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Plumbing can seem as difficult as taking the integral of a complex expression. If it sounds like a total hassle, read this article and see how easy it can be to do your plumbing.

Rigid copper is used for main water lines in many homes. You cannot bend rigid copper, so joints and tees must be soldered. When soldering, always apply flux (also called soldering paste) to both surfaces. Flux retards oxidation when the copper is heated. Always use lead-free or nearly lead-free solder when sweating a copper joint.

You always want to solder correctly. The biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the pipe’s exterior clean and shiny. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. When soldering, never heat the pipe, but instead, heat the fitting. This allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.

Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem no one wants, so plan to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the external water shut-off valve inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside, so they don’t crack from the cold weather.

At least once a year, remove the faucet aerator and clean the screens. This helps it properly function. The function of a faucet aerator is to allow for an even flow of water and to conserve water. Be sure to clean out the aerator, and you’ll notice these things working.

If you want to keep your kitchen drains from clogging up, don’t pour grease down them. As it cools and congeals, it can trap other food or waste particles, which over time can slow the draining of water and even form a clog that will not be easy to remove.

If your plumbing is making strange noises, you may have lost something called your “air cushion”. To turn this back on, you’re going to need to turn off your main water supply. Run all faucets in your house and then turn back on your main water supply. This should make everything sound better again.

Before the cold season hits, check out the condition of the gutters on the roof of your house. Remove all debris, leaves, and branches to have a smooth flow of water and easy drainage. Caretaking in advance will help prevent serious plumbing issues down the road.

Have your pipes in your plumbing system frozen? You can skip the cost of hiring a plumber by using this method. First, open the faucet so steam produced by the thawing process can escape. Begin thawing close to the faucet, and move down the line as each section thaws out. Use a hairdryer or a heat lamp to warm along the pipe. Even though this method consumes quite a bit of time, it is safer than most other heating methods. Furthermore, it requires no cleanup.

Make sure that any exposed pipes in your home are insulated, especially those found in crawl spaces on the outside walls of your home. This will help keep them from freezing and causing you tons of problems. Frozen pipes can often be devastating and leave you with issues that are expensive to fix and no water in the middle of winter.

One way to prevent water heater problems is to turn down the heat. As long as the water is still as hot as needed for showers and washing dishes, turning it down won’t hurt anything and will extend the heater’s life. Holding boiling water can corrode the inside.

Ensure your plumbing contractor has the proper insurance before letting them work in your home. This is a big problem with all types of construction contractors. They may have the appropriate licenses, but they may not be adequately insured because of the high cost of insurance and can end up on your homeowner’s policy if they get hurt.

For people who live in an apartment complex, plumbing is often forgotten. The first time they move into a home, they cannot resolve any minor plumbing problems because they have never dealt with this kind of thing. It is good to get a basic understanding when moving into your first house.

Many people find the idea of plumbing repairs to be frightening because of the potential destruction if a mistake is made. This is easily avoided if you only know one thing. Knowing the exact location of the water register and how to shut it off is the key to preventing water damage to your home.

Select your drain cleaners carefully. The wrong type of cleaner may damage your pipes. You need to select a cleaner advertised as being gentle on pipes. Not all chemical cleaners are suitable for your pipes–or for you. Some chemicals are toxic to humans. In addition, if a cleaner attacks bacteria indiscriminately, it may destroy helpful bacteria that keep the plumbing system running smoothly.

Do not put stringy or fibrous items into your garbage disposal. Substances like banana peels, gristle, or celery may not completely break down in the removal and may clog your pipes instead of flowing out of the waste lines as they are supposed to. Do not try to dispose of something that may not break down completely when in doubt.

As you can see, plumbing isn’t so scary when you know what to do. Follow the tips you’ve read here next time you have a problem with your plumbing, and soon your issue will be solved, all without having to call an expensive plumber to fix the problem for you.