You Can Take Care of Some Plumbing Problems Yourself

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Hose clamp, Hose clamp assortment, Types of hose clamps

Military clamps

There are many times when you have plumbing problems that can be best fixed by calling in a plumbing expert. There are other times when you can work on the plumbing problems that you find on your own. Before you call in the cavalry, try your hand at fixing some of your plumbing problems on your own. You can get all of the supplies you need from wrenches to hose clamps at your local hardware store. They can also answer a lot of your questions about your plumbing projects.

  • Your basement pipes are sweating. This is common in many homes. Water vapor comes into contact with a cool pipe and will condense back to the liquid water phase. This is a real problem because this creates near perfect conditions for mold growth. The mold spores can go on and be spread to other parts of your home. First, these spores can make your basement a very unhappy place. If you store your belongings in the basement or have furniture, rugs, carpets, drapes, anything that is porous can be destroyed by mold and mold spores. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified thousands of kinds of mold and they are all dangerous to human health. There is a simple way to deal with this. Get some pipe insulation and cover your pipes. This can prevent pipes from sweating and cut down on your exposure to mold.
  • When you flush the toilet, your pipes bang. This can be very annoying. High water pressure is often the culprit. This is called a “water hammer” by many plumbing experts. This is often a symptom of a bigger problem. The high water pressure can cause a lot of damage to your pipes, washers and joints that are in the plumbing system. Find the pressure regulator for the water that is coming into your home and lower the pressure level. All it takes to lower the pressure is to turn a screw. You may also want to invest in an inexpensive gauge to check the pressure level yourself. If you still have problems after you have done this, you will need to bring in a plumber to find and fix the problem.
  • You hear knocking from your radiators. The main culprit for this problem is air that has become trapped in your system. You can use the bleed valve to get that air out. This is usually located on a spot that is opposite from the inlet valve. All the equipment you need is a bucket and a screwdriver. Water will be released from the system at the same time as the air and that is why you need the bucket. Unscrew the inlet valve by turning it counterclockwise. Put your bucket under the bleed valve and open it. Take care to not be splashed with the water as it will be very hot and can be dangerous. The water will have air bubbles in it. When runs without air bubbles, close it all up. If you have more than one radiator, you should bleed all of them. If this does not fix your problem, you should call a plumber.
  • You have found leaks in your pipes. If the leak that you find is small, you may still need to call a plumber but you can minimize the damage caused by the leak by slowing it down or stopping it temporarily. First, you need to shut off the water to the pipe that has the leak. Drain the leaking pipe. Once the water has been removed, you should clean the area. You will need to get a hose and a hose clamp. Fit the hose over the pipe and secure it with your hose clamps. There are a number of types of hose clamps. When you are at the hardware store, an adjustable hose clamp may be your best bet. A heavy duty hose clamp should keep you ok and flood free until a plumber can get to your home.

It can be very satisfying to successfully fix problems that arise with your plumbing. Having a snake to help when toilets or drains are clogged can save you more money on your repair costs.


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