It's Getting Watery In Here

3 Essential Pieces Of Plumbing Advice For New Homeowners

People often don't think about plumbing very much until they become homeowners. Then suddenly, it's your responsibility to maintain and care for your pipes and plumbing fixtures, and you realize you don't know very much about them. The good news is that for most things, you can simply hire a plumber and let them take care of it. But there are a few pieces of plumbing advice that are worth knowing as a new homeowner.

Find your water main valve

The water main is the large pipe that brings all of your fresh water into your home. The water main valve is the valve that controls the flow of water into that pipe. Go down into your basement, and look for the largest fresh water pipe coming into the home. There should be a valve on it; previous homeowners may have labeled it. Make sure that valve turns, and if it does not, apply some penetrating oil to it and give it a few turns. If you ever have a big leak, you can turn off the water main valve to limit the amount of water that gushes out.

You can use a plunger in a sink or tub

For some reason, people think of plungers as being only for toilets. But you can use a plunger to unclog a sink or tub drain, too. You will want the kind of plunger with a plain, bowl-shaped bottom rather than a flared part designed to fit into the toilet hole. If you immerse the head of the plunger in water and plunge up and down, you can often clear a clog and avoid having to use a chemical drain cleaner, which is not great for your pipes.

Never put grease down the drain

Bacon fat, leftover butter sauce, oil from cooking your pizza — none of these should go down the drain. Grease can cling to the insides of pipes. Over time, it will grab onto debris and food particles, creating blockages. This applies even if you have a garbage disposal. Scrape any grease sauces or residues into the trash can; don't put them down the disposal. Avoid putting fibrous veggies, like celery and asparagus, down the disposal as well.

If you follow these three pieces of plumbing advice as a homeowner, you'll be off to a good start. If you have any questions, reach out to a residential plumbing contractor in your area. Good luck!