Whether your house is new, newly piped, or old but in good condition, keeping your plumbing healthy and functional is essential to efficient management of your home and your finances. However, besides participating in regular maintenance, there may be actions that you are taking that are harming your plumbing without your knowledge. The following list includes many “don’ts” and a few “do’s” to help you get clear on the best way to treat your pipes.
1. Scrap the Draino
Walk. Slowly. Away. From the chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners rarely complete the job the way you’d hoped, and always damage your pipes in some fashion. The chemicals included in these cleaners are dangerous for most users to handle and only serve to bore a hole through tough clogs, rather than removing the blockage in question. You’ll have better luck with an auger and drain traps to prevent these hairy, gucky clogs from developing in the first place.
2. Tossing every “flushable” down the drain
Feminine hygiene products, cleaning wipes, makeup removing pads and cat litter, among other items, are NOT flushable! These items, no matter how they are labeled, do not disintegrate quickly enough to move smoothly through your drain pipe.
3. Avoid Drop-In Toilet Fresheners
Who doesn’t love a fresh toilet? However, toilet fresheners that drop into your tank often contain chemicals that damage the working parts inside your toilet tank. In addition, disintegrating tablets can lodge in your toilet’s flush valve and prevent water from completely moving through. That’s the opposite of what we want, right?
4. Replace hoses
Most of the time, water hoses burst without warning. The best way to avoid a flood is to change out the rubber hoses attached to washing machines and dishwashers every five years, to ensure that they continue to work efficiently and don’t leak.
5. What? You don’t have leak protection??
Leak protection can save you big on both hassel and cash. For $200-$300, you can get a system that provides both an alarm and a main water shut-off in the event of a leak in your dishwasher, water heater, and even sink.
6. Stressing your food processor
Your garbage disposal can and will get clogged if you pour grease, fibrous foods like celery, or bulk amounts of garbage in all at once. Feeding garbage into the disposal slowly, while running cold water, is the best way to avoid a clog.
7. Keeping the same water heater FOREVER
We understand; you and your hot water heater go way back. However, water heaters tend to lose their effectiveness at the 15-year-mark or before and may cause a flood if you’re not careful. Do yourself a favor and invest in a new model before trouble strikes and your home becomes an indoor flood plain.
If any of these plumbing practices sound familiar, don’t panic. All you can do is move forward with new strategies that don’t harm your plumbing. Be sure to contact our experienced team at Simpson Plumbing Inc with any questions, concerns, or to schedule a house call.