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    A home’s plumbing system is crucial to keep a house functioning properly. However, it can be easy to overlook maintenance until there is a problem.

    As a new homeowner, it is important to have some basic plumbing knowledge, so you can avoid major problems in the future. These top 8 plumbing tips will help you do just that!

    1. Know Your Water Shut-Off Valve

    If you have water flooding your house, knowing where the shut-off valve is located can save you money on repairs. It can also reduce the risk of injury to family members.

    Look for a copper or metal pipe that extends from the ground up to your home’s foundation, and follow it to your water meter. The shut-off valve should be right before the meter. You can also find it near your exterior spigots and hose bibs. It should have a handle that turns freely.

    2. Keep a Plunger and Drain Snake at Home

    The plunger is an efficient and inexpensive way to handle clogs. It’s a tool every homeowner should keep handy.

    For serious clogs, you can also use a drain snake, sometimes called a wire drain auger. Feed the cable into a drain until you feel resistance and the tip breaks up or catches on a clog; be sure to turn off the power while you’re working with a drain snake.

    3. Protect Your Pipes from Freezing

    As winter approaches, the risk of pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. Frozen pipes are one of the most common causes of home damage and can lead to thousands of dollars in water and property damage.

    Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas: You can purchase foam insulation sleeves, available at your local hardware store, to wrap around your exposed pipes. Turn on the faucets to a slight drip during extremely cold weather, and ensure that you close any outside spigots.

    4. Maintain Your Water Heater, Cistern and/or Well

    Draining your water heater once a year is important to prevent sediment build-up that shortens the lifespan of the unit, while also helping to save on energy costs.

    5. Know Where Your Water Supply and Drain Pipes Are Located

    The water supply lines are found in many places throughout your house, delivering fresh water to shower heads, sinks, faucets and other household appliances. In some cases, these lines also lead to the water heater and outdoor hose spigots.

    Your drain-waste-vent line (also called a sewer clean out) extends from your home to the municipal sewer system or septic tank. You should always know where this line is located to avoid damaging it.

    6. Don’t Place Garbage Down the Drain

    Food scraps, particularly greasy ones, can build up and plug drain lines. Grease from cooking oils, pan drippings and bacon should never be poured down the drain.

    Place strainers over your sink and shower drains to catch hair, soap scum, and other debris before they can clog the pipes.  Be sure to only flush toilet paper and human waste down the drains; anything else, including those “flushable” wipes, can cause a serious clog. Ensure that no one in the house is flushing items like paper towels, personal products, napkins, or diapers.

    Foods that expand should not be put down the disposal either; this includes pasta, rice and bread. Eggshells and uncooked oats also pose a threat, since they are likely to collect other debris and form clogs.

    7. Know Where Your Water Main Is Located

    It’s important for homeowners to know where their water main is located and how to turn it off. This can save thousands of dollars worth of damage in the event of a major plumbing issue that requires immediate attention.

    The water main shut-off valve is typically found on the home’s plumbing line as it enters from the street, usually in a basement or crawl space. 

    8. Turn Off the Water

    The quicker you can shut off your water, or direct a plumber to the problem, the better chance you have of minimizing damage. This is especially important if you have frozen pipes.

    These simple tips can help you avoid costly plumbing problems! However, in the event that you need an emergency plumber, Tap Tech is here, 24/7 with same-day service to rectify the issue. 

    Get in touch with Ontario’s premier emergency plumbers: call 343-305-1172 or book your visit online today!