Plumbing tips & hints:
Where to locate your shut-off valves
It's very easy to forget about your plumbing systems. Locating the main water shut off would be first step. To find the main shut-off valve on your property you will need to either know where your municipal water supply meter is or if you are on a private well you will need to find your pressure tank. Second you will also need to locate the shut-off valves inside the home or on the outside main water line. In newer homes each fixture and appliance will typically have it's own emergency shut-off valve. Older homes usually don't have these individual shut off valves. In the situation that your home does not have them owners should consider having them installed.
Leaky pipes and fittings
Leaky pipes are NEVER a good thing. If you ever come across a leak in your plumbing system, first shut off your water supply and call Lynx Plumbing! All Leaks must seek immediate attention, as they can quickly progress into a serious and more expensive break. Fittings are very important when it comes to your faucets and valves because they experience the most wear and tear. Chrome and brass fittings are suggested as the longest lasting. Always be cautious of abrasive cleaners on your brass and chrome fittings and make sure to read if they are safe. If not they can scratch, dissolve, and take off coating.
How to check if you have Polybutylene pipes
In the state of Arizona if your house was built between 1970-1990 you most likely have polybutylene pipes. This is important to know because these will often times have a high failure rate. Damage can happen unexpectedly to many home owners. These pipes are weakened by chlorine and other minerals that can make your pipes brittle. This has happened in so many cases that some insurance companies will not protect homes with these pipes. To know if your home has polybutylene pipes simply call Lynx Plumbing for an inspection; the pipes are typically grey, blue, or black with brass and plastic connectors.
Noises in the plumbing system
When designing the water supply in your house contractors always pay special attention to make sure they can do everything possible to eliminate noise in your plumbing system. While they have been successful at eliminating much of it there are still some things for you to take into consideration if you wish to have a noise free system. The main reason for noise in your plumbing is the velocity of your water flow. A larger pipe will not only improve your water supply but also help with eliminating the noise giving more room for the water to flow.
The 3 general types of noises you will find in some of the older plumbing systems are water hammer, whistling and chattering.
Water hammer is the thump in the piping heard when faucets or valves are turned off abruptly. Chattering in the piping may be caused by several different things. Either by loose pipes, by pipes rubbing against a metal projection, by worn faucet washers or looseness of other inside parts. Whistling is usually caused by the speed of water flowing through piping which are usually too small.
Garbage Disposal Tips
Most garbage disposals may seem like they are not working. Remember to always unplug your garbage disposal before working on it or placing your hand in the drain. Some brands of garbage disposals have a power reset button on the bottom to reset the unit. Pressing the button in may fix your problem. If something seems stuck in the garbage disposal there is a allan wrench port on the bottom center of the garbage disposal. Using an alan wrench and turning it back and forth may unjam anything that may be jammed! Instead of throwing or lemon or lime rines away. Grinding them with hot water will help clean and reduce and eliminate odors. Using ice in the garbage disposal will help in keeping the blades sharp and clean.
Hot water heater tips
Hot water is essential and so is taking good care of your water heater whether you use gas or electric. Always keep your temperature at the factory energy setting that is recommended by the manufacturer of your water heater. Anything above the suggested setting will cause additional wear and tear and possibly even scalding. Your gas water heater should be checked often by a plumber to keep dust and settlement light. Your fire at a full burn should be dark blue in color. If it is yellow or orange the pressure of the flame needs be adjusted.
Tubs and floor drains
When trying to clean out your bath tub be careful not to scratch the surface of your tub by placing a towel for you to stand on. Use a plunger and place it over the drain, cup the overflow plate and plunge vigorously until it opens. If this does not work a soft and bendable pipe cleaner maybe used to help unclog, its not recommended to use heavy spring coils for your sinks, tubs and lavatories. To clean out a floor drain simply remove the grating which covers the drain then scoop out the dirt and grease with a spoon, a spring coil can be used for the bend in the trap. Floor drains should be checked frequently to help prevent build up.
The most common and less expensive plumbing problem is running and leaking toilets. If you attempt the minor inexpensive repair without knowledge or the right tools it can easily lead to major repair and expenses. It is always better to call a professional company such as Lynx Plumbing! If you flush your toilet and it keeps running it can be a number of different problems. Leaking water is most likely the cause. It can also be a faulty fill valve, a bad tank-to-bowl gasket, or loose or leaking seals on the tank mounting bolts.
Flammable liquids are something to always use a great amount of caution with. These liquids such as gasoline, adhesive solvents, lighter fluid, mineral spirits, paint thinner and kerosene release invisible vapors into the air which can then be ignited by a number of household things causing a flame or spark. Please beware of these liquids and always keep them in their proper containers and away from water heaters and Furnaces.
Gas line leaks
Below are some tips covering the common ways that one would tell if they are experiencing a gas leak:
SMELL an odor similar to rotten eggs, even if it's faint or momentary.
HEAR an unusual hissing or roaring sound coming from the ground or an above-ground pipeline.
SEE dirt or water blowing into the air, discolored vegetation surrounding a pipeline, or standing water continuously bubbling.
If you experience ANY of these it is suggested that you leave immediately and call 911 or Southwest Gas day or night and a representative will be there immediately.