The Basics of Plumbing

We often get questions from customers about how they could prevent, or even fix, general plumbing issues themselves. While there are certain precautions you can take to maintain your house in good condition, there are a number of things you should always contact a professional for.

From leaking taps and blocked drains to gas leaks and appliances. Here are the basics of plumbing every house owner should know about.

Here’s when you should always call a professional plumber.

Some plumbing issues are complex enough where you shouldn’t try to fix them yourself. A licensed plumber is able to not only fix existing issues, but also to ensure that everything runs smoothly going forward.

Some of these issues include:

– Water pipes
– Drainage
– Irrigation connections to mains water
– Hot water systems
– Blocked drains
– Gas leaks
– Gas appliances
– Evaporative coolers
– Renovations and extensions

It is important to remember, however, that you should always make sure the plumber you’re hiring is licensed and insured. The main reason why you should go with a licensed and insured plumber instead of a cash plumber, an apprentice or a handyman is, if things go wrong, insurance companies won’t cover the costs related to any damage to a property if they find out the work has been carried out by an unlicensed and uninsured plumber. With due diligence, you can save yourself a lot of money if water damages occur at your property.

Here’s what you can attempt to maintain yourself.

While professional plumbers are able to help you with all issues related to plumbing, there are certain things you can attempt to do yourself. In fact, it is recommended that you have a basic understanding of plumbing, so you’ll know how to fix minor issues around the house and prevent them in the future.

These include:

– Routine checks
– Leaking toilets
– Leaking taps
– Replacing a shower head
– Plunging a blocked toilet or sink.

…and here’s how to do it.

Conducting routine checks around the house is a simple way of making sure your house is safe from damage. You should regularly take some time to examine all exposed pipes for any signs of moisture, and brass or copper fittings for signs of corrosion. It is also important to take a closer look at the water pressure and drain of your sinks, showers and tubs. You should also flush your toilets and have a look at your toilet base and connections to check for running or leaking water. Lastly, you should look at your hot water unit. Check all the connections and around the unit for any signs of water. Don’t forget to also check the valves of the unit to see whether it’s time to replace them.

Leaking taps are a common, and often annoying, problem for house-owners. If left to drip, one tap could waste hundreds to thousands of litres of water per year. If the root of the problem is just the tap washer, you can replace it yourself – provided you have the right tools for the job. However, in some cases it’s the valve seat that needs fixing, and that’s a job best left to a professional.

If you’re feeling confident, a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a new washer is all you need to fix a leaking toilet. The problem is often caused by the washer in the toilet cistern, which can be replaced quite easily. Just make sure to turn off the tap feeding water to the toilet before you start, and check whether replacing the washer did the trick by turning the water supply back on after you’re done and letting the cistern refill, then flushing to see if the problem has been solved. If not, the problem could be with the inlet valve, but this should, again, be left to a professional to handle.

Blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing issues, which is why it pays to have a basic understanding of how to deal with one. If left untreated, they can cause major damage to your property. For instance, they could be leaking sewage to underneath your house causing mould and also weakening the foundations of the dwelling. In general it’s a health risk having any overflowing sewage due to hepatitis B and other known forms of pathogens. Before you try to clear a blocked drain yourself, check the inspection openings to your drains outside the property dwelling to see if all your sewer drains are blocked. A good indication of this is if the water level is high in the outside drains or overflowing. If this seems to be the case, it’s time to call the plumber as they will need specialised drain clearing equipment. If not, you can try the traditional tricks of using a plunger or boiled water to clear your drains from inside your property. For more information about blocked drains, have a squiz at our blog.

It is important to remember that in some states it is actually illegal to do any plumbing work yourself, so you should be mindful of this and contact local authorities before beginning repairs yourself. For dependable and professional plumbing and gas services in Canberra and surrounding regions, contact our team at JML Plumbing & Gas.

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