Although you might think your plumbing can withstand a lot, the truth is that your fixtures need to be taken care of well. Not many people think about their plumbing until it's not working. By that time, it's already too late, and repairs are probably in order.
However, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to help ensure your plumbing stays in tip-top shape. Here are some of those ways:
Don't flush miscellaneous items
Your home's underground pipes are sensitive. They aren't made to withstand much more than waste, so other items can mess up their flow. For some people, it's tempting to just toss items down the toilet, but some things can actually be harmful and damaging to both your plumbing system and the environment. For example, women's sanitary pads and tampons should always be thrown into the garbage - not flushed. Feminine hygiene products do not break down in sewage. In fact, these products are designed to absorb water so they'll end up blocking your pipe fixtures. This also applies to objects that expand in water like cotton balls or swabs. Be sure to toss them in the trash.
While many wipes are labeled "flushable," it's still risky to do so. These products are generally too thick to break down in your water systems, which means they aren't safe for sewers or septic tanks. And yet some products are still considered safe. Be sure to do your research to see if they're compatible with your plumbing fixtures before flushing them. Or, you can avoid a potential issue altogether by throwing them in the waste basket - just to be safe.
Don't overdo it with your garbage disposal
Garbage disposals are nifty little appliances that can break down food waste. These are helpful to get rid of food scraps by tossing them down the drain instead of throwing them in the garbage and risking them becoming rotten and odorous. However, there are plenty of items that should be not thrown in your garbage disposal. Here are a few:
All of these materials can cause your disposal to be blocked or even broken.
Most people believe that plumbing problems can fix themselves over time. But issues like low water pressure and a leaky faucet need to be resolved fast. It's more environmentally and financially beneficial for you. For example, if your water heater isn't working right, you can be getting charged for lukewarm water (plus, no one likes a cold shower). If you let your faucet leak for a couple of months, it's wasting resources, and you're still getting charged for water you didn't really use. If you call your plumber to fix a faucet at the first signs of a leak, he or she will probably only have to replace the springs. On the other hand, if you wait, you may have to replace the entire fixture down the road. Delaying jobs only makes it more difficult for everyone.
Get your leaky faucet fixed now instead of later.
Sure, some problems are unavoidable, but there are others where you can take initiative to protect your home. For example, protect your plumbing systems by putting drain catchers in your baths and showers. This will catch anything that is too big to break down in your pipes. Many people use chemical products to clean their drains, but the truth is that these rarely work and can even weaken your pipes' strength. The hair that gets caught on a pop-up drain stopper can be easily removed and thrown in the trash.
It's incredibly important that you shield your pipes from harsh weather conditions. Regardless of the mildness or severity of your winters, your pipes are going to need a little extra coating to stay warm. That's where pipe insulation comes in. Head out to your local hardware store to pick up some pink insulation. Cut and wrap this material around your pipes that are exposed (ones that are in basements, attics or laundry rooms). This insulation will give your pipes the extra warmth they need to stay safe throughout the colder months.
Don't try it yourself
With websites like Pinterest, everyone is trying do-it-yourself projects. Although plumbing may seem simple, most jobs require the work of an experienced professional. Fixing your systems isn't as easy as it looks on a television show or website. In fact, one small mistake can result in extensive and expensive repairs. Don't risk it. If you have a problem, just give us a call over at Roto-Rooter, and we'll send out one of our experienced plumbers to get the job done.
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