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5 Homeowner Friendly Maintenance Tips

Owning a home is an amazing opportunity to learn new things and stretch your limits. Leading the way with your dream furniture you’ve always wanted, painting the walls with colors of your choosing, outfitting the kitchen with appliances you want, and so on. Being a homeowner can be amazing, and at times it can be stressful. Things happen from time to time, especially when you least expect it.

Here are some friendly tips all homeowners should know. These are things you should be aware of when it comes to keeping the home’s plumbing up and running.

1. Locate Main Water Shut Off Valve

Sooner than later, this valve should be located on your property. The shutoff valve has one of two different designs. A gate valve or a ball valve.

The gate valve lasts for years, but get stuck if they aren’t turned every so often. It’d be best to get this one loosened up just in the chance of an emergency, and you need to shut it off. Typically has a round nozzle which opens and shuts the valve.

The ball valve has a single handle that you turn clockwise or counterclockwise to shut off or turn on the water.

If you don’t know where your main water shut off valve is located, consider taking a look around your home. Main water shut off valves are typically located in the front yard of a home. They can be submerged in an underground capsule, or they are exposed as a single pipe in a garage or basement. You'll need to access this valve in the case of a dire water emergency and you need to switch it all off ASAP!

2. Know Where Your Main Sewer Line Clean Out Is

Typically, your main sewer line cleanout is a 3 to 4-inch diameter pipe with a cap that can be unscrewed with a wrench. It can found where there is other utility access in the ground. In warmer regions, the main clean-out is often located on the exterior of the house.

This valve is great to know where it’s located because it provides another source of entry to a home’s main sewer line. Just in case there is a need to unclog an issue that causes water backflow into other drains in your home.

3. Clean Shower Drain

Avoid any major future plumbing issues by keeping an eye out for your shower drain. Homeowners typically have a grate in the center of their shower. There are devices you can buy that fit over that slot. It's built to catch hair and other potential drain harming issues. Things that fall down that drain end up collecting, multiplying, and then clogging up. From soap to suds, to hair, or other things that go down the drain, it all adds up!

A few ways to break down what’s under your shower drain in case of a clog or as preemptive maintenance are:

  • Pour boiling water down the drain.
  • Try using a plunger.
  • Use baking soda and vinegar (the natural alternative to chemicals)!
  • Take the drain cover off and pull out the clog by hand.
  • Use a hook.
  • Use a plumbers’ snake (also sometimes called a "toilet jack" or an "electric eel")

4. Watch What You Put Down the Sink

Be mindful of what is going down the kitchen sink. It’s amazing to have a hard working garbage disposal, but things can turn on you when you least expect it. Here is a brief list of things to avoid washing down the kitchen sink.

  • Grease, Cooking Oil, and Animal Fat: Each of these will collect in your drains, harden, and add buildup within the pipes.
  • Coffee Grinds
  • Fruit or Vegetable Peels
  • Egg Shells
  • Soft Foods that have been enlarged with Water

If you ever end up clogging up your drain with any of the above, get ready to call someone for immediate assistance.

5. Get A Plumbing Inspection

As much as any homeowner can be prepared for a bigger accident or a mishap with their plumbing, not everyone is qualified to reclog, reseal, repair, or mount anything that deals with plumbing. If you’re a new homeowner, business owner, or need help in any other building type, contact us here at I Need The Plumber & AC. We can provide a plumbing inspection and inform you of the biggest things to watch out for as well as let you know if we found anything that requires immediate repair or maintenance.

I Need The Plumber & AC provides not just one or two options for repair—we provide a minimum of three options to solve your plumbing issue at hand. We can explain in detail the options you have, but we ultimately leave the decision to you so you can choose the right one that best fits your unique situation and budget.