Any homeowner will understand that their kitchen skin plumbing is an essential part of their home, and understanding some basic maintenance can be useful. When you know a little about your kitchen plumbing, you can diagnose some problems, make simple repairs, and lower your bill for professional plumbing services. In this article, we present four basic plumbing maintenance tips that you can use in your kitchen.
- Kitchen Clogs
Kitchen clogs are a common problem that many plumbers deal with regularly. Major or persistent clogs are harder to remove without professional training and specialized equipment. But, minor clogs are easier to handle, and you can save some money on hiring a plumber for something you can fix yourself.
The simplest option is to pour some boiling water into the drain and see if that solves the problem. If the kitchen clog has blocked the drain entirely, remove any standing water pour in around half a cup of salt, and try again. If the boiling water method doesn’t work, pour a cup of baking soda into a dry drain. Then add a cup of vinegar and watch the baking soda foam up as it starts to work. Leave this mixture for an hour, then pour in some boiling water, and hopefully, your drain will run correctly.
If this doesn’t work, you can attempt a manual clearance with a plumbing augur (snake). These tools are easy to find in different sizes, but you must be careful when using them to avoid damage to your pipes. Insert the snake slowly until you feel it push up against the clog, and then turn the handle slowly to break it apart with the drill bit on the end. If the clog is dislodged, you can pour in some boiling water to flush away the pieces.
The most important thing to remember about your plumbing pipes is to avoid using chemical drain cleaning products. Many of these contain caustic chemicals that will damage your pipes, making the problem worse. This is why a local certified plumber will always prefer a manual clog removal. If the clog returns frequently or you cannot get rid of it with any of the above methods, contact a professional plumber. There may be an underlying issue that’s causing the clog to return.
2. Kitchen Faucets
Kitchen faucets come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and shapes, but they all have similar requirements when it comes to plumbing. Under every kitchen sink, you can find the various pipes and fixtures that make everything work smoothly. Some kitchen sinks have a single mounting hole for the plumbing, and others have as many as four. This is also where you’re likely to find the shut-off valve for the kitchen sink. If you live in an older home, you may have a valve connection that’s incompatible with modern kitchen fixtures. This will mean that you may have to replace the shut-off valve if you decide to install a new kitchen sink.
If you decide to upgrade your kitchen faucets, the options are limitless, and if you look for long enough, you will find something to suit any taste. But, you need to make sure that the new faucets are compatible with your existing kitchen sink. If you’re not sure, it makes sense to consult your local certified plumber and get them to install them for you. Make sure you get faucets that match your other kitchen hardware unless you’re planning to freshen those up at the same time. The kitchen sink is a frequently used area in the home, and you need to ensure that the faucets can be easily operated.
When you choose kitchen faucets, pay attention to the materials used in the construction. From a practical perspective, it’s worth mentioning that chrome is the best faucet material. Chrome resists water spots and fingerprints well, It comes in a wide variety of finishes, and it is very easy to clean. Another good option is ceramic because they reduce faucet spout dripping, and they have dropped in price in recent years.
3. Garbage Disposal Cleaning
Regular garbage disposal cleaning is essential to keep it working well. This may be risky, but there is no need to place your hands in the disposal when cleaning. Similar to the unclogging method mentioned above, you can get great cleaning results with baking soda and white vinegar. Pour equal parts into the garbage disposal, place a cap over the drain and let the fizzing do the work. The chemical reaction that takes place will break up deposits of food and grease that can prevent the unit from running efficiently.
When the chemical reactions have finished, you can run some hot water through the disposal to flush out any remaining material. Now, turn your attention to the rubber drain cover located on top of the garbage disposal. Make sure the power to the unit is off, then scrub the rubber flaps at the bottom with soap to remove stale food odors.
If you want to freshen up your garbage disposal, cut some citrus peel into small chunks and run them through the unit. If your garbage disposal still smells funky or it stops working, call your local certified plumber for help.
4. Learn How to Shut-Off Your Water
During a plumbing emergency, the last thing that you need is to panic when you cannot locate the shut-off valve. Every day multiple gallons of pressurized water pass through the pipes in our homes, and a water leak can cause a lot of damage. The main water shut-off valve can be located in a few different locations depending on the specification of your home. If you have a basement, the shut-off valve may be located there near the foundation wall at the front of your home. If you have a crawl space and a basement, the shut-off valve is likely to be where the water enters your basement. In certain older homes, the shut-off valve is located in the crawl space, and many people add an extra valve in the basement for easier access. If your home doesn’t have a basement, the shut-off valve is probably located under the kitchen sink or next to your water heater. Water damage is expensive to fix. If you have a leak, shut the water off and contact your local certified plumber immediately.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.