Do It Yourself – Photo Courtesy: Ondas De Ruido
We all know how the costs of maintaining a house can creep up and up. With utility bills being higher than ever, and grocery costs going through the roof, none of us can afford to pay for anything that we can possibly avoid.
There are a few basic plumbing skills that you can learn yourself, so that you don’t fall into the trap of having to call in a professional (and expensive) plumber whenever you have a small problem. In this article we’ll tell you a little more – how much of this do you know already?
Knowledge is Power
Do you know where the stopcock for your home’s water supply is? If not, then why not?! This is the tap that turns all water that runs to the house both off and on. If you have a leak, or any other problem with your plumbing, then the first thing you need to do is turn off the stopcock. If you have to wait for a plumber to arrive before it can be found and turned off, goodness only knows how far the water will have gone by then. It’s usually under your kitchen sink – go and find it, and familiarise yourself with it!
If your hot water runs out, do you call the plumber in straight away? You don’t need to! There are several things you can check, and potentially fix, yourself. Try having a look at the pilot light in the boiler (if it is gas). Is it lit? If not, you may be able relight it yourself with the reset button. If the pilot light has gone out, nothing will work. If your boiler is oil-powered, have you absent-mindedly let the oil supply run out? If electricity powers your boiler then has a trip switch gone? Or have you forgotten to pay your bill? (You’ll probably know about it if it’s the latter as you’ll be in darkness!).
Plunge Those Drains
Drains can get blocked from time to time, and the longer you leave it, the harder it is to clear them out. Get into the habit of regularly plunging the drains in the sinks, the shower and the bath. If there is a small blockage then try sending some baking soda down the plughole, swiftly followed by some standard household vinegar. That should sort most small problems out.
A fixed kitchen drain system – Photo Courtesy: Nate Vack
Make sure the washers on your taps are changed every now and again – if they have perished then you will have a very annoying dripping tap, and if you are on a water metre your bill will be quite severely affected over a long period of time. Make sure all pipework is of a high standard, and if there is a leak then fix it straight away. Turn the water off and try and give it a temporary patch up before the plumber arrives.
Don’t just call the plumber as soon as you have a problem. Do some research, and have a go at fixing the problem yourself first. A little knowledge goes a long way – get online and start reading up on other tips to help you sort out your own plumbing!
The author of this post, Sophie Henderson, is a part of the team at Do It All Plumbing, a company that provides plumbing services for residents and businesses in Perth. She loves her job and enjoys sharing her expertise via blogging.