Part of being a homeowner is making sure everything in your house is running smoothly, and that includes your plumbing systems. You may not think twice about your toilet or faucet when everything is working correctly. However, if something goes wrong in one of your systems, it can really throw a wrench into your everyday life. The last thing you would want is to get back from a long day at the beach, covered in sand and sunscreen, only to discover your showerhead isn't working.
While no one can truly predict a pipe bursting or a water heater breaking, there are some precautions you can take to help your plumbing fixtures stay in tip-top shape. Here are five things your Port St. Lucie, Florida, plumber wants you to know:
Plumbing systems can be incredibly sensitive, especially if you're close to big bodies of water. Toilets are a part of our everyday lives, and because waste usually just disappears, it's tempting to flush anything down there. But some things can be damaging to both your plumbing systems and the environment. For example, lots of families with children toss baby wipes down the toilet. However, these can clog sewer systems. Be sure to check on the back of the label to see if the wipes you're buying are compatible with your plumbing fixtures. There also are some items that should never be flushed, like tampons, paper towels and cotton balls. All of these products do not break down when traveling through the sewage systems and can cause backups down the road. Lastly, don't flush prescription medicine down the toilet, either. These drugs can be harmful to wildlife because they can destroy helpful bacteria in the water.
If you aren't sure what is OK to flush and what isn't, give your Roto-Rooter plumber a call, and he or she will break it down for you.
If you notice that something in your house is a little off, like the faucet is dripping or your shower water isn't staying hot very long, do not ignore it. The quicker you act, the less likely the repair will be expensive and extensive. In addition, something like ignoring your faucet drip will do you more harm than good in the long run. For instance, a leaky faucet will slowly increase your water bill if it's not fixed. If you see something that's broken, or on its way to breaking, be sure to get it fixed. In the same vein, there are some fixtures that can break without you even realizing it. Have your local plumber come out for routine checks to make sure everything is in order.
Be careful what you throw down your garbage disposal.
With so many resources at your disposal, you may think you're Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It. And while some projects lend themselves to the do-it-yourself craze, there are also some that can do more harm than good. Simple tasks like unclogging a toilet or drain can be done from home. However, be sure not to mess too much with your plumbing. You don't want to find yourself with an overflowing toilet or a burst pipe - both of which can be very pricey repairs. If you're not sure what you're doing, contact a professional beforehand.
Many people are too liberal with what they put down their garbage disposal. This appliance is helpful in breaking down and getting rid of scraps of food. It's an alternative to the garbage can, which can get odorous over time. However, there are plenty of items that shouldn't be thrown down your disposal. Here are some of them:
Fibrous foods like lettuce, carrots, onion skins and potato peels.
Greasy foods or grease from cleaning.
Food that increases in size with water like pasta, rice and other grains.
Bones from meat.
Any of these products can cause your garbage disposal and plumbing system to break or get backed up.
Your home's temperature can plummet during the winter. As a result, your pipes will need a little more warmth than usual. When the colder seasons roll around, be sure to insulate your pipes. Head out to your local hardware store to pick up insulation (the pink material found in unfinished attics and basements). Then, wrap it around your exposed fixtures. Don't forget hidden ones, like underneath bathroom and kitchen sinks.
Whenever you find yourself in over your head, be sure to give us a call at Roto-Rooter. Our plumbers have the skills, experience and tools to make sure your plumbing issues are gone in a jiffy.
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