The integrity of your plumbing systems comes down to quality installation, maintenance, and naturally, wear and tear. At A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc., we’re here when you need repairs or emergency services, but our role goes beyond that. We want to help you save time and money over the long haul.
By following these handy plumbing tricks, you can save both money and headaches down the road. Each of these tips is rather inexpensive, and shouldn’t cost you more than around $20 at the local hardware store.
1. Put an end to sink-sprayer snags. Do you find yourself jiggling the hose every time you pull out the kitchen sink sprayer? If so, it’s probably catching on the shutoff valves under the sink. To stop this from happening, slip 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation over the pipes and the shutoff handles, and tape them so they’ll stay put. It shouldn’t cost more than about $5.
2. Quiet sinks with expanding foam. Is your kitchen sink too noisy? Deaden the gong sounds with expanding foam. What you do is fill the space between the two stainless steel sink basins with the expanding foam. The foam will deaden the vibrations and reduce that “gong” effect. While it’s best to do this before installing the sink, it can still be done afterward. Once the foam hardens, just trim the excess away with a knife.
3. Unclog toilets with a shop vacuum. When a hard object such as a toy car, marble, toothbrush, or superhero figure clogs the drain, and the plunger doesn’t work – you might want to try a shop vacuum. With this trick, you suck the water and the obstruction out, providing you have a wet/dry shop vacuum.
4. Flush toilets with a bucket of water. Are you in the midst of a plumbing project? You don’t have to run to the neighbor’s to use their toilet. Instead, before you turn off the water supply, fill your standard 2-gallon bucket with water. Whenever you need to go, just dump the water in the bowl. Each bucket yields one flush and it works just as well as any other method, however, it doesn’t refill the bowl.
5. Do this before remodeling. If you’re remodeling and your walls are torn open, take pictures of the plumbing inside your walls, and do this for floors and ceilings too. When you start your next remodeling project, you will know where the electrical, framing and plumbing lines are located.
6. Quiet creaky pipes. If you have copper piping, running hot water will expand them, causing them to grind against joists and pipe hangers. To silence the sounds, get some adhesive-backed felt and cut it into strips. Then, carefully remove each hanger and wrap the pipe with the felt before you refasten the hanger.