A mild plumbing problem can be an inconvenience at best, but severe plumbing issues can put your whole household in a standstill. That said, don’t wait for plumbing issues to arise before you learn how to take care of your system. Here are the things that may be causing damage to your plumbing and why you should avoid them:
1. Putting inappropriate things down the drain
Proper drain cleaning is necessary once in a while, but the job will be much easier if you don’t put inappropriate substances down the drain. Examples of things that shouldn’t be put down the drain are grease, food residue, harsh chemical drain cleaners, and hair, just to name a few. Aside from avoiding a nasty clog, not flushing these things down the drain can prevent damage in your pipes and make them last longer.
2. Not doing preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is a surefire way to help your plumbing system run smoothly for as long as possible. That said, failure to do so can lead to several problems that can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in repairs and replacements. Call a plumber periodically to do a maintenance check. Similarly, if you spot any signs of potential problems in your plumbing system (e.g. leaks, weird sounds in the pipes, slow draining), have it fixed as soon as possible.
3. Ignoring tree roots near your pipes
When tree roots are searching for water in the ground, they can grow along the pipes underneath your yard. Needless to say, this can cause major damage to your plumbing system. To avoid this problem, avoid planting trees near your pipeline. If you don’t want to cut down the tree, hire someone to cut away the roots.
4. Throwing trash in the toilet or garbage disposal
Your toilets and garbage disposal are not for trash, even if they seem like convenient garbage cans. Materials like plastic, metal, glass, paper, and bones can easily cause clogs, which often lead to nasty backups and leaks. Don’t throw anything in the toilets and garbage disposal other than toilet paper and organic material (that are okay to put in the disposal).
5. Not replacing old appliances and parts
Even though your water-dependent appliances are made to last ten to fifteen years, don’t forget to check their internal parts from time to time. Old and damaged components can not only damage your plumbing, but they can also decrease the efficiency and lifespan of your appliances.
Inspect your water-dependent appliances periodically (e.g. water heater, dishwasher, washing machine) and look for signs of wear and tear. If you don’t know what to look for, call in a professional to do an inspection.
6. Trying to fix the problem yourself
While a lot of plumbing issues can be fixed the DIY way, it’s best to leave more complex problems to the professionals. Otherwise, you may make the problem even worse and inadvertently increase your repair bill.
If you are doing these things to your plumbing system, you may already be cooking up a recipe for a nasty plumbing disaster. Don’t wait until you have a busted pipe or a flooded basement. Avoid these bad habits to keep your plumbing system in tip-top shape for years to come.