When it comes to your house, it’s important to know a few tips and tricks to make sure systems are working properly to avoid large repairs. Plumbing is a system that is not only a necessity, but can also cost you greatly when it fails. Whether your plumbing is sourced from city water or wells, the pros at B&D industries understand residential plumbing. Read our blog post to learn more about the basics of plumbing and when to call a professional. 

Know the Basics 

Many plumbing repairs can be done by DIY if you have a few tools, and understand the basics of plumbing. First, you will need to know how a  plumbing system works. Residential plumbing consists of two systems:

  1. Water supply system
  2. Drain-water vent system (DWV) 

The water supply is sourced either from a well or from city water. Using city water can be tricky because there are certain areas of piping that you should avoid trying to repair since a mistake could cost you civil lawsuits and fines if something goes wrong. If the main pipe, which is usually parallel to your street, is the problem then you will want to call a professional right away. 

If you are on a well system, a common problem you might face is low water pressure. Running showers and faucets are usually the first victims of low pressure. This is usually caused by a leak in a pipe which can be fixed easily by tightening a loose connection. You will want to turn off your water supply while conducting a quick repair. There should be a shutoff valve near your water meter. 

If it looks like a pipe will need to be replaced, this is when you should call a professional to recommend the right piping and ensure a correct fix that will last a long time. 

Common Plumbing Problems and DIY Repairs 

In addition to low pressure or minor leaks, there are a plethora of small issues that can arise that could easily be fixed at home with simple tools like wrenches and fasteners. You will definitely want to remember to turn off the water supply again for any of these repairs. 

Hot and Cold Water

Nothing is worse than wanting to take a warm shower and the hot water doesn’t work. This could be a sign that your hot water heater needs to be replaced or upgraded. If you have a gas water heater, you may need to relight it. You can open the panel or door to the burner chamber and take a look. If you don’t see a steady blue flame, then the pilot light is out. 

Before relighting it yourself, make sure there is no gas leak. This can usually be done by sniffing around to make sure you don’t smell anything funky and make sure you don’t hear any hissing noises. Typically, the smell is similar to garlic or rotten eggs. If you suspect a gas leak, evacuate your house immediately and call your gas company for assistance. Here are some DIY steps for how to light a water heater: 

  1. Remove the access cover and turn the gas control valve to the “off” position. Wait about 10 minutes for any accumulated gas to dissipate.
  2. Turn the control and water temperature knobs to the “pilot” position.
  3. If you do not have an automatic lighter, press the control knob. While keeping it depressed, use a wand lighter or long match to reignite the pilot light. Once the pilot light is lit, you should see a steady flame. Continue to hold the knob down for a full minute to bleed accumulated air from the line. Release the knob. If you have an automatic lighter, press the control button. While holding it down, repeatedly push the striker knob for about 90 seconds or until the pilot is lit. The striker knob is typically black or red. Hold the control knob down for a full minute to bleed air from the line, then release it.
  4. Using the control knob, set your water heater back to the desired temperature.
  5. Replace the access cover.

Wastewater and Drainage 

Clogged drain got you down? Or should I say not going down? You will want to make sure there are no clogs if your water is backing up. You can check your vents and traps which may need to be cleaned out. Did you ever wonder what those small pipes sticking up out of your home’s roof do? They’re vents for your drains. You can make sure there is nothing blocking them so that they can ventilate properly. Traps are curved sections in piping that can sometimes get clogged so you will want to check those too. They usually have removable plugs that allow you to access the trap and clean it out. If you are still unsure what the problem is, you can call B&D Industries for 24/7 emergency plumbing service or make an appointment for a later date. 

Call B&D Industries for all Your Plumbing Needs

For more than 65 years, B&D has worked tirelessly to provide residents in the southwest with a wide range of services to keep their homes running smoothly. Everything from pump replacements, sewer line repairs, clogged drains, and 24-hour emergency service, we’re the go-to for residential and commercial repairs. Call us to book an appointment today!