7 Plumbing Must-Knows for Homeowners

November 8th, 2021 | Plumbing, Water Heater

When you become a homeowner, you take on full responsibility for your home’s systems. This responsibility includes all of the plumbing that brings water into your home, heats it, and removes the resulting waste. 

While plumbing professionals can help when something goes wrong, you should have a basic understanding of things. This knowledge can help you avoid trouble and know when to call for help.

Here are seven must-know items for every homeowner in Orange, CA:

1. What Goes Down the Disposal

Many homeowners assume that with few exceptions, nearly all food can go down their in-sink garbage disposal. Then, they end up dealing with a disposal that’s clogged or has a dead motor. The culprit is either the wrong foods or too much food.

What Are the Wrong Foods?

In general, avoid putting anything down your disposal that is too hard, fibrous, gummy, or greasy. Here are some examples:

  • Corn husks
  • Raw meat
  • Bones
  • Grease
  • Pasta
  • Onion and potato peels

Be careful with the amount of food you send down the disposal as well. Despite its name, it isn’t a garbage can. Use it for bits of food leftover after eating and other small quantities of food. Larger amounts of food belong in the trash or compost.

2. How to Defeat Clogs

No matter how careful you are, clogs happen. It’s important to know what to do next. The last thing you need is to make the problem worse. 

Can you DIY a clog? That depends. It’s okay to use a plunger gently to deal with a minor clog. If that doesn’t work, there’s no need to start searching the web for “plumbers near me.” Just give Moffett Plumbing & Air a call. If the clog involves more than one fixture, you will need professional help.

Whatever you do, avoid the following mistakes:

  • Making homemade tools or using household items to remove clogs
  • Pouring store-bought liquid drain cleaners down any pipes
  • Plunging aggressively
  • Attempting to use professional plumbing equipment without certification or experience

When in doubt, let a professional clear it out.

3. Where to Shut Off the Water

Ideally, you will have shut-off valves underneath each sink, at the base of your toilet, near your water heater, and on the pipes that lead to your outdoor fixtures. You should be able to turn the water on and off any place there is running water.

These shut-off valves can truly prevent disaster in the case of a leak or rupture. You simply turn the valve to the off position and prevent a flood. Of course, that only works if you can quickly and easily access the shut-offs. More importantly, you have to make sure the valves work.

What if you don’t have shut-off valves? What if they are corroded, and you can’t get them to budge? A professional plumber can install shut-offs wherever you need them and can fix stuck valves.

4. Preventing Frozen Pipes

Freezing pipes are admittedly not a common problem in Orange, CA. Still, it’s a good idea to take some precautions during the cold season. If you know the weather is going to be unseasonably cold, disconnect hoses from outside spigots. 

You should also keep garage doors closed. Open interior doors. Keep your furnace on. Consider keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to get to the pipes.

5. Plumbing Trouble Warning Signs

A major plumbing problem can ruin your day and empty your wallet. Fortunately, many issues start small. If you can catch them early, the fix may be simple and inexpensive. Be on the lookout for any of these trouble signs:

  • Hot water that just isn’t very hot
  • A drop in water pressure
  • Slow drains
  • A sudden increase in your water bill
  • Rotten egg or “sewer” smells inside your home

If you notice any of these issues, Give Moffett Plumbing & Air a call. We’ll troubleshoot the problem and fix your plumbing the right way.

6. What You Should Flush

What is safe to flush? What needs to go in the garbage bin? Unfortunately, this can be a bit confusing. There are so many cleansing wipes, hygiene products, even toilet cleaning wands that are supposed to be flushable. It says so on the package, doesn’t it?

In reality, these items are not flushable. They can clog your pipes and lead to expensive repair bills.

The best solution is to keep it simple. Only two things should ever be flushed, human waste and toilet paper.

7. What’s Your Water Heater’s Birthday?

An aging water heater can be a real problem. If it breaks down, you are without hot water until you can schedule an appointment to get it fixed. Remember that water heaters last between 8 and 12 years. You can save yourself a lot of inconveniences if you schedule a replacement call proactively.

A Homeowner’s Plumbing Partner

Homeowners need to understand how to care for their plumbing. More than anything, this means knowing where to turn for help. If you have a clog, leak, or other issues, call Moffett Plumbing & Air. We’re here to help!

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.