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Here are some basic do-it-yourself plumbing tips that can be used as either temporary repairs or save you time and expense of a service call.

Leaky Faucets:

Although a small drip may seem inconsequential , it will cost you money. Washers that will tighten your faucets and get rid of those leaks take only minutes to install. Besides being annoying, fixing a leaky faucet also saves you some money! Dripping water at one drip/second wastes 400 gallons of water in a year. If this is hot water, you are watching your money go down the drain!

Sweating Pipes
To eliminate sweating cold water pipes during the summer months, place foam pipe insulation over the pipes. The tubing keeps the warm humid air from condensing on the cold pipes.

Quick Fix for Leaks
For a quick fix on copper pipe, small leaks, keep handy an easy repair kit. All that is needed is a hose clamp and a small piece of firm rubber, such as small section of garden hose. Simply insert the rubber around the leak and clamp. It will save you from having to drain the system, until you have more time on your hands. The clamp and rubber section of hose helped me out of a few jams, especially if you don't have copper or solder on hand at the cabin, it could save the weekend! Remember: clamp and rubber, plus screwdriver.

Healthy Septic System
  • Have the tank pumped and cleaned every 2 to 5 years.
  • Don’t pour ANY solvents, chemicals or oils of ANY kind into the drain or toilet.
  • Only flush toilet paper down the toilet, no other paper or plastic products.
  • Use bleach and other cleaners sparingly.
  • NEVER dispose of grease, coffee grounds or popcorn in the sink.

Replacing A Toilet Seat
Using an adjustable wrench you can remove the bolts that hold the toilet seat in place. If the bolts are metal and have corroded, try soaking with penetrating oil overnight. If the bolts will not budge, just saw off with a hacksaw. Coat the new bolts with some petroleum jelly to help in future removal!

Clogs In The Drains
Most drain blockages occur because homeowners put materials into the drain, that should never go there. Often liquid materials are put “down the drain”, and then solidify and cause clogging. Remember to just let materials harden, then place in trash, instead of in the drain! Don't pour grease down your drains; keep free of hair and other debris. Once a month, to prevent residual grease and soap from clogging drains:
  • Run hot water through the drain.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of washing soda.
  • Add a little hot water.
  • Let stand for 15 minutes; then "flush" by running the water.

Drain Odors
Running very hot water through your drains after using will help keep them free of odors somewhat. About once a week pour a handful of baking soda and hot water down the drain or pour 1 cup of vinegar, let stand 30 minutes and then run some hot water. Keeping all grease , hair, and vegetable matter out of the drain also helps with odors and possible clogging.

Recaulking The Bathtub
House settling often results in cracks between the wall and bathroom sink or tub. Clean and dry the area, removing any loose caulking with a putty knife. Use some waterproof caulking compound to fill the cracks and let dry overnight before using the bath .

Mineral Deposits
To clean mineral deposits from a clogged shower head, try soaking it in some vinegar.