Most people forget how much time, effort and money goes into being a homeowner. You can no longer ring your landlord when something goes wrong. As someone with a house, you have full responsibility for either fixing it or hiring someone to take care of things.
One aspect in your home that needs to be taken care of? Your plumbing. Of course, problems are sometimes inevitable, but there are conscious steps you can take to keep your systems in working order. Here are four things your Eugene, Oregon, plumber wants you to know:
Garbage disposals are not the trash
Most people are too liberal with what they put in their garbage disposals, when in fact these systems are incredibly sensitive. They're a great way to get rid of food scrap, because unlike garbage cans, the materials don't sit and produce odor. Instead, they disintegrate in your plumbing systems, where you no longer have to worry about them. However, these appliances can't break down everything, and if you throw the wrong material down your disposal, you could risk backing it up, breaking it and harming the environment. Things such as bones, vegetable peelings, grains and grease should never be thrown down your plumbing. Instead, pitch them in the trash.
Protect your pipes
Some of the most dangerous issues in the home can happen during winter, and it comes in the form of frozen pipes. If your pipes aren't properly protected, the water inside of them can freeze, stopping your water systems all together. Unfortunately, most people don't realize their pipes are frozen until it's too late (either when their showers don't work or the pipe bursts causing extensive and expensive damage to the home). However, there are plenty of precautions you can take to ensure this isn't the case for you.
First, head out to your local hardware store and pick up some insulation (that pink material found in unfinished rooms). Next, cut the insulation and wrap it around your unfinished pipes - especially the ones found in laundry rooms, basements and attics. This material stores the heat so the cold doesn't harm your pipe fixtures when temperatures drop; it's like a jacket for your pipes! Although insulation can do a lot, it doesn't do you any good if your heat isn't working. Before winter hits, make sure your heating systems are working just fine. Test all your vents to make sure the right temperature and pressure of air is blowing. In addition, check that there are no pieces of decor (rugs, side tables, etc.) covering your vents.
If it's in the dead of winter, you may also want to run your faucets on a daily basis. This consistent water flow will diminish your chances of the water freezing. This is particularly important in faucets that don't get much attention, like a basement shower head or laundry room sink.
Be cautious of what you flush
The pipes connected to your toilet are more sensitive than you think. In fact, there are plenty of items that you shouldn't be flushing (i.e. anything but waste and toilet paper). Any feminine products like tampons or sanitary pads are made to absorb liquid, so they will not properly break down and can cause blockage to your systems. The same thing goes for cotton balls and baby wipes. In addition, if flushed, pills can eliminate the necessary bacteria in our water and pose a threat to wildlife and the environment.
Don't flush anything except waste and toilet paper.
Although you may know about what you should and shouldn't flush, that doesn't mean all your guests do. Just to be safe, consider hanging a sign (like the ones in restaurants) noting what should and shouldn't be flushed down the toilet to protect your home the best you can.
Call a professional
Sometimes problems are simply out of our hands. Instead of risking making it worse by trying to fix something yourself, just call someone to get the job done for you. Our experienced and professional plumbers at Roto-Rooter can tend to any of your plumbing needs - even if it's just answering a simple question. Don't hesitate, give us a call!
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