Do you remember the days when all it took to fix a leaky faucet, or a clogged toilet was calling the landlord? You now own and are responsible to all the systems in your home. It’s more fun to learn how install flooring and how to put up kitchen backsplashes, but understanding basic plumbing problems is essential to owning a house. If left untreated, small plumbing problems can quickly escalate into major ones, costing thousands in repairs. A basic understanding of plumbing skills can make you a better homeowner over the years.

Have you just bought a house and aren’t sure what plumbing is? These five basic tips will give you peace of mind.

Find the main water shut off valve and learn how to turn it off

The most important plumbing tip for homeowners is to locate and turn off the water. Each home has a shut-off valve for the main water supply. It can be found in the basement, under the kitchen sink or in a crawl space. The inspector should have indicated where the main shutoff valve was located in your report. If you don’t see it, be sure to refer back to the report.

Turn the valve clockwise using your hand. If you have to go outside, use a meter key to turn off the water supply. This will shut off the water flow to your home and all appliances and fixtures will cease to work.

Learn What Can and Can’t Go Down the Garbage Disposal.

Garbage disposals are delicate. It is important to understand what garbage can and cannot be put down your garbage disposal. This will help you avoid causing a major clog. Here are some things you should avoid doing to the disposal.

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Potato peels
  • Oil & Fat for Cooking
  • Pasta and rice

Learn how to navigate a plunger

It’s almost inevitable that you will need a plunger to unclog a sink, toilet, or bathtub. You will need the right plunger for the job. A flange is needed for a toilet, and a cup for sinks and tubs.

You will need to first seal any leaks and make sure that the water level in the basin is correct. You can then plunge vertically for around 20 seconds, regardless of whether you are using a sink, toilet, or bathtub.

Protect pipes from freezing temperatures

If you live in colder climates with subzero temperatures, you will need to know how you can protect your pipes from freezing in winter. You should take preventative measures if the temperature outside drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help to keep your pipes from freezing.

You can protect your pipes against freezing by doing the following:

  • To allow warm air to circulate to the pipes, keep all doors leading from the bathroom and kitchen open.
  • To ensure that water flows continuously, turn on all faucets.
  • Use heat tape or pipe sleeves to wrap insulation around exposed pipes

Learn how to fix a leaky pipe

A homeowner should learn how to identify and repair a leaking pipe. A leaking pipe can cause severe damage if left untreated. You can temporarily fix the problem by shutting off the water supply until a local Long Beach Plumber arrives to inspect the cause and correct it.

  • Use epoxy putty to stop the leak
  • Use a pipe clamp to seal the leak.
  • Tape and a pipe repair tool are available.