20 Handy Plumbing Tricks – A little maintenance over time can help extend the life of your plumbing fixtures. Many of these tips are applicable in your bathroom – where the vast majority of water is used in an average household. But some are also applicable to other parts of your plumbing system.

Follow these handy tips and tricks to keep your plumbing flowing in the new year! 20 Handy Plumbing Tricks:

20 Handy Plumbing Tricks

1.   Fix a Clogged Showerhead: Put the showerhead into a plastic (Ziploc) bag filled with white distilled vinegar, and tie it off with a twist tie or an elastic band. Allow to soak for a day or two;  the vinegar should break down the mineral deposits. Run the shower at full power. If needed, repeat.

2. Check for a Leaking Toilet: Put a few drops of food colouring into the tank. Wait about 20 minutes, then check the bowl. If you see that the water’s changed colours, you have a leak.

3. Clean a faucet aerator: Unscrew the aerator and soak it in the white vinegar for a night. The vinegar should break down any mineral deposits that had built up. Reinstall and run water through it to ensure that it’s cleared; repeat if necessary.

4. Prevent buildup in shower drains: Try pouring a few litres of hot water directly down the drain once a month to remove any hair that’s getting clogged, followed by a few minutes worth of warm water to ensure that it’s all pushed down.

5. Invest in a hair catcher for the shower. If you, or someone in your house has long hair, a hair catcher is a good idea, essentially acting like a strainer for your bathtub drain.

6. Clear a mild drain clog. Try a one to one mix of baking soda and vinegar. Pour it down the drain, then run hot water through it. If the buildup is not too bad, this can help to clear it.

7. Check for leaks by using the water meter. Locate the water meter, check it before bed and then again in the morning. If it’s changed significantly, you may have a leak in your plumbing.

8. Buy strainers for your kitchen drains. This will prevent large food scraps from clogging up your drain.

9. Use the right plunger for the right job. The most common plunger you see, a cup plunger, is not ideal for clearing toilet clogs. Instead, use a flange plunger, or best of all, an accordion plunger, which provides the most suction for clearing those tough clogs.

10. Run the plunger under some hot water before using: It will soften up the rubber a bit, providing better suction for the job.

11. Have a checklist for each season. A small, manageable checklist of seasonal tasks can give you piece of mind that your plumbing should keep running smoothly.

12. Turn off outside taps each winter. As part of your winter checklist, don’t forget to disconnect hoses and ensure the taps are turned off before the first cold hits. If you have a shutoff valve which leads to the outdoor faucet, close and drain them for the season.

13. Don’t bother with liquid drain cleaners. They can damage your pipes over time and are made up of toxic chemicals.

14. Don’t clog up the garbage disposal. If you have a garbarator, make sure you’re quite picky about what goes down it – no grease, oil, fats; anything starchy, like potato skins; anything fibrous, like corn husks or onion skins.

15. Know the signs of hard water. The telltale signs of white calcium buildup on your fixtures, such as showerheads, may indicate that the water in your home is hard. Over time, that can negatively affect your plumbing pipes.

16.  Get a plumbing inspection. It can identify any issues that may be lingering, but haven’t sprung up yet.

17.  Shut off the flow to your toilets and sinks when going on vacation. There should be valves to turn the water off located below the sink, and just behind the toilet.

18. Have someone trusted come in to check on the plumbing while you’re away.  If you’re going away on a vacation, get a good friend or relative to just drop by your house every once in a while to ensure that all’s okay. If going away for an extended time during winter, don’t completely turn off the heat to make sure you don’t run into problems with your pipes freezing.

19. Familiarize yourself with the shut-off valve. If a plumbing problem strikes, you’ll want to know exactly where to go to shut off the water supply and prevent further damage.

20. When in doubt, call in the professionals. If you’re not completely knowledgeable about what you’re doing, don’t make a plumbing problem worse by attempting to fix it yourself – it can cost you money in the long run.

DrainWorks: The Toronto Plumber You Can Trust.

While these tips should help you keep your plumbing and fixtures flowing smoothly, you shouldn’t hesitate to call in an expert if you need to. At DrainWorks, we pride ourselves on the principles that set us apart from the rest in Toronto.

Those include:

  • Upfront, exact-to-the-penny pricing;
  • Full time salaried staff (no commission);
  • showing up on time;
  • never charging the customer any extra fees for fuel or overtime;
  • coming equipped for the job, with our trucks functioning as mobile warehouses;
  • a commitment to leaving no trace whenever possible.

If you’ve got a plumbing problem in the GTA, click the button below to book a plumbing appointment with our web form, or give us a call at 416 486 0000.

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