Thursday, September 22, officially marks the end of summer, which means school bells are once again ringing for kiddos throughout the Baltimore metro area. We know that the start of the school year represents an opportunity for kids to gain knowledge of new subjects, but we’re big believers in continuous learning for people of all ages. In honor of class returning to session, we wanted to deliver one of our favorite lessons to all you readers out there. Here are our top five basic things that everyone should know about plumbing.How To

Clear a clogged toilet

Anyone who ever said homeownership was fun has never felt the sheer panic that comes along with a clogged toilet. This frustrating occurrence can not only be embarrassing, but a real problem if your home only has one bathroom. Unfortunately, it always seems to happen at the worst possible time, too. However, clearing a clogged toilet may be easier than you think. To start, you should always have a plunger available at all times to use in these situations. Place the plunger cup in the bowl and form a tight seal around the hole. Next, push and pull the plunger vertically—using pressure—for 15 to 20 seconds. It may take a few tries, but this tactic can usually dislodge the clog. If a plunger doesn’t do the trick, a snake (or one you can fashion out of a coat hanger, DIY-style) is a good way to free up any blockages inside your pipes that you can’t see. Gently insert the snake (or hanger) into the bowl and repeatedly prod the blockage until it loosens.

How ToFix a running toilet

Now that you know how to fix a clogged toilet, let’s address the opposite end of the spectrum and tackle toilets that won’t stop running. When we talk about running toilets, we mean those that sound like they are continually filling without ever actually stopping. One of the most common reasons that this might happen is a bad flapper—the little rubber cap on a chain that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. Replacing a flapper is an easy and inexpensive fix, and the parts you need can be picked up at any local hardware store.

How ToShut off water

If you thought a clogged toilet was anxiety-inducing, you don’t even want to think about a busted pipe (or leak) that results in water rapidly emptying into your home. There are many different reasons why leaks can occur—and a couple of different ways to stop the water. First, you should know that the water to your entire home can be turned off at the main water supply. This may be located either outside near the property line, or inside in your basement. It’s important that you know where it is and how to work it. Also, there are valves connected to fixtures like toilets and sinks that can be turned to stop water flow to those individual fixtures.

How ToCare for your pipes

The crisp weather that is just around the corner will be a much-welcomed change. But before you know it, we’ll be in the thick of winter and icy cold temps. Taking care of your pipes is essential, and a big part of that process is winterizing them to prevent the pipes from bursting. Prior to the arrival of freezing temperatures, here are a few things you’ll want to do:

  • As the icy temps approach, be sure to leave your faucets on to alleviate water pressure and keep everything flowing freely. Even just a drip will do.
  • Next, open all the cabinet doors beneath sinks so that heat inside your home can flow directly on those interior pipes.
  • One other idea is to insulate exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tape.

How ToLearn to love plumber’s tape

You know how veteran tradespeople seem to always have that piece of trusty equipment they use all the time? For plumbers, that’s plumber’s tape, also known as Teflon tape. Plumber’s tape is a must-have that every homeowner should keep stocked. Why? Because it can be used for so many different things. It’s most effective at sealing threaded connections to keep water from seeping through joints and fittings. Before sealing, be sure to wrap your plumber’s tape around the pipe about three times for a good fit.

Have a problem that these quick tips can’t help you fix? It may be time to bring in the professionals at Prime Plumbing. Save time, call Prime!


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