Here are the top 14 basic plumbing tips for beginners so they have a good plumbing service at home and can avoid common problems before they become leaks or basement floods. I collected these tips from expert plumbers I have spoken to over the years and from my own experience.
- Cleaning a shower head
Clogged shower heads decrease the shower pressure by 20% or more, which results in a weak shower. Eventually, scales or lime build up in the shower and make it unusable. Get your shower back with these easy steps.
- Scrub the nozzles
By gently squeezing the shower head and rubbing the scale or lime off with your fingers, you can clean your shower head nozzle. This removes any built up at the nozzle.
- Clean the shower head
Immerse the shower head in a plastic bag containing vinegar and tie the bag to the shower head with a wire or rubber band. Remove the bag with vinegar and turn on water for few minutes to clear vinegar and all the accumulated build-up that peeled off.
Alternatively, you can remove the shower head from the pipe and soak it in a bag of vinegar for a few hours. Rinse the shower head under running water and replace the shower head on the pipe where it was removed.
- Clean the filter
With a pair of nose pliers, remove the shower head from the pipe and the filter screen from the pivot ball. Rinse the filter under running water and squeeze the screen gently. You can also use a brush to remove any hard deposits on the filter screen.
2. Clean a slow drain
Clogging down the drain pipe causes a slow drain. It could be a major blockage somewhere if all of your drains are running slowly. If only one drain is running slowly, you can fix it yourself.
- Salt & baking soda
Add half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of table salt to the slow drain. Pour half a cup of vinegar over the salts in the drain and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Pour boiling hot or very hot water into the drain for three minutes. During this time, you will see parts of the clog disappear. Repeat these steps for few more time till the drain is completely clean.
- Use drain snake to remove hair and clogs
A drain snake can also be used to catch the clog and then remove it. It will be messy but usually does the trick. This will save you from pouring chemicals down the sink. Plunge it up and down several times to remove the clog.
- Long metal wire
If nothing works, you insert a long and heavy wire into the drain and wiggle it until all the clogs move down the drain.
Change your faucet filter.
There are minerals in your water that can accumulate over time, so your water pipes are fairly clean. Clean your filter screens annually.
Most people drink water from their refrigerator or kitchen sink. To keep your family safe, install a quality water filter in both.
Prevent shower drain clogs
Clogged drains are very inconvenient, especially if you don’t have the time to get them fixed. Clogging can be avoided with a few simple steps so you don’t have to deal with it every now and then. To prevent strands of hair from getting into the drain and blocking it, use a hair catcher. Hair strands gets accumulated and forms a stubborn clog.
Clean the clogged drain with natural solutions such as baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. When you use a commercial cleaner, its harmful chemicals reacts on the walls of the pipe making it weaker and easy to break.
Solids, paper products, leftover paint, and fluids with heavy particles like fine sand should not be poured down the drain. The more they accumulate, the more difficult it is to remove the clog.
Regularly have a professional inspect your system every 2-3 years to ensure trouble free, economical, and safe water use. This will also ensure good drainage and prevent bad smells.