DIY Tips

Outside Faucets

DO

  1. Shut off all outside valves in wintertime in cold climates.

DON'T

  1. Leave garden hoses attached to the hose bib in winter.
General Plumbing

DO

  1. Call before you dig.
  2. Open and close all cutoff valves twice a year.
  3. Spray oil or WD-40 on seldom used valves to prevent seizing.
  4. Keep warranty card handy on all appliances, including water heaters and softeners.
  5. Have a diagram of your sewer system handy in case of emergency.
  6. Keep your plumber's phone number near the phone in case of emergency. (Bookmark Nieman Plumbing on your browser.)

DON'T

  1. Dig deep holes or trenches in your yard before locating water, gas, and sewer lines
  2. Plant trees or large shrubs over sewer lines
  3. Leave water turned on to hoses for washing machines, dishwashers, and garden hoses when not in use.
  4. Hire a plumber to do work without understanding precisely what he plans to do.
Water Supply Pipes/Valves

DO

  1. Open sink cupboard doors on outside walls in severe cold weather. 
  2. Insulate water pipes that may be exposed to freezing temperatures or wind.
  3. Use a blow dryer or heat gun to thaw frozen pipes.

DON'T

  1. Use open flames or torches to thaw frozen pipes.
Drains

DO

  1. Run water into seldom used sink and other drains once a month

DON'T

  1. Put coffee grounds in your sink drains
  2. Keep wastebaskets under sinks. Bumping drain pipes cause leaks.
  3. Use drain cleaners containing lye.
  4. Pour fats or cooking oils into your sink.
Toilets

DO

  1. Inspect and test toilets for leaks annually.
  2. Keep toilet seat down when not in use.
  3. Oil parts in toilet tanks that are above water level.

DON'T

  1. Hang a shelf for heavy objects over a sink.
  2. Hang a knick-knack shelf over your toilet.
  3. Use toilet tank lid for a shelf.
  4. Pour hot water into toilet. It could crack the bowl.
  5. Put any mechanical cleaning device in your toilet tank.
  6. Use chlorine based cleaners that sit in the tank
  7. Throw sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, or paper towels in toilet.
  8. Let children play in bathroom with small toys.
Dishwashers

DO

 

DON'T

  1. Run the dishwasher if disposer is full of food waste.
Food Disposers

DO

  1. Run water at full pressure when using disposer.

DON'T

  1. Run the dishwasher if disposer is full of food waste.
  2. Place cornhusks, artichokes, onionskins, celery, or other high-fiber material in a disposer.
Bathtubs/Showers

DO

  1. Check caulk line on walls around tubs and showers regularly.
  2. Check inside edge of shower door track to make sure there are no leaks.
  3. Pour two or three gallons of boiling water down shower or tub drains once a month.
  4. Periodically remove and clean all aerators.
  5. Teach children to always turn cold water on first and hot water off first.

DON'T

 

Water Heaters

DO

  1. Open drain on water heater twice a year to remove sediment.
  2. Turn off hot water system when leaving on an extended vacation.

DON'T

  1. Set water temperature above 120°F