Things you should know about your home plumbing
Unless you can afford to fork out every time something goes wrong in your home, it pays to know a few plumbing basics just in case ...
Do you know where your stopcock is located? In fact, do you know what a stopcock is?
A stopcock is a tap that turns off the water supply, either to your home (main stopcock) or to a fitting in the home. The main stopcock is located on a property boundary, normally close to the water metre. In the event of an emergency such as a burst pipe, faulty geyser or plumbing emergency, you should acquaint yourself with the location of this valve.
The area around the stopcock needs to be kept clean to allow easy access when required. Additionally, the tap itself should be greased from time to time to ensure that it does not seize up.
Don't get into a panic when the sink or shower blocks up. It's a fairly simple procedure to unblock a drain in a home.
If you take the time to understand your home plumbing from water in to sewerage out, you should be able to tackle most minor plumbing repairs yourself.
When a sink drain blocks up it is normally caused by an obstruction along the pipe - most frequently in the u-trap behind or under the sink. Don the rubber gloves, grab a bucket and screwdriver (to undo the circlip) and remove the pipe to get to a blockage.
Do not use caustic soda to remove blockages!
When a shower drain blocks it's normally caused by a build up of hair in the drain. Most drain caps are either clipped or screwed into the shower floor and are fairly easy to remove. Once the cap is off, don the rubber gloves and remove any blockage. Run the shower on hot for a minute or so to clean out the drain.
Blockages outside the home
Look at the pipes outside your home. You will see that pipes have a small, medium or large inspection cap. Use adjustable pliers to open this cap to check for blockages that cannot be solved by cleaning out the drain or u-trap. Once any blockage has been removed, use a hosepipe to flush the pipe.
If a drain outside your home is smelly it's easy to remove the grated cover and check for blockages. Use a drain auger or cut off piece of hosepipe to loosen a blockage.
Know where your manhole drainage cover is to check the flow and avoid costly drain maintenance. If caught early, you can improve the flow of your drains quickly with a hosepipe jet of water.
Safety first when drilling into walls
When it comes to drilling into walls, especially tiled walls in a bathroom or kitchen, the last thing you need is to hit a water pipe or electrical conduit.
An electronic detector, such as the Bosch PDO or PDO 6, will locate electrical cables and water pipes behind tiles, so that you don't have to worry about costly mistakes.
Use a detector when drilling into the walls of your home - every time.