Ken’s Guide to General Plumbing
A quick reference for how your plumbing system works, how to avoid plumbing problems, and what to do if you encounter an issue
No one wants to call four different numbers for each plumbing service they require. Since 1991, Ken’s Plumbing has specialized in providing full-service residential plumbing to homeowners in and around Greenville, South Carolina. We provide everything from gas line repair to toilet installation to tankless (and conventional) water heaters — and everything in-between.
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Contact a professional for your plumbing issues
The experienced technicians at Ken’s Plumbing are available 24/7, 7 days a week. Give us a call or use the form below to schedule service.
Dealing with an emergency and need help now? Call us at (864) 242-5511 right away!
1. How Your Plumbing System Works
Your home’s plumbing system is an essential part of a comfortable standard of living.
If it’s not working properly, you won’t be able to shower, wash your hands, use the toilet, wash dishes, water the lawn, or run the washing machine. Plumbing systems are responsible for quite a bit; however, most people don’t really know what their plumbing system is. They just turn the handle or press a button and expect the water to come out at the precise temperature and pressure they want.
As a homeowner, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your plumbing system works, so that you can take better care of it and prevent costly breakdowns. Keep reading to learn the 3 major categories of your home’s plumbing system.
Pipes and Fittings
2. Common Problems with Plumbing
Low Water Pressure
Broken Water Heater
3. How to Avoid Plumbing Problems
The plumbing in your home is a complex system of pipes, faucets, fittings, and drainage systems. Most of your plumbing is working behind the scenes, so it can be difficult to determine if there are any problems on the horizon. Fortunately, there are many things you can do (or not do) that can extend the life of your plumbing system and keep major problems from happening down the road.
Get a Plumbing Inspection
One of the best ways to prevent plumbing problems is knowing what to look for. That’s why most manufacturers of plumbing products recommend at least one plumbing system inspection every year. A professional plumber will know what to look for, give your home a good inspection, and let you know what you need to do to keep your plumbing in the best condition possible.
If you do have a plumbing problem brewing, a professional plumber will be able to identify the problem before it gets any bigger and recommend the best course of action. Don’t hesitate to get your plumbing inspected. It could save you thousands!
Winterize Your Plumbing
While South Carolina isn’t considered a cold climate, it can still get very cold here and most homes aren’t built with cold weather in mind. Because of this when the temperatures do drop below freezing, the pipes in your home are likely not the most insulated against the cold. This leaves them very susceptible to freezing.
Frozen pipes are both dangerous and inconvenient. When pipes freeze, the water inside expands and can cause cracks, leaks, or breaks in the joints. If your pipes break and start leaking, it can cause some serious damage to the rest of your home. Additionally, if the water in your pipes is frozen, you won’t be able to take showers, wash dishes, run the washing machine, or any other task that requires running water.
Here are a few quick tips on preventing your pipes from freezing:
- Keep your house temperature at least 65 degrees or higher, even if you’re leaving the house for the weekend. We have seen some people go lower, and while they have seen no damage when setting their thermostats to 60, we recommend playing on the safe side.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate towards the pipe.
- Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. Poorly insulated homes are one of the reasons pipes burst. Insulating these walls and crawl spaces can prevent freezing.
- Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.
If your pipes do happen to freeze, here are a couple of things you can do:
- Shut off the water supply to the affected pipes.
- Gather tools for mopping up spills and turn the affected faucets to the “on” position.
- Locate the frozen area, if possible, and gently heat exposed pipes. Use space heaters or similar tools if the frozen pipe is not exposed.
- Once the water begins flowing, double-check for any damage to the pipes.
4. What to Do If You Have a Plumbing Problem
If after getting your plumbing inspected you do find there is a problem, don’t panic! There are some things that you can handle on your own without having to pay a professional to fix. Check out our blog to find out which plumbing projects you may be able to do yourself. On our blog we’ll also teach you how to fix minor drain problems, repair leaky faucets, and more! But when in doubt, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional.
Call Ken’s and Get Professional Help
If you discover that your plumbing project is too big for you to handle on your own, Ken’s professionally trained and licensed plumbers can help you out. They will analyze the problem and provide you with an estimate, so you can make the best possible decision for your home’s plumbing and your budget. You can give us a call or contact us online for help today!