Plumbing Hints and Tips
General hints on blocked
pipes, faulty faucets, taps, drains, and more.
Re: Slow Draining Sinks -- If your sink drains are
chronically slow and you live in an older house, the problem may be an
accumulation of sludge in the lines. No amount of plunging and
chemicals is going to fix this. What's needed is to climb up onto the
roof of your house with a metal snake (preferably one with a business
end looking a bit like a ballpeen hammer) and ram that snake down each
of the drain lines, entering through the vent stacks, with a fair
amount of force. It may require 50 or 100 motions for each stack. A
licensed plumber will charge you about US$250 or, you can venture it
yourself. You should also snake out any drain clean-outs you can find
at ground level. -- Mark Gilman Note: Climbing onto your roof can be
very dangerous, better to get someone else to do it, - preferably
someone with good experience. - ED
Tips on Pipes. If you have a split pipe, instead of draining
down the whole system you can buy 'pipe freeze', (I know this product
is available in the UK but not sure about anywhere else), It comes with
a jacket that you wrap around the pipe and you spray something very
cold into it and it freezes the pipe for about 30-40 mins. Saving time
and money. -- Kevin Rockell
Tap. Make sure you turn the water off at source before
attempting to clear a blocked tap by taking it apart. -- Adam
- Adam you sound as if you are talking from experience ? - Ed
the Plug in. When working above a tank, cistern, sink or
a bath remenber to keep the plug in the outlet or cover it somehow.
Everything from swarf to screwdriver bits can fall down the outlet.
Even professionals do it all the time - Darren Llewellen
Blocked Sinks. If you are
using a plunger, trying to unblock a blocked sink, cover up the
overflow holes with a damp cloth. This helps build up the pressure. --
Janet Adamson, Washington DC.
If your toilet ball float is leaking and filling with water here is a
useful trick I learnt to tide you over until you can get a new one.
Take off the float (by unscrewing it), empty it, then screw it back on
and wrap it in a plastic bag. -- David Edmunds
Threads on Pipes - When threading pipes it is sometimes
difficult to get started. You can make it easier by cutting slots in
the end and then cutting off the end later -- Richard
Heffer. Camberley UK
Cistern - A clever way of checking to see if your
cistern is leaking is to put in some food coloring. -- Anon
Practice - If you are installing tanks and fitting pipes
to them be sure to cover the ends of the pipes with tape to stop pieces
of plastic and swarf from dropping down them, the bits and pieces will
block taps later on and cause all kinds of problems.- Talking from
experience -- Richard Heffer. Camberley UK
Hammer Problem. When we lived in England we had a water
hammer problem. The plumber who came to fix it simply added a pressure
reducing valve and clipped the pipes where they were loose. The whole
job took less than an hour. Steve Sutherland.
'hammering water pipes'. This is caused by a pressure
build up of water in the pipes. The simplest solution is to turn down
your water pressure at the stop-cock -- Alan
low pressure water pipes can be carried out while the water is held
back by stuffing bread up the pipe. It should remain in place
long enough for a repair to be made -- Handy Andy. (Andy
Hand-Davis Hedge End, Southampton England)
Pipes. If your water pipe has split, a temporary fix you
can do whilst waiting for a qualified plumber is to wrap torn strips of
fabric very tightly around the break. Keep a large saucepan or bucket
underneath the join to catch any drips. -- Harry James.
If you are removing nice tap fittings (such as gold ones) for
maintenance reasons, use a thick cloth to protect it from the jaws of
the wrench, otherwise you'll get a load of scratches on them.
-- Geoff New
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