Planning and Guidance Can Save You Money and Time On Plumbing Repairs
When it comes to a plumber’s truck, there are several things you’ll see:
- Cubby holes
- Various parts to repair an array of common faucets and fixtures
There’s no doubt that plumbers must deal with various situations – they have to be ready at a moment’s notice should something go wrong. Therefore, their trucks are loaded down with common items – though rare, some will even have their vehicles full of not-so-common parts. For those that don’t, there are warehouses dedicated to supplying plumber parts. They can do a special order for foreign parts or parts for older models.
Start By Knowing What Your Plumbing Model and Brands Are, Find Help Through Videos and Guides
With a little planning on your part, you can learn what the different models and brands are for:
- Kitchen sinks
- Bathroom sinks
- Water pressure regulator
- Water heater
After which, you can attain the troubleshooting guide about the various parts from the website of the manufacturer.
Be sure to talk with your local plumbing parts supplier to find out about your faucets and fixtures. Can you easily find the parts? How expensive or cheap are they? When trouble does rear its ugly head, you’ll have a list of the parts and an idea of the cost replacement versus the cost repair will be.
You can find numerous ‘repair it” videos on YouTube and various do-it-yourself websites for your faucet’s or fixture’s models. Keep in mind though that the majority of videos are unable to handle every repair situation.
What You Need To Consider Before Attempting Any Plumbing Repairs
There are several things you need to consider before attempting any kind of plumbing repair:
1 – Don’t start the job on weekends, holidays or any times the plumbers tend to raise their rates.
2 – Start early in the day so there’s plenty of daylight in case you have to have a plumber finish the job.
3 – Look carefully at each circumstance
4 – Consider what could happen if something were to suddenly break and the resulting outcomes.
It’s not uncommon for old copper tubing that’s corroded to break inside the wall when you wrench an angle stop. This is what gives your toilet its water. Bear in mind that a flood in the wall is expensive to fix. Should the angle stop be new and easily turns off and you have another toilet in the home, you could do your own fixing. Of course, you need to consider how handy you are with tools.
It’s Time To Turn Off The Water To The Home
If you want to repair something dealing with water, you need to be sure that you’ve got the water in your home turned off. There are typically two places this is done at:
1 – The primary valve located by the street.
2 – There is a valve near the water pressure regulator on the outer part of your home.
It’s not uncommon for valves to stop working. For example, gate valves, which were commonly used in the past, are notorious for failing. Today, more homes have ball valves, which generally never fail. How can you tell if you have a gate valve or a ball valve? Ball valves come with a lever; gate valves have a wheel-type of handle. Old gate valves have a common problem of freezing shut or not closing at all. If the valve fails to turn off or open back up, you’ll need to call a plumber.
The majority of plumbers will suggest getting a new valve – it doesn’t matter what its condition is. You certainly don’t want to learn if it works when you’re struck by a flood in the bathroom. If you replace, you should invest in a ball valve. Afterwards, check the laundry and water heater valve as well. Replace all of them using premium ball valves. The ball valve laundry bibbs ensure turning off the water will be easy after every use, keeping the chance of a flood low.
The main located at the street usually has a flat wedge, and to turn it, it needs a special water meter key. While these can fail, it’s pretty rare. Your best bet is to learn if the valve is working and you have the key with you. If it doesn’t turn or the water doesn’t shut off, you need to speak with your local water authority because that’s who owns the meter.
Your Water Pressure
Now, you need to check the water pressure. You can do by getting a water test gauge, attaching it to the hose bibb (or faucet) just above the regulator. The pressure gauge comes with a standard female hose thread and snuggly fits into the hose bibb. Turn on the water and read the dial. The pressure should lie somewhere between 35psi and 50psi.
If it’s too high, it’ll cause stress to your toilets, faucets and other plumbing items. And, it can result in a floor or cause damage to the fixtures and faucets. If the pressure is too high, you’ll either need to make adjustment or have it replaced. Don’t forget to look at YouTube or the troubleshooting guide to get an idea of what you have to do.
Now, if you have lower water pressure, adjust the regulator based upon the troubleshooting guide. Should that not work, replace the regulator. Some regulators come with union ends… if you can find the exact model, it’s easy to replace. Some regulators will need soldering.
When you have a little guidance – YouTube videos, troubleshooting guides and more – you can stay one step ahead and fix most plumbing problems. Of course, if you can’t do it yourself, always best to call a plumber or someone you know who can fix it for you.