Plumbing Tips

How to Take Care of Your Plumbing

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Did you know that plumbing represents some 15% of the total value of your property?  Whether it’s part of new construction or vintage, your plumbing is a huge investment.  It’s something you can’t ignore.  Many problems are best treated by Soukup Plumbing.  However, there are steps you can take to keep your plumbing in the best possible condition.

Faucet Care                                          

Aerators should be cleaned every three to four months. The aerator is the assembly and screen through which water passes as it leaves the spout. If you have hard water, you may want to use a rust or scale remover. Replace aerators if they have deteriorated. Replace faucet washers as needed. Use a non-abrasive cleaner, which will make your faucets less resistant to stains and scratches. (Adeline faucet courtesy of Moen)

Garbage Disposals

To use your disposal effectively, take these steps:
1. Run water
2. Turn on disposal
3. Insert items
4. Let disposal run as needed and then turn it off
5. Let water run for an additional minute

To clean your disposal:
1. Put ice in your disposal
2. Turn it on
3. Run until ice is gone, and turn off
4. Flush water down the disposal

Drain Maintenance
Flush drains daily with scalding water.  Use a hair-catcher to capture hair before it starts to clog your drains.  Never pour grease down a kitchen drain.  Place liquid grease in a non-porous container such as a tin can, and refrigerate it before it solidifies.  Dispose of the can in a tightly-wrapped bag.  For heavy grease clogs, use an enzyme-based drain cleaner.

Toilet Cleaning
Most commercial bowl cleaners work well. Do not use abrasive scrubbing materials in the bowl as they may scrape its surface and cause permanent stains. You may want to steer clear of continuous (“blue-water”) cleaners. Their constant presence and chemicals may accelerate the deterioration of plastic and rubber parts in the tank.

Sump Pump Care
Test your sump pump every three to four months by partially filling the basin with water, then tripping the lever. This exercise will help prevent

Water Softener Use
If your water supply is not city water, hard water can result from high levels of calcium and magnesium. The result may be clogged pipes. You may want to consider obtaining a water softener unit connected to the water supply line. Separate faucets with softened water are available for use in drinking and cooking.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
Before temperatures go below the freezing mark:

  • Disconnect and drain all garden hoses as well as in-ground sprinklers.  Whenever possible, drain any systems not used during cold weather. If there is a separate valve for outside faucets, turn it off. Following this, turn on all outdoor faucets to drain the existing water. While the faucets are draining, return indoors and identify a small brass plug or cap on the valve. Turn this item so that all water drains from the valve. Finally, tighten the plug and turn off all outdoor faucets.  In extremely cold weather, open all interior faucets near exterior walls. Even periodic drops of water coming from the faucets will help keep them from freezing.
  • If you have a garage with plumbing installed in it, keep the door closed in severely cold weather to prevent freezing of water lines.
To Shut Off the Water Supply:
Turn off your hot water heater before draining the system. Find your main shut-off valve, which will be located on the same wall of your building as your water meter. Maintain this valve by applying a drop or two of oil to it once a year. Your water valves should have tags which identify their function. Soukup Plumbing can provide these to you. Turn off the main valve, and then drain all faucets in sinks, tubs, showers, etc. Flush all toilets. Drain your water heater. If you are closing your water supply in cold weather, you may want to consider adding biodegradable antifreeze to toilet traps.

Be careful not to disturb exposed pipes, such as those under your sink, knocking things into them. Each time a pipe is hit increases the likelihood that it will eventually leak.

When to Call Soukup Plumbing:

alt - You have a leaky pipe: Shut off your water supply. Temporary repairs may make the problem worse.
 - You have water pressure or temperature problems.
 - Your fixture is leaking (faucet, sink, toilet, tub, shower, spigots, etc.)
 - Your garbage disposal unit stops working.

 - Your toilet is leaking from the base.
 - Your drain is clogged.
 - Problems with sump/ejector pumps
 - You need to install or repair a water heater
 - Need power rodding of a sewer line

826 East North Avenue     Glendale Heights, IL 60139     Phone: (630) 790-5002     Fax: (630) 790-5519