10 Essential things to know about your plumbing

Posted by Super User

10 Essential things to know about your plumbing

Sonoran lays out 10 things that you should know about your plumbing, whether you own or rent. In this case, the answers will depend on your individual situation and configuration. However, they all relate to being able to prevent damage or a dangerous situation.

  1. Know where you water source is and how to shut it off. This is usually at the meter, or if you have a well, where the well supply comes into the house. You may have separate shut offs at the meter and at the house. Know where they all are and how to operate them.
  2. Know how to read your water bill and your water meter. Ensure you're being billed properly. Check your usage with each bill to catch leaks. Your local water company can help you read your bill and meter, if you have questions.
  3. Know your water pressure and be sure it's under 80 psi. High water pressure is the number 1 cause of leaks. You can purchase an an easy to use water pressure gauge for less than $10, or ask your local water company what your system pressure is. 
  4. Know what kind of waste system you have and where the clean-out plugs are. Sewer or septic? Knowing where the clean-out plugs are is often the first step to solving a clog or backup problem.
  5. Know where your air conditioning condensation lines are and if they are working. If you have air conditioning, all air conditioners produce condensation water when in use. If the condensation is not properly draining, it can cause extensive water and mold damage to the building.
  6. Know how to shut the gas off (propane or natural gas). Know where to shut off the gas supply both at the supply, and at each applicance (if it's accessable)
  7. Know how to shut off the water supply to the water heater. A water heater problem or hot water leak can leave you without hot water. But if you know where to shut it off at the water heater, it need not leave you completely without water for washing, cooking, flushing, until the water heater is repaired.
  8. Have a pan under the water heater, and that your water heater's temperature and pressure relief valve does not leak. Water heaters don't last forever. They will all eventually leak. A pan under the heater can prevent expensive water damage when that occurs. A leaking temperature/pressure relief valve may indicate a major problem with that critical protection device.
  9. Know where your fixture shut off valves are and don't use them unless it's necessary. Every sink and toilet has a shut off valve (angle stop). Know where they are. Know also that most are not designed for repeated use over long periods of time.
  10. Know how to shut off each fixture and to leave them off once shut. Know how to shut off the water to each applicance, or if you have to shut off the water to the house for fixtures without a shut off valve (e.g., showers).

10 modern bathrooms ideas on a budget

Posted by Super User

Mainstream thinking tells us that the big box retailer is the way to go to find the best bargains on bathroom fixtures.   In reality it sounds good on paper,  the toilet sitting on the shelf looks like any other toilet, but in reality it's retail grade at best.   What this means is that you are getting a thinner ceramic wall,  lower grade toilet seat, and flush valves that will break within a year.   For the same price or less you can get a commercial grade toilet that will last for years with minimal maintenance, but you won't find them at the Orange or Blue Big boxes.   

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