There’s nothing worse than making an emergency call to a plumber during a busy week or in the middle of the night. That burst pipe or sewer backup can’t wait, but with regular care and maintenance, you could prevent it from happening in the first place.
Find out how to care for your plumbing – no skills required – and prevent major repairs from disrupting your life.
Take Care of Your Drains
Shower and sink drains take a lot of abuse, particularly in the kitchen. If you’re allowing food and cooking grease to go down your drain, you have a problem waiting to happen.
Grease is liquid when you’re cooking, but it turns back into a solid once it cooled. So, you flush liquid down your drain where it rests in the P-trap, hardening and gathering food and other debris with it. Over time, this will cause a slow drain, if not a full-blown clog, or end up in your sewer causing a backup.
After cooking, dispose of the excess grease by putting it a container and letting it harden. Then, toss it out in the trash or save it for other cooking uses. You may want to install drain traps in your kitchen and bathroom sinks and shower to prevent unwanted items from going down.
Be Careful with What You Flush
The toilet is designed for liquid and solid waste and toilet paper. That’s it. A lot of flushable products aren’t quite flushable, include wet wipes and feminine hygiene products. When these products are flushed regularly, your toilet can become severely clogged.
If you happen to drop something in the toilet, you can try to dislodge it with a plunger. Don’t try to flush it down! If it ends up deep in the pipe, call a plumber. It’s also a good practice to speak to your entire family to make sure everyone is clear on what can and cannot go down the toilet.
Don’t Let That Leak Go On
If you have a slow drip in your sink or shower, don’t let it go. You’re not only wasting gallons of water each day – giving you higher water bills – but you could end up with a burst pipe and water damage.
You can try to fix a leaky faucet on your own by cleaning the internal washer and rings, but this takes a little bit of know-how. If you’re not comfortable, call in a professional to correct that leak, see what caused it, and ensure that you don’t have bigger problems lurking deep in your system.
Opt for Natural Drain Cleaners
For most homeowners, a slow drain or clog is a job for liquid drain cleaners. Unfortunately, that’s one of the worst things you can do for your pipes. The chemicals in these cleaners are highly corrosive, damaging your pipes over time.
Instead of liquid drain cleaner, rely on natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar to keep your pipes clean. This solution can clean our pipes and prevent clogs from forming, so you’re less likely to deal with a clog.
Be Careful with Your Garbage Disposal
If you treat your garbage disposal like a black hole, you’ll end up with problems. While soft food is fine, your garbage disposal is not designed to mulch fibrous vegetables, bones, or animal fat.
If you flush foods like this down your garbage disposal, it can gum up the blades and lead to clogs.
Be mindful of what you flush down the garbage disposal and always run cold water. This helps to carry the food waste down into the blades and pipes to prevent buildup. Avoid using hot water, which will melt grease and cause it to stick to the blades. If you want to keep your disposal clean, you can use baking soda and vinegar to rinse it regularly.
Don’t Take on Big Repairs on Your Own
Some plumbing problems are fine to take on at home, but if you don’t have plumbing knowledge, you could make your problems much worse. Plumbers have the training, experience, and tools to fix your plumbing problems effectively.
Unless you also have plumbing skills, it’s best to leave the work to the professionals. If you try to do it yourself, you could exacerbate the problem. Or worse, it could be dangerous.
Don’t Ignore the Small Stuff
Your plumbing is a big part of your home and day-to-day life. You probably don’t think about it until something happens and you’re scrambling to find a plumber at the last minute, however.
If you pay attention to small changes, such as a drip, a weird noise, or a sudden drop in water pressure, you could anticipate problems before they become more serious.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
Routine maintenance for your plumbing system is the best way to prevent future problems. Rather than worrying about your plumbing yourself, you can have a professional inspect your entire system to identify small repairs or issues before they become a major problem.
Want to take care of your plumbing? Schedule your maintenance or repairs from Sierra!