You need to be aware of the basic plumbing problems and how to answer them. This will give you an idea of which problems you can repair by yourself and which problems need to be seen by a professional. You should never ignore small problems as they can become severe issues later.
Everyone in the house should be aware of the locations of the water shut off valves and how to operate them. If you’re not quite sure where they are, a plumber can show you the locations and you can then proceed to label the valves with a short description of what it does and how you can turn it off. Shutoff valves can stop water flowing to one fixture, one branch of the plumbing system or to the whole house. They can get assistance to minimize the damage in case a pipe bursts. If one fixture isn’t working properly, you can simply shut off the water supply to that only while you are free to use the rest of the plumbing system. You have to make sure that the main shutoff valve is working properly by checking once or twice within the year.
You should also check for leaks in exposed pipes, faucets, shutoff valves and your hot water heater. You can increase the security around your water heater by installing smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors close to it. Make sure that there is no flammable material or items near the heater to minimise the damage in an emergency. One sign of a leak is damp walls. Whether you have a municipality sewage line or septic tank, it should be looked at by a professional.
You have to know how to prevent blocked drains. Don’t dispose of food leavings in the kitchen sink. Throw it away into the trash before you wash the dirty plates. It is not wise to put liquid grease down the drain either. Throw it away in a sealed bag into the trash. Hair blocking the bathroom drains is a common problem. One way of preventing it is by putting a screen over the drains to collect the hair. If you do experience a clogged drain, be very careful if you’re using chemical drain cleaners. They should not be used if the drain is completely blocked properly as it will result in a big pool of toxic water. Sometimes these chemicals may cause erosion in cast iron pipes.
The exposed pipes in crawl spaces, garages, attics, basements and exterior walls should be covered with insulation to protect them from cold seasons. Otherwise, they may be susceptible to freezing. You can use the shutoff valve to cut off water to faucets outside your house in the winter. It is advised not to shut off the heating system in your house completely even if you’re not at home.