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Learning some plumbing basics is vital whether you’re new to home ownership or want to brush up on your knowledge. Here are 20 plumbing hacks to get you through a plumbing emergency, like unclogging a shower drain or gas water heater repair, until a professional can help.

georgetown plumbing hacks

20 Easy Austin Plumbing Hacks

  • Stop a leak by locating your water supply valves and shutting off the water. This also helps prevent extensive water damage until a plumbing professional can assist you. The main valve is typically in your home’s basement or crawl space.
  • Confirm a leak by turning off all the fixtures that use water. Find your water meter and make a note of the water usage. After a few hours, check the meter. You likely have a leak if the usage increases while not using water.
  • Use dish soap to cut through grease and prevent buildup in your kitchen sink’s drain.
  • Unclog a toilet with a quarter cup of dish soap and plenty of hot water. Make sure the water is not boiling because it could crack the porcelain.
  • Stop a leaky sink with a faucet repair kit purchased from your local hardware store.
  • Get rid of drain flies with enzyme drain cleaner, designed to break down the organic material that attracts them.
  • Improve your showerhead flow by removing it and soaking it in a plastic bag with white vinegar.
  • Clear a blocked sink drain with baking soda and vinegar. Flush with hot water.
  • Detect a leaky toilet flapper using food coloring in the reservoir. If it shows up in the bowl after a few hours, the flapper needs replacing.
  • Pour canola oil down floor drains to temporarily get rid of unwanted odors.
  • Correct a weak flush by adjusting the water level in the tank.
  • Flush your water heater every six to 12 months to ensure you won’t need a premature water heater replacement.
  • Quickly stop an overflowing toilet by lifting the float valve. Then, shut off the supply valve beside the toilet.
  • Tighten a loose toilet seat with a wrench or screwdriver.
  • Erase stubborn stains using 2,000-grit sandpaper or a pumice stone.
  • Remove hair clogging a drain by making notches in a zip tie and using it as a snake.
  • Avoid putting flushable or diaper wipes down your toilet because they do not break down.
  • Stuff a piece of white bread in a pipe you need to solder to stop the leak while you work.
  • Clean a faucet’s aerator by removing it with a pair of adjustable pliers, soaking it in vinegar, and then scrubbing it with a toothbrush.
  • Maintain your water heater at its ideal temperature – 120 °F for optimal performance.

Please note that we always recommend you contact a professional for more severe issues, like a gas water heater replacement or a leaking pipe. If you need help with any plumbing emergency, contact the Plumbing Outfitters online or call (512) 269-1382. You can be confident knowing we can solve your plumbing issue because our licensed technicians have more than five decades of combined experience.

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