Did you know that the Army Corps of Engineers Field Manual FM 3-34.471 provides you with as much general plumbing how-to knowledge as many expensive bookstore Do-It-Yourself (DIY) plumbing books? And, it’s free! In fact, Chapter 3 has step-by-step instructions on how to repair your plumbing, with pictures. There’s even a section on emergency temporary repair for a small leak in your pipe: You can use electrician’s friction tape to wrap the two inches above and two inches below the leak until you can replace the pipe or get a plumber to fix it.
Here are some general plumbing quick tips to never forget:
- Hot on the left and cold on the right
- Every two feet of building height lowers the water pressure by 1 psi (pound per square inch)
- 1 DFU (Drainage Fixture Unit) is equal to 7½ gallons
- Install vent pipes and plumbing traps or smell the sewage
- To understand plumbing, understand the fixtures first
Many people credit the Pied Piper with saving Europe from dysentery, typhoid, and cholera, but the real heroes were plumbers. He may have gotten rid of the rats, but plumbing got rid of the sewage and standing waters that attracted the rats. The industrial revolution brought people together in cities so fast living conditions were deplorable and the lack of adequate plumbing led to an increase in disease. So, thank the plumbers and the pipes, not the piper.
General plumbing can include a variety of projects, from fixing a leaky faucet to unclogging a kitchen sink, from changing a toilet to doing a full bathroom remodel. Whatever project you may be undertaking, keep in mind the #1 rule of general plumbing: know what you are doing. Knowing what is to be done and having a plan can help prevent costly, time-consuming problems from developing.
Rule Number 1 for General Plumbing Is Start with a Good Plan
Every building or repair project should begin with a thorough plan that looks at all possibilities. This plan should include a detailed drawing that any plumber can look at and know what supplies will be needed for the project. You should also know what specific tools will need to be on hand to make the project easier. An inspector should be able to look at it, understand the concept of the plan and whether it will meet code. New building and renovation plans should include who coordinates what with other contractors. Timing can be as important as the plan. No one wants to tear out a wall because the plumbing or electric wires weren’t installed.
In addition, since general plumbing contractors charge $50 an hour and up, having a good plan and all the tools and supplies on hand will prevent lag time in the project, because you had to run out and get something.
Rule Number 2 Is Know the Code
Plumbing code is very important, because it is there to keep the building occupants safe. We don’t want to return to the Industrial Revolution days of dysentery. Even strong-bodied individuals will get sick from improperly vented plumbing and standing water, which brings us to rule #3.
Rule Number 3 Is Proper Venting
When pipe vents are not installed properly, you will encounter problems. Everyone knows stuff flows downhill, but when your vent pipe (sometimes called a stink pipe) is located too far from the drainage site, a vacuum can occur and the stuff will not go downhill. A proper vent pipe allows the vacuum to be broken and the stuff to drain properly.
Rule Number 4 Is Always, Always, Always Use a Shutoff Valve
Every faucet, fixture, or appliance that has plumbing in your home should have a shutoff valve close by, in case of emergency. Always do a leak test. Too much damage can occur while you search for the main shutoff valve. And, never, never, never overtighten connectors.
Contact Tell Projects When You Can’t Do That General Plumbing Yourself
Many general plumbing jobs can be simple for a DIY type, especially repairs. Things can get hairy in the kitchen or bath with water spraying all over if you don’t have a good plan, know the code, provide proper venting, and always include a shutoff valve. Don’t wait until you must call Noah for a ride, contact Tell Projects to get an appraisal, and we’ll fix your plumbing problems quickly and efficiently. We provide a free estimate and guarantee for those projects that are just too big, even for the best DIY guy or gal. View our website or send an email with any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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