Table of Contents


Miscellaneous Suggestions

Sump Pump. If you have a sump pump, be sure that it is always in good operating condition so that it will be ready to function when it is needed. Oil it carefully in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Make it operate occasionally by tripping the lever after filling the basin particularly with water. Unless you do this every three or four months, there is danger that corrosion may cause a sticking of the shaft when operation is required.

Backwater Valve. The function of this valve is to prevent the sewer from backing up into the house during heavy rains. Most backwater valves operate automatically. A valve with a butterfly action closes against the sewer on the house side.

Sometimes however, debris lodges against the seat of the valve so that it cannot close tightly. There are also manually operated valves, that have a wheel handle to shut them down. Sometimes, debris (mop strings, etc.) can accumulate or collect near the valve seat, which prevents it from closing tightly. With automatic backwater valves, removing the lid, cleaning the seat, and greasing the hinge pin on the valve gate annually will guarantee that the valve will operate as expected when it is called upon to prevent the water from coming into your basement. With the manual type of valve it is best to operate this valve manually every six months in order that (1) all members of the family may be familiar with the location of the valve with its function, and where the wheel for manual operation is stored; and (2) in order that the manual operation may keep the valve free from corrosion and lessen the chances for debris interfering with the valves closing.

Flammable Vapors

Vapors from flammable liquids can explode and catch fire, causing death or severe burns. That is why it's vitally important, that you should NEVER use flammable liquids such as gasoline, adhesive solvents, lighter fluid, mineral spirits, paint thinner and kerosene, around water heaters, furnaces, or any appliance with the potential for flame or sparks.

Keep flammable products far away from the water heater or furnace, stored in an approved container, tightly closed and out of children’s' reach. Flammable products, improperly stored or used near an open flame give off invisible vapors that can travel the length of a house and be ignited by any of a dozen or more household sources of flame or spark. A few precautionary measures can prevent a tragedy from taking place.

When Calling the Plumber...

You can help your plumber by telling him, to the best of your knowledge, exactly what's wrong when you talk to him on the telephone.

If the water closet is leaking, tell him it's the water closet. If it's the lavatory, don't merely say that "there's a leak in the bathroom" and expect him to tell you what to do until he gets there.

There are a thousand and one tools and parts in his plumbing store, and he can't be expected to carry them all. So, when you ask for his help, give him as much information as you can. When he arrives, tell him everything that has been done to the defective part of the plumbing. It will speed his work and lower your plumbing bill.