tools of your own to keep your home running smoothly.