learning the basics of home septic systems
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learning the basics of home septic systems

A septic system is something that is easily forgotten until something goes horribly wrong. What should you avoid running down your kitchen sink? Is one type of toilet paper safer to use than another? How often does your septic tank really need to be cleaned? These were just some of the questions that I had about my septic tank after it had backed up and filled my yard with raw sewage. Since then, I have spent hours researching septic systems so that I would not have to go through that again. I have developed my website to make learning about septic systems a little easier for others like me.

learning the basics of home septic systems

DIY Emergency Plumbing Kit

Matthew Young

Making the move from renter to homeowner is an exciting time filled with dreams of a bright future. But, home ownership also brings with it a host of responsibilities. Taking care of your plumbing is one of them. While you will undoubtedly call in the plumber for major repairs, being able to make quick repairs while you wait for the plumber is important. To do that, you will need to keep some plumbing supplies on hand. Follow this checklist to put together your emergency plumbing kit and store it where it is within easy reach.

Duct Tape

Although duct tape isn't strictly for plumbing, it will come in handy for your plumbing needs. This amazing product can be used for everything from securing those rattling pipes to sealing pinhole leaks in your plumbing.

Tools

You will need an assortment of tools for making plumbing repairs. An adjustable wrench, a basin wrench and pipe wrench are all important tools for making plumbing repairs. You should also include pliers, a set of Allen wrenches and an assortment of screwdrivers. If your shower head or other fixtures require special tools to remove or install, include those in your plumbing kit in case you suddenly have a problem with them.

Plungers

You will need both sink and toilet plungers. Sink plungers are bell-shaped and are designed to place over the drain and plunge sluggish drains. They work on flat surfaces, like your kitchen sink or shower floor. Sink plungers are typically red. Toilet plungers have a flange that fits into the drain of the toilet. These create a tight seal so you can plunge the toilet when it is clogged. Toilet plungers are typically black. The flange may look like an accordion that collapses when you depress it and expands when you release the pressure.

Pipe Clamps

Pipe clamps come in handy when you spring a leak or if your connections become lose. Placing a piece of rubber, such a section from an inner tube, over the leak and clamping it in place the with pipe clamps will generally keep your water running until the plumber arrives.

Snake

A plumber's snake, also called a hand auger, can be used to clear pipes if you can't remove the clog with a plunger. The steel cable snakes it way through the trap and along the pipe to remove stubborn clogs. Plumber's snakes generally reach 25 feet or more, letting you clean out junk and debris in the pipes. The snake is forced through the pipe as you crank it, and is retrieved by reversing the crank.

Pipe Repair Supplies

Keeping supplies on hand for replacing a section of your water line will come in handy if pipes freeze and crack or burst, or if you suddenly discover a leak.

  • Extra PVC pipe, including elbows and connectors
  • Plumbers Tape
  • Pipe Cutter
  • Plumber's Glue
  • Hacksaw 

Hardware

Keeping an assortment of hardware commonly used in plumbing repair will prevent late night trips to the store to fix that leaky faucet. You can buy plumbing repair kits that contain an assortment of hardware parts at your local hardware or home improvement store. If you prefer to make your own, include the following:

  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Brackets

Bucket and Rags

You will likely need a large bucket and rags should a plumber mishap occur. A five-gallon bucket is the ideal size, as it can be used for both small and large leaks. By using the bucket to store your plumbing supplies, you will have everything at your fingertips when the need arises.

Place your emergency plumbing kit in a location that can be reached quickly and inform all family members of its location. Teach children how to shut off the water supply to the toilet if it overflows, and instruct all adults on the location of the main water supply shutoff.  For more information about plumbing supplies you'll want to keep around your house, you can visit a local hardware store or talk to your plumber. 


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