With the increasing popularity of the DIY trend, many homeowners need to pay more attention to code requirements, basic safety precautions and guidelines regarding plumbing.
Homeowners often assume maintenance projects such as fixing the plumbing system or general plumbing repairs with inaccurate power tools and mostly intuition. While improvisation may be beneficial in other aspects of life, risky conditions during plumbing projects call for adherence to strict precautions, appropriate techniques, and the right tools.
Besides ensuring safety and health hazards, the precautions often include legal requirements for installing a plumbing system.
Additionally, following maintenance and safety tips can help reduce your water bill by catching plumbing issues early. Read below to learn more about basic dos and don’ts during plumbing maintenance.
Plumbing Safety Tips For Homeowners
1. Check For Water Leaks
Many homeowners suffer from water leaks, but major problems arising from these leaks are the growth of mildew and mould that can be detrimental to health. Leaks in the water supply line also account for one of the leading causes of water wastage worldwide.
To check for hidden leaks, close the water supply to your house for a few hours and keep an eye on the water meter. If there are any fluctuations in the reading, there might be significant leaks in the water supply. You can identify the source by checking faucets and exposed plumbing pipes. Other sure signs of leaks include water pooling near drains and the sudden appearance of moulds.
Further, if the leaks in your water supply have significantly progressed, there might be hidden moulds within the walls, especially near appliances that release heat. Call leak detection experts or professional plumbers to resolve the issue.
2. Limit What Goes Down Your Drain
Besides water and soap, there shouldn’t be any unwanted items that make their way into the drain or toilets. You should never flush down toilet paper, cotton balls, feminine hygiene products or nappies toilets since they can cause clogging issues.
Even soap suds can clog the drain, so your drains will require regular cleaning to reduce the chances of any deposits that may restrict the water flow. And installing a drain cover is advisable to prevent hair or debris from clogging the toilet drains.
3. Open Drains Carefully
If you want to manually clean the drains instead of using drain cleaners, be careful while opening the drain parts so that the content doesn’t spew all over you. Since it can contain pressurised water or sewage, keep a distance from the opening when draining pipes.
4. Shut Off The Water Supply
In case of plumbing emergencies or major leaks, it is advisable to turn off the water supply using the shut-off valves to prevent your home from flooding.
Every house has a main shut-off valve that cuts off the water supply to the entire space, but there are also individual valves under toilets and sinks for fixing a specific plumbing issue or area. This procedure is one of the first steps a licensed plumber takes while working on fixtures.
More importantly, checking all the shut-off valves around the house during yearly maintenance is a great way to be aware of their locations for easier access during unforeseen emergencies.
5. Regularly Check Your Water Heater
A water heater is an important plumbing fixture that requires proper maintenance. And although handling a water heater sounds dangerous, looking for early signs can prevent any hot water issues.
Check for leaks or puddles near the water heater and any moisture near pipes and the body. Additionally, signs like rust or loud noises are indicative of internal issues. Also, if you have traditional water heaters, conduct a yearly cleaning session to drain any sediments–this will ensure smooth water heating and reduce your electricity bills.
6. Conduct Regular Inspections
There is a good reason why plumbers stress regular inspection of your plumbing system. Regularly checking for leaks, damps, backflow and other issues can prevent a bigger problem and save you money in the long run.
Some Other Things To Keep In Mind
1. Protect Your Eyes
Before every plumbing job, it is important to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from damage or injuries. Maintenance work that includes using a drain snake, drill, saw or hammers can expose your eyes to high chances of damage. Working with unprotected eyes can also lead to damages caused by spewing sewage or debris while fixing drains.
2. Use Work Gloves
Plumbing maintenance work often requires handling several tools, chemicals, and materials that can be potentially toxic. So, it is essential to wear gloves during every plumbing work. However, working with a drain machine isn’t safe while wearing leather gloves, so opt for latex gloves instead.
3. Wear Masks
Many plumbing projects can expose you to dangerous fumes with bacteria and toxic chemicals, especially while fixing a burst pipe or toilet drain. When inhaled, these fumes or contaminants are a huge health hazard and can cause severe lung damage; thus, the plumbing codes make wearing a face mask compulsory, even for experienced professionals.
4. Use The Garbage Disposal Properly
Forcing food scraps or solid waste materials down the garbage disposal can cause the waste to back up and create nasty clogs. Hence, ensure you avoid putting certain foods into the garbage disposal, including grease, starchy items, bones, fruit pits, tough meat, egg shells and fibrous items.
Before disposing of the item, consider if it can dull the garbage disposal blades or throw it into the dustbins to be on the safe side.
5. Always Read Labels
When using chemicals, drain cleaners or machines during a repair, it is wise to read any warning labels on the items. These can equip you with proper handling of the item while making you aware of what to do in emergencies.
6. Don’t Cut Blindly
Before cutting into a wall or floor, always ensure you know what’s behind the surface. Cutting into electrical wires, pipes, or insulation can cause flooding, violent accidents, house fires and even property loss.
Keep Your Plumbing System Running Smoothly With These Essential Safety Tips!
Following simple tips and guidelines can go a long way in preventing safety hazards and effectively fixing plumbing issues. However, it is important to remember that even though DIY sounds reasonable for minor drainage issues and leaks, they might often lead to severe problems that require professional help.
Want to speak to a plumber? Give our team a call today! Whether it is emergencies or regular plumbing inspections, we’ve covered you at Big Blue Plumbing Buderim. We offer a wide range of plumbing services with full transparency and strictly adhere to all plumbing codes in your area to keep you safe.
If you want to learn more about plumbing techniques and tips, watch this space. Until then, goodbye!