There are many great things about owning your home, but dealing with plumbing problems is not one of them, especially as holidays approach. The good news is that there are several simple and inexpensive steps you can take to keep plumbing problems — and expensive calls to the plumber — to a minimum.
A sprayer hose in your home kitchen sink makes cleaning so much easier. But only if it’s not constantly catching on the shutoff valves. Keep it running smoothly by slipping 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation around the pipes and shutoff handles.
If you have a double stainless steel sink, you may experience the ‘gong effect’ when you wash dishes. Quiet it by spraying expanding foam between the sink basins. This is easiest to do before insulation, but you can still try with the sinks in place. Once the foam is hard, trim off the excess.
If one of the kids dropped a toy in the toilet, or someone’s toothbrush fell in and got flushed, don’t use a plunger to unclog the toilet. That could just wedge the hard object in more tightly. Instead, use a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck out the water and the object.
Here’s one last tip that will help when managing plumbing repairs in your home. If you ever need to shut off the water to do a plumbing project in your home, fill several two-gallon buckets with water first. The toilet will then be able to be flushed and tested during the work.