It may not seem like it, but plumbing can be dangerous if you aren’t careful or if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why, whether you’re about to embark on a DIY plumbing project or simply cleaning your kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to follow some guidelines for safety.
From carefully reading the labels on products to knowing how to use the tools, the simple rules below can keep you and your family safe and healthy.
Five rules for home plumbing safety
Protect your hands, eyes, and lungs. Whenever you’re doing a DIY plumbing project, make sure to wear safety glasses. These are essential when using any liquid with harsh chemicals, and whenever you’re dealing with contaminants in drains like sewage. It’s also critical to wear safety glasses when operating plumbing tools including a snake, drill, or a saw.
You’ll want to protect your hands from harsh chemicals as well by wearing a pair of gloves at all times. And if you think you’ll come in contact with germs from cleaning a drain or unclogging a pipe, it’s a good idea to wear a double layer of latex gloves or leather gloves over the latex ones.
As for your lungs, whenever you are using chemicals or working on a project that involves drilling or sawing, be sure to wear a face mask so you don’t breathe in the chemicals that are in the air.
Be familiar with the tools you’re using. Before you start your DIY project, have a good handle on how to use the tools. Using them incorrectly can result in serious injury. This is especially important when you’re using drills, saws, and any soldering equipment. Read the instruction manual carefully and, if possible, do plumbing projects with the help of an assistant.
Use caution when opening a drain. The problem with opening a drain too soon is that should any contents be under pressure, they can spew out quickly once the drain is detached and this can cause damage to you or your home. Go slow and open the drain so it’s facing away from you.
Honor all codes. Every homeowner should be up to date on Cincinnati’s building and plumbing codes before starting any DIY plumbing project. If needed, get a permit for the work you’ll be doing. If you fail to do so, you could be faced with some pretty hefty fines.
Apply caution when using household cleaners. Many cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can harm your health if used improperly. Always read the labels of household cleaners before using them and avoid mixing cleaners or using two different types at one time. Additionally, you could always use cleaners in a well-ventilated area.
At Allied-Reddi Rooter, we care about our customers. If you’ve got a plumbing issue, give us a call. We can fix the problem quickly so you stay safe.
The recent rain showers and slightly warmer temperatures can only mean one thing: summer is on the way. Before you know it, we’ll be breaking out the sunscreen, grilling out (while maintaining social distancing, of course!), and just generally having fun in the sun.
You may think that winter is the toughest season for plumbing, but summer can be hard on your plumbing, too. You’re apt to use more water in the warmer months, so your home’s pipes get a real workout.
Before summer gets into swing it’s important to check your home’s plumbing. Luckily, the check list below is filled with tasks that are easy and quick to do, but they will save you time and money in the long run.
Seven ways to get your home’s plumbing ready for summer
Check the gutters. If you haven’t already, check your gutters and downspouts for any clogs. During the winter, leaves, branches and other tree debris can accumulate in the gutters. When it does, it can lead to some pretty serious clogs that can cause rainwater to pool and backup, leading to roof and even foundation damage.
While you’re at it, take a peek in the attic and make sure you’re not seeing any leaks coming from the ceiling. If you do, there is a very good chance you’ve got a leaky roof.
Do a sprinkler test. Now is the time to check sprinklers to make sure they’re operating soundly. Sprinklers can use a lot of water and if they aren’t running efficiently or are installed incorrectly, it can mean higher water bills. And always position your sprinklers away from the house to avoid any water damage to the foundation.
Any tools you use to maintain your yard, including hoses, should be checked to make sure they are ready to work hard in the months ahead.
Inspect for leaks. Do an inspection in the kitchen, bathrooms, and the laundry room for any leaks. Even the smallest leak can lead to an increase in your water bill, so it’s important to fix them as soon as they arise.
The warmer months are an ideal time to inspect for leaks because it will be easy to detect any that happened over the winter. You’ll want to look for any rust or corrosion around the hot water heater, water at the base of the toilet, and around and under sinks as well. Make sure to check the bathtub and shower for cracked or missing grout, too.
Check the water pressure. Since summer means extra showers to more loads of laundry, it’s good to make sure you can maintain decent water pressure. You can purchase a gauge at any home improvement store to measure your home’s water pressure, which should be around 45 pounds per square inch and never exceed 60 psi.
Occasionally, a faulty pressure regulator is to blame for water pressure problems. In this case, it’s important to call a professional plumber who can adjust the regulator safely and correctly.
Don’t forget about the laundry room. With more time to spend outdoors doing everything from playing sports to gardening, it stands to reason that your washing machine and dryer will be working overtime. Before the summer gets going, carefully look over your washing machine and dryer.
Replace any cracked or ill-fitting hoses and clean or replace filters. You may also want to consolidate your piles of laundry and avoid doing smaller loads to conserve water and save money. And make sure to thoroughly remove dirt as much as possible before tossing soiled clothes in the washing machine. Too much dirt can lead to clogs.
Mind the disposal. There’s nothing like fresh summer vegetables – just make sure you don’t toss tough veggie parts down the disposal. Corn husks, citrus fruit skins and banana peels should not be put down the disposal. Nor should chicken skin, the fat from meats, melon rinds, carrot ends or oils.
Keep it clean. Now more than ever it’s important to keep your home free of germs. In the summer months, when we’re welcoming guests again (responsibly, of course!) you’ll want to have extra antibacterial soaps and cleaning supplies on hand.
You can make a cleaning solution using two parts water and one part vinegar, and you can add a few drops of essential oils with antibacterial properties (like tea tree or lemon) to make it even tougher on germs.
We love summer in Cincinnati and are here to help with all your summer plumbing needs. Don’t let a plumbing problem sideline – give us a call. The team at Allied Reddi-Rooter can get your home’s plumbing summer ready.