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DIY Tips to Keeping Your Pipes Flowing Smoothly


Get expert advice from a local plumber to keep your pipes flowing smoothly. Learn essential tips and FAQs to maintain a healthy plumbing system.

Ensuring your plumbing and drainage system is flowing smoothly by committing to regular maintenance is a crucial aspect of homeownership that should never be overlooked. By prioritising maintenance, you can prevent costly issues, keep your plumbing system in working order and ensure the longevity of your pipes.

As the trusted local plumbing experts on the Sunshine Coast, Big Blue Plumbing is here to emphasise the significance of regular plumbing maintenance and provide expert advice.

Pipes Flowing Smoothly

Neglecting plumbing maintenance can lead to a cascade of problems. Issues such as a water leak, blocked drains impeding the drains flowing, blocked toilets and burst pipes can cause extensive damage to your property and result in expensive repairs.

By investing in routine maintenance, you can identify and address minor issues before they escalate into a plumbing emergency.

Statistics show that homeowners regularly maintain plumbing systems, experience fewer emergency plumbing issues, and enjoy prolonged pipe lifespan. Imagine the peace of mind of knowing your plumbing is in top condition, minimising the risk of unexpected and costly repairs.

Don’t wait for a drain blockage or a burst pipe to remind you of the importance of plumbing maintenance. Take preventive action today by joining us in this article. Let’s begin!

Common Signs Of Potential Plumbing Problems

Identifying potential plumbing issues early on, such as a blocked drain, can save you from a significant plumbing emergency down the road. Awareness of common signs can help you proactively prevent significant plumbing disasters.

Leaks From Your Pipes Or Fixtures

Water leaks are one of the key signs to watch out for. Look for water stains, dampness, or mould growth on walls, ceilings, or floors. If you notice a persistent musty smell or see discolouration, it may indicate an underlying leak that needs immediate attention.

Blue Pipe Leaking Water

Low Water Pressure

Another telltale sign is low water pressure. If your faucets or showerheads produce weak streams of water, it could be due to drain blockages, tree roots, too much toilet paper, pipe corrosion, or other plumbing issues.

Pay attention to this sign, as it may point to more significant problems within your plumbing system, including blockages in your drain openings.

Lady Washing Hands Water

Strange Sounds From Your Plumbing

Unusual noises like banging, clanging, or gurgling can indicate potential plumbing issues. These noises often occur when air is trapped in the pipes or drain blockages impede the water flow.

Slow Draining Sink Closeup

Practical Tips For Preventing A Blocked Drain

Dealing with blocked drains or completely clogged tub drains can be a frustrating experience. However, with a few practical tips, you can prevent drain blockages and ensure the smooth flow of water through your pipes.

Dispose Of Waste Correctly

Implementing proper garbage disposal methods is crucial in maintaining a smoothly operating drainage system and averting a blocked drain. Avoid flushing items like sanitary products, cat litter or baby wipes down the toilet.

Items such as food scraps can accumulate in your plumbing system if not caught by a drain strainer and can cause blockages. The same is for things such as long hair. Instead, dispose of them in the appropriate trash receptacles.

Kitchen Sink Leaves Flowers

Don’t Pour Grease, Fat Or Cooking Oil Down Drains

Another important tip is to avoid pouring grease or cooking oil down the drain. When the grease cools, it solidifies and creates a layer on the inside of your pipes, potentially leading to a blocked kitchen sink drain or other blockages. Instead, let the grease cool in a container and dispose of it in the trash.


Protect Your Guttering System

Using gutter guards or drain screens prevents debris, such as leaves and tree roots, from entering your outdoor drains and helps to prevent clogged drains. These inexpensive and easy-to-install devices catch debris before it can accumulate and cause blocked drains and gutters. Regularly clean the gutter guards to ensure their effectiveness.


Dos And Don’ts for Maintaining Healthy Pipes

Maintaining healthy pipes is essential to your plumbing system’s overall functionality and longevity. You can help keep your pipes in top condition by following a few simple dos and don’ts.

  • Do use caustic cleaners when necessary. Harsh chemicals can damage your pipes over time, leading to leaks, drain blockages and corrosion. Opt for safer alternatives that are gentle on your plumbing system while clearing a minor blocked drain.
  • Do schedule regular inspections with a qualified plumber. A team of professional plumbers will assess the condition of your pipes, identify potential issues, such as a blocked drain and provide timely solutions. Regular inspections allow plumbers to catch minor problems before they escalate into major plumbing emergencies.
  • It’s a good idea to practise water conservation. Conserving water benefits the environment and reduces the strain on your plumbing system. Repair any leaks promptly, use water-efficient fixtures, and be mindful of excessive water usage to preserve the health of your pipes.
  • Don’t use chemical-based solutions for unclogging a blocked drain caused by soap scum. These solutions may temporarily relieve blocked drains but can damage your pipes in the long run. Instead, call your local emergency plumber. Using boiling water or hot water can have the same effect, potentially causing damage to PVC or plastic pipes by melting them.
  • Don’t ignore early warning signs of plumbing problems; call a plumber immediately. If you notice bathroom sink leaks, unusual noises, a blocked drain or changes in water pressure, address them promptly. Ignoring these signs can lead to more significant issues and costly repairs.

Step-by-Step Guide for Handling Minor Plumbing Repairs

Minor plumbing issues can sometimes be resolved without professional plumbers. By equipping yourself with some basic knowledge and following a step-by-step guide, you can tackle more minor repairs on your own. Let’s take a look at what these are!

Fixing A Dripping Tap

A dripping tap is annoying, wastes water, and increases your utility bill. Follow these steps to fix it:


Step 1

Turn off the water supply to the faucet. Look for the shut-off valve under the sink and turn it clockwise until the water flow stops.

Step 2

Use a screwdriver or adjustable wrench to remove the faucet handle. Look for a screw or nut securing the handle and unscrew or loosen it accordingly.

Step 3

Once the handle is removed, inspect the internal components for any signs of wear or damage. Check the condition of washers, O-rings, and other seals.

Step 4

If you find worn-out parts, replace them with new ones. Take note of the specific sizes and types of washers or O-rings required for your faucet model. You can find these replacements at a local hardware store.

Step 5

Reassemble the faucet by following the reverse order of the disassembly steps. Put the new washers or O-rings in place, secure the handle back onto the faucet, and tighten the screw or nut.

Step 6

After reassembling, turn the water supply back on by turning the shut-off valve counterclockwise. Slowly open the faucet to check for any leaks. If there are no leaks, your dripping tap should be fixed.


Replacing A Showerhead

Upgrading a showerhead is a simple way to improve your shower experience. Follow these steps to replace an old leaking showerhead with a new one:


Step 1

Turn off the water supply to the shower. Look for a shut-off valve near the shower or use the main water shut-off valve for your home.

Step 2

Using pliers or an adjustable wrench, grip the existing showerhead firmly and turn it counterclockwise to unscrew it from the shower arm. Apply gentle pressure if it’s tight.

Step 3

Before installing the new showerhead, wrap the plumber’s tape around the threads of the shower arm in a clockwise direction. This helps create a watertight seal.

Step 4

Screw the new showerhead onto the arm by hand, then use pliers or an adjustable wrench to give it a final tight turn. Be careful not to overtighten, as it may cause damage.

Step 5

Once the new showerhead is securely placed, turn on the water supply by opening the shut-off valve. Check for any leaks around the connections.

Fixing A Running Toilet

A running toilet can waste a significant amount of water. To stop the constant flow, try the following:


Step 1

Remove the toilet tank lid and place it in a safe spot. Look inside the tank and locate the flapper, usually at the bottom and connected to the flush valve.

Step 2

Check the flapper for any signs of damage or misalignment. If it’s worn or not sealing correctly, consider replacing it.

Step 3

First, replace the flapper and turn off the water supply to the toilet using the shut-off valve near the base.

Step 4

Drain the water from the tank by flushing the toilet and holding down the handle until most of the water is gone.

Step 5

Remove the old flapper from the flush valve chain and unhook any attachment points.

Step 6

Install the new flapper by following the reverse of the removal steps. Attach it to the flush valve chain and ensure it sits properly.


Partner With Big Blue Plumbing For Expert Plumbing Solutions

Understanding the early warning signs can save you from a plumbing emergency, whether you are suffering from a blocked drain, dripping tap or other plumbing issues.

Maintaining the plumbing in your home is crucial to prevent expensive problems and extend the lifespan of your pipes.

You can avoid major headaches by staying proactive and promptly taking care of minor issues.

Although methods like baking soda and hot water may seem like a good fix, sometimes they can do more harm than good.

At Big Blue Plumbing, we are your trusted local experts on the Sunshine Coast, dedicated to providing you with professional advice and reliable plumbing services.

Whether you need assistance with minor repairs, routine maintenance, or even complex blocked drains, our team is here to help.

With our extensive knowledge and experience, we can guide you through the intricacies of your plumbing system and offer effective solutions tailored to your specific needs. For more great maintenance tips, check out our gas plumbing maintenance guide.


Can I Fix A Blocked Drain Myself?

A blocked drain can result from various causes, including improper disposal of cat litter in the toilet, infiltration of tree roots into outdoor drains, accumulation of long hair in shower drains or sinks, pouring cooking oil down the kitchen sink, and more.

While DIY remedies are available, such as caustic cleaners, boiling water, and a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, these solutions are only effective for minor issues. If you suspect a more significant problem, it is advisable to contact your local plumber for professional assistance.

How often should I schedule plumbing maintenance?

It is recommended to schedule plumbing maintenance at least once a year to catch any potential issues early on and ensure optimal performance.

What should I do if I have a plumbing emergency?

In case of a plumbing emergency, such as burst pipes or sewer backups, it’s best to immediately shut off the main water supply and contact a professional plumber for assistance.

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