If you’re a new homeowner in Gainesville, FL, there’s a lot of information to keep track of. But knowing what to do about a plumbing issue can be more stressful than identifying the issue itself. Gainesville plumbers with Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. offer plumbing tips to help you effectively handle any plumbing issue in your new home.

How To Shut Off The Water

The majority of appliances and fixtures connected to water lines have shut-off valves. Generally, the shut-off valve is under the fixture and has a chrome-plated or plastic handle. Turn the valve right — clockwise — to stop the water flow. If it’s difficult to turn a valve, wear work gloves or use a pair of slip-joint pliers to increase your grip and gain leverage.

Hot Water Heater

A hot water heater usually has two shut-off valves to control the cold and hot water. Look for a blue handle to turn off the cold water and a red handle for the hot water. The hot water valve can also be turned off when there are leaking hot water pipes in the home.

Washing Machine

Most washing machine water lines are located behind each machine. They typically either have circular or lever handles. For lever-handle valves, move the lever to the opposite position. Turn the circular handle to the right until it isn’t able to turn any further.

Dishwasher

The dishwasher shut-off valve is usually located near the appliance’s water line. Usually, this is under the kitchen sink, close to the sink’s shut-off valves.

Household Water Supply

Turning off the household water supply is necessary for some common Gainesville plumbing situations. If this happens, look for the main water supply valve. It’s usually found where the cold water pipe enters the home. Turn the valve to the right to turn off the water flow.

How To Unclog A Toilet

Toilet clogs occur every day for many reasons but there are several ways to get rid of most clogs. If none of these solutions work, call for plumbing repairs in Gainesville from Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc.

Plunger

Any plumber in Gainesville can tell new homeowners that using a plunger is often the best way to unclog a toilet. A flange plunger enters the toilet drain and creates the most suction possible with each push or pull. Cup plungers can work for small toilet clogs, but they’re better for unclogging sinks and shower drains.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar can be trusty back-ups for any homeowner without a plunger. First, pour one cup of baking soda into the clogged toilet. Then, slowly add two cups of vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction takes several minutes to dislodge the clog. Flush the toilet to clear the drain.

Plumbing Snake

Look for a plumbing snake, also called a toilet auger. These types of snakes have a rubber coating to protect the porcelain surfaces of the toilet. Put the snake in the toilet and turn the handle clockwise. Once the snake stops moving, or you feel resistance, turn the handle counterclockwise to pull the snake back. Flush the toilet to clear the clog. Repeat this process until the clog breaks up and one flush clears the toilet drain.

How To Shut Off The Main Gas Line

Turning off the gas usually occurs when a new gas-supplied appliance is installed, such as a stove, or there is a suspected gas leak. First, locate the main gas shut-off valve for the home. It’s usually next to the gas meter outside or on an exterior wall inside, such as in the garage or near the water heater or furnace.

The handle for the gas line is usually parallel to the gas line when the valve is open. You may need an adjustable wrench, open-end wrench, or pliers to turn the handle. The valve is closed when the handle is at a 90-degree angle — perpendicular — to the gas line.

How To Remove Small Items From A Drain

Small items fall into drains every day. Retrieving them can be tricky unless you have a plan of action.

Use A Wire Hanger

A common wire hanger can be a handy tool for retrieving small items from a drain. Straighten the hanger as much as possible and bend one end into a small hook. Gently insert the hook-end into the drain and begin “fishing.”

Use A Magnetic Or Prong Tool

Fallen items that are magnetic can generally be recovered with a magnetic retrieval tool. Another option is a pronged tool. A spring-loaded lever controls the opening and closing of four prongs at the end of a long, flexible rod. A prong tool is available at most home improvement stores and is convenient for non-magnetic, out of reach items in a drain, such as gold and silver jewelry.

Clean The P-Trap

If a wire hanger, magnetic tool, or prong tool are unable to retrieve an item, you’ll need to clean the P-trap. Start by turning off the water to the fixture and proceed to remove anything stored underneath the sink. Next, put a small bucket or tray under the P-trap — residual water will drain out when the drain plug is removed. Remove the plug and allow the water to drain. If the item is small enough, it may fall out as water drains. Otherwise, loosen the slip nuts on both sides of the P-trap, one by one, and remove the P-trap. If the item doesn’t fall out, try to remove it with needle-nose pliers.

Every Homeowner Should Have These Tools For Plumbing Issues

There are many basic tools that plumbers in Gainesville would recommend homeowners have on hand. But these five tools should always be within reach in case a plumbing issue occurs.

Plungers

As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended to have at least one plunger in the home. Cup plungers are best for drains located in a flat surface, such as bathtubs and sinks, while flange plungers are ideal for toilets.

Pipe Wrench

The jaw-like, serrated wrench head is able to grip the smooth surface of pipe connections. The metal handle is sturdy enough to provide leverage for loosening, tightening, removing, or replacing pipes.

Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench, also called a crescent wrench, features a movable jaw that can be adjusted to fit nuts and bolts.

Auger & Snake

Augers are generally used for toilet clogs immovable with a plunger. Snakes are more adaptable and are meant for bathtubs, showers, and sinks.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is known for its versatility around the house. It’s water-resistant, which means it can temporarily stop water leaks by creating a seal.

Quality Plumbing Repairs In Gainesville, FL

Whether you’re a brand new homeowner or the home is new to you, you can count on Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. Our Gainesville plumbers have assisted homeowners for more than 30 years with all types of plumbing issues day or night. For emergency repairs or regular plumbing maintenance, call Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. today!