Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our plumbing, or worry about maintaining it. But when there’s suddenly a problem, it definitely catches our attention. If there’s one thing everyone wants to avoid, it’s plumbing issues. They’re messy, they’re expensive, and they can ruin irreplaceable valuables.
We’ve made this list of our top five plumbing tips that will help prevent some of the most common culprits of plumbing repairs.
If you rinse greasy cooking dishes, dump bacon grease, or other fatty substances down your kitchen sink, prepare for a seriously clogged drain. Grease coagulates as it cools, and solidifies as it makes its way through your pipes. No, running hot water for several minutes after disposing of grease does not clear it from your home’s plumbing. Let grease cool and scrape it into the garbage where it belongs.
Slow draining bathroom sink or shower, everyone reaches for the drain cleaner. STOP. Over time, the caustic chemicals in drain cleaners take a toll on plumbing, causing corrosion and leaks. Use a natural drain cleaner that will eat away clogs using enzymatic action. Also take precautions before your drains become clogged. Use catchers that will trap hair and debris from going down the drain, and never dispose of solids (even ones you think will “melt”) down drains.
Natural Drain CleanerUse 1/4 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of Borax, and a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Add a pot of boiling water and let it sit until it is clear. Slowly pour down the slow or clogged drain. Rinse with hot tap water to clear all ingredients down the drain.
We can’t stress this enough. Never, never, NEVER, flush anything but toilet paper. We know you’ve heard this before, but the number of clogged toilet calls we get would indicate it’s worth repeating. Flushing feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cleaning wipes, and even “flushable” products is a very bad idea. These products just don’t break down fast enough to avoid clogging pipes.
Plumbing isn’t something most homeowners want a lot to do with, but it’s important to know where your main water valve is located. Should you have an issue, a major leak, or burst pipe, turning off your water coming into your house immediately can minimize damage considerably. If you don’t know where it is, you’ll waste time scrambling around looking for it.
Plumbing leaks and failures cause millions of dollars in damage in the U.S. each year. Many of these can be avoided by taking good care of your plumbing and calling in a professional if you have any concerns about a leak or problem. A small repair can add up to far more of an expense if plumbing issues are ignored.