Are you battling low water pressure, a clogged drain you just can’t reach, a musty smell, or a dripping faucet? Sometimes plumbing problems need the attention of a professional plumber. But in other cases, solving the problem may be as simple as knowing these 10 plumbing tricks put together by Dallas plumbers.

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10 Plumbing Tricks Everyone Should Know

Whether you plan to DIY your plumbing problem or plan to call in a professional, these 10 plumbing tricks can help you prepare for repairs and reduce the risk of further damage to your plumbing system.

1. Know Where the Shut-off Valves Are

Find out where the main shut-off valves are located. Your home may have a main shut-off valve inside or outside. These valves shut off the water supply to your home.

2. Know Where Your Pipes Are

If you are planning any DIY projects, make sure you know where the pipes in your home are located. You may have pipes in the walls, floor, or ceiling. Accidentally hammering a nail into one of your pipes can cause a leak, water damage, and a host of other problems.

3. Beware of What You Flush

In general, when you think of flushing, you think about toilet paper. There are actually various items that homeowners flush, including baby wipes and paper towels. Generally speaking, you want to avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper. Even thick baby wipes can wad up in your pipes and create a clog.

4. Don’t Wash Garbage Down the Drain

Most of us have washed out a dish and watched as small pieces of food or debris floated down the drain. This can be devastating to your home’s plumbing. Food debris, coffee grounds, oil, and starchy foods can all clog your kitchen pipes and lead to plumbing problems. If you have a garbage disposal, check the manual to find out for sure what types of food are okay to dispose of that way.

5. Invest in a Plunger

Not all plungers are made equal. In fact, some inexpensive models simply don’t have what it takes to clear a clogged drain. If you are purchasing a plunger, opt for a high quality model that can easily push water down and remove clogs. It is an investment that your home’s plumbing system will thank you for.

6. Don’t Forget the Vacuum

For particularly challenging drain clogs, such as a child’s toy or comb, don’t forget about your vacuum. You can use a wet-dry vacuum to effectively pull the object out of your drain. If you have a model with a long hose and elongated end, even better!

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7. Never Ignore a Leak

If your faucet is steadily drip, drip, dripping – avoid the temptation to ignore it. That is literally the sound of your money flowing down the drain. A leaky faucet can waste up to eight gallons of water each day it leaks. That can quickly add up on your water bill.

Don’t forget about your toilet too. If you hear what sounds like your toilet “running” or dripping, you could be wasting up to 200 gallons of water each day. That can add up significantly on your next water bill.

Leaks that are small may not seem like a priority, but they can become larger quickly, and can cause incredibly costly damage to your home.

8. Don’t Over-Tighten Fittings

Installing a new pipe or drain? Be careful that you don’t over-tighten the fittings. This is one of the most common DIY plumbing mistakes that homeowners make. Hand-tightening is often adequate to keep your pipes from leaking. If you are using a pipe wrench to tighten a fitting, be careful to avoid stripping the threading.

9. Keep Plumber’s Tape on Hand

Plumber’s tape is a homeowners (and plumbers) best friend. Plumber’s tape is specially designed to fit on threads and prevent leaks at fittings and joints. White plumber’s tape is the standard (yellow is for gas lines). To DIY a fitting or joint, wrap plumber’s tape around the threads at least twice.

10. Routinely Check for Leaks

After any plumbing project, or routinely on faucets or toilets you don’t use as often, check for leaks. Run water through the system and check under cabinets or sinks to make sure that there is no sign of a leak.