dad with kid fixing sink

3 Plumbing Lessons for Beginners

If you’re new to owning a home, then there are probably a few things you still need to learn. You can no longer call your landlord or maintenance crew when a toilet won’t flush or you find a leak. Keep reading for some of the plumbing basics every homeowner should know.

  1. Locate Your Main Shutoff Valve

When you encounter nearly any kind of plumbing emergency, the first step in fixing it is turning your main water line off. So… where exactly do you find that main water line?

The shutoff valve is likely in your home’s crawlspace or along an exterior wall facing the street. If the valve is operated by a wheel, turn it clockwise to cut off the water. If it’s a knife-style valve, turn it a quarter of a turn.

  1. Use the Right Plunger

One plunger is not right for all drain clogs! There are actually three different plungers to choose from, but the main two are a toilet plunger and a sink plunger (don’t get them confused!).

  • Sink Plunger - Sink plungers are the common depiction of everyday plungers. They have a rubber cup at the end of a straight handle. They work well for unclogging sinks and bathtubs, really, any flat drain.

  • Toilet Plunger - Toilet plungers have a similar shape as sink plungers, but they also have a soft rubber flap that folds out from inside the cup. The flap fits over the toilet drain making it easy to form the necessary suction to clear a clog.

  1. Don’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clogged drains are inevitable and a pain to deal with. It might seem like the easiest option when you run into this problem is to reach for that bottle of chemical drain cleaner, however, you should resist the temptation!

While these products are convenient, the caustic chemicals can do major damage to your pipes with repeated use.

If these tips don’t work, or the problem is too big to handle, don’t hesitate to contact the plumbing experts at McAtee Plumbing Heating & Cooling!