9 Things Plumbers Wished Every Homeowner Knew

image of things you should know depicting plumbing tips

Plumbers are on your side when it comes to keeping your entire plumbing system operating safely and efficiently. They are always available to provide information, so you will know when to call them in and how urgent the situation is. Preventing plumbing issues is a good place to start because it prevents paying for avoidable plumbing services. However, there are many misconceptions out there that many plumbers wish homeowners were aware of. In this article, we discuss nine plumbing tips to follow.

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9 Things Plumbers Wished Every Homeowner Knew

Keep reading to see if you share some common plumbing misconceptions.

1. Locate Your Water Shut-off Valve

main water shutoff valve

You should know where the water main shut-off valve is and how to turn off the water flow to your house. Also, most newer homes have several shut-off valves, so you can isolate a problem section but still have water available in the rest of the house. Do not assume you know where they are. Physically go and find these valves and show other members of the family what to do if they need to make an emergency shut-off.

There are two reasons for locating the valves. First, you want to shut off your water valve if you are going to be away for more than a few days. Also, leave a couple of faucets open as a safety release for built-up water pressure. Secondly, if there is a crisis with plumbing, perhaps water spouting from a joint or a serious leak in the shower, it is a good idea to turn the shut-off valve before calling the plumber to prevent unnecessary damage.

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2. Pay Attention To Water Around The Toilet

image of a leaking toilet base

One of the most common places to have water issues is around the base of the toilet. It might look like only a little moisture seeping onto the tiles. It is easy to rationalize as condensation from a 20-minute shower or a one-time event.

However, if you can actually see water and it remains there, chances are good there is a lot more under the flooring and into the sub-floor. This means mold and mildew will be building up, affecting the integrity of the floor. Usually, it is just a matter of replacing the wax ring seal, but you will want a plumber to check it out.

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3. Be Careful What Goes Into The Toilet

Everyone has heard this warning many times. The only things that should go into the toilet bowl for flushing are bodily waste and toilet paper. Paper towels and wipes might feel and look similar to toilet paper, but they are not the same composition. Definitely do not believe that any cat litter, sanitary napkins, q-tips, and other objects are disposable in the toilet. Keep a small trashcan in your bathroom and teach other household occupants to throw away these types of objects instead of flushing them.

4. Do Not Dispose Of Grease & Cooking Oil Down The Drain

cooking grease and garbage disposal clog

Just think about what happens to grease as it cools. It becomes a solid which, when put down the kitchen sink drain, it can build up to create a blockage. Running hot water down the drain to allow water to pass through once is not a solution. Call a plumber to make sure the entire length of the pipe is cleared out. Then, find another way to dispose of grease and oil, such as putting it in an empty milk carton or can and then putting it in the garbage bin.

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5. Use Garbage Disposals Carefully

image of homeowner using garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, read the instructions thoroughly. This appliance is not an extra trash can and does not accept all kinds or amounts of kitchen waste. There are certain foods like oranges or celery whose fibers can easily clog the disposal and even burn out its motor. If there is a problem with it, call in a plumber who knows how to fix it properly.

6. Be Careful With Drain Cleaners

Many common drain cleaners are toxic and corrosive. Frequent use of them does damage to your plumbing by corroding pipes, joints, and seals. Also, their fumes can be harmful to your health. Check out natural cleansers that might take longer to unclog a drain but do less damage. No matter what kind of drain cleaner you choose, read the instructions carefully and make sure it is appropriate for the location and content of the blockage.

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7. Hot Water Heaters Need Flushing

Every year, your hot water heaters should be flushed. This procedure removes deposits such as lime that can build up until they reduce the heater’s efficiency. Flushing regularly will extend the life of this appliance. Although your owner’s manual will have instructions, this is a job best done by a plumbing professional.


8. Know How To Check For Water Leaks

If your water bill is creeping up, but your usage is not, you will want to check for a water leak. Turn off all faucets and appliances that use water. Then, watch the water meter. If it is moving, you know there is a leak somewhere in your home. Call a plumber to come as soon as possible. If the leak is not obvious, it could be doing serious damage under counters or floors.

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9. Clear The Clutter

It is important to have easy access to pipes, drain traps, and joints under the sinks. This means clearing away any clutter in the cupboard under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Garbage cans, cleaning supplies, and even rolls of paper towels can block access and can even knock against pipes, dislodging them.



Even though you might have picked up a few plumbing skills over the years of home ownership, it still pays to know your limits. Sure, you can use a plunger for a blocked toilet and clean hair out of the shower drain. For most issues with your water or waste system, though, it is best to call in an experienced plumber.

Your responsibility is to do what you can to understand the system and prevent plumbing problems. Then, you’ll be able to have an informed discussion with your plumber when you need to make that call. It will be a win-win all around.

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Contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the most trusted plumbing companies in the Lehigh Valley, for reliable plumbing services. We offer various plumbing services ranging from drain clogs, water heater replacements, toilet repairs, water leaks, and more. For any plumbing repairs, we always give a wide range of solutions when possible. This allows you to choose the best options for your home and budget.

Find yourself dealing with an unexpected plumbing problem in the middle of the night? No worries! You can count on the expert plumbers at Robinson Plumbing to take care of you. We offer reliable 24-hour emergency plumbing services. You can count on us to get the job done quickly and correctly and, best of all, at an affordable price.

We proudly offer the most affordable and best plumbing services in the Lehigh Valley area. Our plumbers all have the proper licenses and expertise to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work comes with a guarantee. Contact Robinson Plumbing today and schedule your free estimate.

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