Tips, Hints and DIY
Never Flush Food Solids Or Put Food Down Your Sink
Fibrous foods can get entangled in other waste and fats, oils and grease can accumulate to cause clogged drains. Coffee grounds do not disintegrate easily and can stick around in drain backups and drain blockage.
Periodically conduct your own drain cleaning
Wash your drains out with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda down your sink or shower drain and follow that by slowly pouring two cups of white vinegar down after it. Wash everything away with hot water. This will help breakup and drain any lingering obstructions.
Do Not flush or wash dental floss down your drains
Dental floss gets tangled up to create clogs and blockages in your plumbing system.
Do Not flush or wash hair down your drains
For the same reason as dental floss, try not to flush hair or wash it down the drain
clear your downspouts and gutters
Make sure your downspouts and gutters are clear and big enough to handle heavy rainfall. To prevent basement flooding and drain backups it’s good to make sure this water is flowing away from your house and foundation.
Usually creaking pipes are caused by expansion and contraction of copper pipes created by heating and cooling. As the pipe expands it can come into contact with nearby wood, or pipe hangers and joists. To silence creaking pipes, either remove the hanger and wrap the pipe in adhesive-backed felt, or getting plastic clamps. Also, you can insulate the pipes to keep them at a consistent temperature. Pipes that run through the basement or garage can experience much colder temperatures and hot water can cause them to expand loudly.
Banging pipes or knocking pipes are caused by hot water or variable water pressure. Water hammer is another way to describe the banging sound that happens when a water valve is suddenly shut off. If you hear banging right after a toilet is flushed, the washer finishes filling, or when the sprinkler turns off, that’s specifically called water hammer. This is literally caused by water crashing into a closed valve and then causing a ricochet effect within the pipe that reverberates down the length of pipe causing it to bang against fixtures and walls. A fix for water hammer or banging pipes in this scenario is to drain the water out of your homes plumbing system.
- Shut off the water to you home at the main
- Flush all the lines by running water until the faucet is empty, flushing the toilet until the tank is empty and running the shower until no more water runs from it.
- Slowly turn the main water back on.
If you have banging pipes while cold water is running this can be a scenario where your water pressure is too high. Water shakes the pipes that rattle in the joists or against other pipes or the wall. You can use a water pressure test gauge to test the pressure. It should be between 40-80 PSI. If it’s too high, you need to call Emergency Plumbing to come replace your pressure reducing valve.
Leaky Pipe Temporary Fix
Keep in mind this is temporary and that a professional will have to be called for a more permanent solution. A leaky pipe can cause lots of damage if not dealt with immediately. First thing to do is shut off the main water valve and drain all the pipes in the house by turning on all the faucets. Once the pipes are emptied close the faucets. Dry the area around the leak. Make sure the area is dry before applying any adhesives. Seal the leaky pipe area with epoxy, plumbing repair tape, or pipe wraps. You may need to use sandpaper to smooth out the area around the leak in order to ensure a strong seal with the epoxy or plumbing repair tools. If you use the epoxy make sure the read the instructions on the epoxy packaging carefully before applying. Some brands require lots of kneading of the putty-like epoxy and may have other requirements. For a really good temporary fix, use pipe clamps in addition to epoxy. Wrap the leak area in rubber or plumbing tape and place the clamp on top and tighten.