3 Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Know


Owning a home is a big responsibility and an even bigger investment. One of the best ways to help your home keep its value is with regular maintenance of big-ticket items. And that includes plumbing. With that in mind, River City Plumbing here in Reno is sharing three plumbing basics everyone homeowner should know.

Turning Off the Water at the Main

Nope, we’re not talking about dripping faucets. Heaven forbid you ever experience a pipe or water heater leak, but it could happen. And if it does, you’ll need to know how to shut off your water at the main valve, which is where the water enters the home from the street. In most cases, the water shut-off is found near your water meter and will be either a lever or a knob. In both instances, turn the lever clockwise to turn off the water.

Pro tip – adding valve tags to identify the main shut-off makes it easy to find the right lever or knob when you need it.

Cleaning the Sink Trap

The sink trap is also known as a P-trap or drain tap. It’s a plumbing fixture beneath the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms, and it serves a dual purpose. It’s designed to trap debris that could form a clog deep in your plumbing system, and it also creates an air seal that stops unpleasant sewer gasses from stinking up your home.

From time to time, your trap may clog. Clearing it is a simple, though messy, matter. First, put a bucket or pan on the ground beneath the trap. Then, remove the two nuts holding the trap in place. Use a butter knife to clear any debris clogging the trap, and then re-attach using the nuts. Easy!

Restoring Proper Water Pressure

If it’s dawning on you that certain faucets have low water pressure these days, the culprit is likely mineral deposits. Here are simple ways to restore proper water pressure in the kitchen and bathroom:

  • Kitchen faucet: Unscrew the filter on the faucet end (where the water comes out) and remove the rubber gaskets. Bring a cup of white vinegar to a simmer, and let the filter soak for about an hour. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the filter, and then replace both the gaskets and the filter. Note – you can rinse out the gaskets separately, but don’t add them to the vinegar bath.
  • Showerheads: Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, then scrub with that old toothbrush.

Pro tip – If trickling water isn’t limited to a single sink or showerhead and you’re noticing it on every faucet in the house, call River City Plumbing right away. It could be a sign of a much bigger issue.

These are plumbing basics that every homeowner can tackle. But if you prefer bringing in a professional for routine maintenance or to deal with a bigger plumbing issue, River City Plumbing is here to help. Contact us today.

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