Labor day was earlier this month, a day to celebrate the American worker and all they do and have done for us. While we celebrate them on Labor day, the least we can do when we need their services is to know what we can do to make their lives easier. So here we collected a few things from our plumbing partners that they wish they knew that make their job run just a little smoother.
Where to Find Your Shutoff Valve
If you’re calling a plumber, odds are something has already gone wrong, and if it’s gone REALLY wrong you’re going to have to close your home’s shutoff valve. Your shutoff valve is a water valve for your entire house, and is critical for any plumbing issues where things are leaking, pipes need to be replaced, and more.
If your home has a crawlspace the shutoff valve may be on an exterior wall closest to the street. If your home is on a concrete slab check to see if the shutoff valve is near the front of your home where your hose connection is. If you don’t see it there it may be near your water heater or under the kitchen sink. In other homes, it may be outside, at ground level, and under a round or rectangular cover near the street.
You may need special tools to access and turn off your shutoff valve. So to prevent costly water damage for you and a lot of searching around for your plumber you should find it, remember where it is, and know how to turn it off in case you have a leak and your plumber can’t arrive quickly.
Garbage Disposals aren’t Invincible
A garbage disposal feels like a great place to dispose of wet foods that will stink up your kitchen garbage, and in some cases that’s true, but actually, there are some surprising foods that it can’t handle. Medium or Large chunks of celery, chicken skin, potato peels, and most fruit seeds are very dangerous to your disposal. They jam the blades, damaging the motor and requiring you to replace the whole thing.
Also, be sure to run cold water down the drain before and while the disposal is running to keep the motor cool, and clean your disposal after use by dropping a few ice cubes into it while it’s running. If your sink is smelly it could be your disposal, check out this video on how to clean your disposal without hurting your plumbing.
What is Actually Flushable
You may have a lot of products in your home that say they’re flushable but can still cause some huge issues with your plumbing and cause clogs. You should throw away things like “flushable” wipes, scrubbers, and other hygiene products even if they say they are flushable.
You should also be aware of how much toilet paper you flush at once, as it’s more likely to clog a toilet than you think!
Cleaning Tablets are Dangerous
Toilet freshening tablets seem like a good idea for keeping the hardest cleaning job in your house fresh and clean, but they come with some serious risks to your toilet. The upper tank of your toilet has several mechanisms that aren’t designed to withstand cleaners, the rubber stopper will slowly disintegrate when exposed to bleach and the metal components will degrade when exposed to chlorine.
Toilet cleaners that stay in the bowl are fine, as is a good ol’ fashion scrubbing!
Chemical Clog Removers are Bad
When your sink, shower, or toilet is having problems draining you may be tempted to get some liquid clog remover, but they can actually damage your pipes! Just like with the toilet cleaners, liquid clog removers are very corrosive so they can break down clogs, but that of course can also dissolve your plumbing.
You can better prevent clogs by being aware of what you put down the drains in your house, and you can remove most clogs with a plumber snake.
Bonus: Get a Bypass for your NuvoH2O
As a bonus piece of advice, if you have a NuvoH2O system it’s critical to have a bypass for your system. A bypass is a series of valves and pipes that let water flow around or through your system. This is critical for any time you need to change the cartridges so you don’t have to cut the water to your whole home while you do it.
Be Good to your Plumber
Whenever you have plumbing problems, you may be tempted to do it yourself but a professional touch can prevent a plethora of problems before they begin. And when you hire a hard-working plumber there’s no reason to make their job harder. Keep these steps in mind to make your plumbing run smoother and improve your relationship with your plumbers.