Helpful Tips

  • Greener than usual areas in the lawn can be a sign of a leak!
  • If you don’t use a plumbing fixture for long enough, the water in the p-trap dries up, sometimes causing a sewer smell in the home.
  • Make sure to know where your main water shut off is located. Close and open a few times each year to keep it working.
  • Look under your sinks periodically and check for signs of leaks. Most leaks are very slow, and can do a lot of damaged by the time they are noticed.
  • Use pipe insulation to prevent sprayer snarls. If you have to jiggle the hose as you pull out your kitchen sink sprayer, chances are the hose is catching on the shutoff valves. For smooth operation, slip 1/2-in. foam pipe insulation over the pipes and shutoff handles. Tape it if it won’t stay put. Get the insulation at home centers for about $3.
  • Use a strong magnet to find hidden pipes. When trying to locate a pipe under the floor, attach a rare earth (neodymium) magnet to an electrical fish tape and feed it into drain lines through the cleanout plug. Locate the magnet (and the pipe) under the floor using an ordinary compass, which will turn wildly when it finds the strong magnet.
  • Take a picture before closing up walls. Your walls may not have much inner beauty, but it’s a good idea to take pictures of what’s inside during remodeling. The same goes for floors and ceilings. When your next remodeling or repair project rolls around, you’ll know where the framing and the electrical and plumbing lines are.
  • Before you replace a broken hot water heater, check to make sure the thermocouple still works. It’s a simple, inexpensive repair that could save you a bundle.