There are a few simple tips that I think every person should know about a home’s plumbing in order to prevent serious issues from arising. It’s a good idea for us to teach our kids these smart plumbing practices. That way they’ll know what they should do in these situations, especially when they become teenagers and start staying home by themselves more often.
Using the Main Water Valve
First, mostly everyone in the home should know how to shut off the water using the main water valve. It’s typically located in the basement (if you have one). Otherwise, it could be in a few different areas. It’s a good idea to find out where the main water shutoff is located so you’ll be prepared just in case. You can show people 5-8 years or older how to turn it off, unless it’s really old and hard to operate. If water started spraying or pouring through the ceiling, or if there was ever a flood in the home, the best thing to do would be to turn the water off using this valve.
What Should/Shouldn’t Go Down the Kitchen Drain
Everyone should also know what you should and shouldn’t put down the kitchen sink drain and garbage disposal. A garbage disposal is not necessarily for leftovers and cleaning out the refrigerator. It’s really for scraping small things off of a plate and grinding them into smaller particles. It’s definitely not a good idea to dump any kind of grease or very hot items down the kitchen sink drain. If you cover this information with everyone in the family, it will save you from a very nasty stopped up pipe in the kitchen.
What to Do When a Toilet Backs Up
If you flush a toilet and the water starts rising up, it could be bad enough to lead to the toilet overflowing. If that ever happens, the best thing to do is locate the shutoff valve on the left hand side towards the back of the toilet. Use it to shut off the water to the toilet, which will prevent it from continuing to fill.
How to Turn Off the Water Heater
This is especially important if your home has a gas water heater. You should know how to shut off the gas supply, which is a potential safety concern. If you have an electric water heater, there’s a breaker in the panel box that you can just flip to the off position. You don’t have to be very mechanically inclined to know how to locate the main power breaker or main shutoff for the gas. You would want to do this if something was to happen with the water system or if the water was to stop working.
What Not to Flush Down the Toilet
It’s surprising to me how many teenagers aren’t aware of which items aren’t suitable to be flushed. You shouldn’t flush anything that isn’t biodegradable. That means any type of hygiene products, baby wipes, or household objects. If a toothbrush, comb, or other bathroom item falls into the toilet, don’t flush it! Take it back out, because if it’s flushed it will cause problems further down the pipe that will need to be resolved. Be careful not to flush things that you’re not supposed to.
If you need some assistance from a qualified professional plumber, contact us online or give us a call at 540-483-9382.