The Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Know

Homeowners aren’t expected to be masterful, professional-grade plumbers, nor do they really need to be; should any major or minor plumbing need arise, our own Vancouver plumbing team is close by to offer assistance. With that said, homeowners are smart to brush up on just a few plumbing basics, ensuring that they understand their household plumbing systems well enough to perform maintenance and make a few small adjustments or repairs, as needed.

Knowing How to Shut Off Your Water
For example, one very small yet very significant skill is shutting off the water in your home—something that will be necessary should you ever have a plumbing leak or other major problem to address. Regardless of whether you’re trying to fix the problem yourself or you’re simply waiting for the professional plumber to arrive, shutting off the water minimizes any potential damage done to your home and property.

You should be able to shut off the water in two places: Both at each fixture—for example, the shutoff valve where your toilet connects to the pipes in your home—and also the main water shutoff valve that controls the water flow into the entire house. If you haven’t located these valves, take the time to do so now!

Knowing How to Turn Off a Water Heater
It is also helpful to know how to turn off a water heater. This will be necessary should you ever need to drain it; should you ever experience a leak or an overheating issue; or should you want to turn off the unit while you’re out of town.

Again, there are really two things to master here. First, make sure you know how to turn off the water itself. Again, there will be a water shutoff valve near the unit itself. Also know how to turn off the gas or electricity; this will involve either a gas supply knob or, for electric heaters, simply flipping the circuit breaker that the unit is on. Make sure you know where all these things are located.

Knowing How to Stop a Toilet from Running
A final skillset to master is troubleshooting—and fixing—a toilet that won’t stop running. There are two issues that could be in play here. One is that the water level might be too high; you can often remedy this by removing the toilet tank lid and turning the adjustment screw or sliding the rod that lowers the float in the tank. Flush, let the tank refill, and then see if it makes a difference; tweak as needed.

The other likely issue is that the rubber flapper needs to be replaced—which is easy to do, and inexpensive. You can get a new flapper at any home improvement store. Should you need additional assistance with this or any of these other skills, though, please don’t hesitate to call our team and ask for a hand!