Cheap Plumbing And Heating Hacks
As a homeowner, hiring contractors and repairmen can get to be really expensive. Plumbing and heating services are no exception. How many times have you actually watched as your toilet flushed, hoping it would complete the process successfully? Trust me. I have more times than you really want to know. There is always a need for a plumber. Here are some clever ways to avoid the costs of hiring a plumber or heating technician.
1. Clogged Toilet
This trick almost always works when you have some time to let it sit in. It is not suggested for emergency situations because it takes a while to work. The items you need are baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and regular (blue) Dawn dish detergent. That’s it!
To get started, pour half of a cup of baking soda into the clogged toilet. Let it sit for about 15 minutes which will break up some of the gunk. Pour 1 cup of regular Dawn dish detergent and ½ a cup of rubbing alcohol into the toilet. Let it sit for an hour before attempting a flush. This should unclog the obstruction.
2. Low Pressure Shower Head
It does not matter how much you pay for a shower head, at some point you are going to have a few problems. One of the most common problems that you can encounter with a shower head is, poor water pressure. This happens when the water stops freely flowing the way it did when you first got it. Some of the little valves or holes are seemingly clogged. These clogs are typically caused by mineral, rust, hard water or lime deposits that can be easily cleared.
If you know how to screw the shower head off, go ahead and do so. Pour lime remover on the inside and outside of the head and rinse. If you would rather use a safer, non-toxic method prepare a bowl of warm water and vinegar. Place the head in the bowl and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Either of these methods should work like a charm.
If you don’t know how to remove the shower head, try pouring the same solution into a sandwich bag, cover the shower head so that the head is submerged into the liquid and tie it on with some string or a rubber band.
3. Smelly Drains
Does your drain or garbage disposal carry a foul odor that not only distracts you but attracts flies? Here is a quick fix to get rid of the pesky critters and get rid of the smell using household items.
For your sink and drain, simply pour a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar inside. For those of you who love the clean smell of bleach like I do, pour ¼ cup of any scent into the drain. Do this once a week and you are on your way to happiness. If your garbage disposal needs some attention, simply grind orange or lemon peels in and flush with vinegar.
4. Noisy or Creaky Pipes
This one is super simple. Do you have pipes that sound like there are ghosts living under your cabinets? Noisy pipes are a pain and very annoying. Buy some craft felt that has the adhesive backing and cover the offending pipe. This will muffle the sound and sometimes eliminate the noise entirely.
5. Keeping Cool Air Out
Some homes have huge gaps underneath doors and it is hard to avoid the draft. Here is a simple and inexpensive trick to keep your house warm at night. Get some cheap pipe insulation from your local hardware store and wrap it around the bottom of the door. Use caulk to inexpensively seal up holes and cracks around windows and doors in your home.
6. Harness the Power of the Sun
One of the best ways to warm a home is to use light. Open your curtains and allow the sun rays to naturally warm the rooms.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.