Do you have frequent plumbing issues that disrupt your home and business operations? In this blog, you’ll find out the best tips to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape. Don’t let plumbing problems plague you any longer – learn how to prevent them with the following advice!
Regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your plumbing system in tip-top shape. While some plumbing repairs are inevitable, you can prevent a majority of them with routine inspections and necessary repairs. If you want to maintain efficient drainage and avoid the cost of major repairs, here are a few tips for regular plumbing maintenance:
- Inspect Exposed Pipes – Check the exposed pipes in your home for any signs of leaks or blockages. If you find any, call a professional immediately; even small leaks can cause big problems if left untreated.
- Clean Drains – Cleaning drains annually helps keep them clear of built-up debris and prevents clogs from occurring down the line. Invest in quality enzyme based cleaners to flush out remaining particles without producing toxic fumes or bad odors.
- Schedule Professional Maintenance – Professional plumbers can identify potential problems before they become expensive fixes properly maintain water heaters, check for leaks and adjust settings for improved efficiency – all tasks that are important when it comes to maintaining a functional plumbing system year after year.
- Know Where Your Valves Are – Be sure that everyone living in the house knows where the shut-off valves are located in case there is an emergency suddenly needs attention from a professional plumber, such as burst pipes or water heater repair issues..
- Regularly Test Drips – Regardless if it’s summertime or winter time, check on your property’s plumbing system regularly can help prevent those unexpected costly repairs or replacements down the line; keep an eye out on possible dripping faucets or running toilets will help you catch them before they become serious issues.
Fix Leaks Promptly
Leaks, whether located in a bathroom sink, a kitchen faucet or toilet tank, should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage and a larger repair bill. To determine if you have a leak, check your water meter if you have access to it; if the meter is running even though no water is being used, you may need to call in a plumber.
Small leaks can be temporarily patched with plumber’s putty or tape, but for larger leaks you may need to purchase new parts and hire a professional for installation. Addressing leaky taps and pipes quickly can help prevent costly repairs later on.
Use Strainers in Sinks
Using strainers in your kitchen and bathroom sinks is an important step in keeping your plumbing system in top-notch condition. This practice helps to prevent clogs from occurring in your pipes by trapping larger food particles, hair, and other items before they can reach your drains and build up inside.
Strainers come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Plastic strainers are the least expensive option, but they have a habit of cracking when exposed to hot water or oil and can be difficult to clean after repeated use. Metal or stainless steel strainer are best for most home plumbing systems as they won’t crack easily and can withstand temperatures better than plastic ones. You may also want to consider buying a couple of spare strainers so you don’t have to switch them out too often between uses.
To ensure that the strainer is doing its job properly, it’s important that you check it periodically for clogs – especially if you use lots of oil or grease when cooking in the kitchen. Clogged strainers can cause large blockages farther down the line which could result in costly repairs or replacements – so regular cleaning should be part of any routine maintenance schedule.
Don’t Flush Anything but Toilet Paper
It is important to keep your plumbing well-maintained in order to ensure optimal performance and avoid costly repairs. Although we understand that it can be tempting to flush items such as feminine hygiene products, diapers, and dental floss down the toilet, these items should never be placed in the toilet bowl. Doing so regularly can lead to plumbing damage and clogs due to excessive build-up in the pipes over time.
Toilet paper is designed for maximum break down within a homes drainage/waste system, making it safe for proper disposal. Never flush anything not endorsed for use in a toilet bowl or drain including rags, plastic wrappers, trash or solid objects such as toys. Toilet Paper should be the only item flushed down toilets in most homes and businesses.
If you have questions specific to what items you should not flush consult your friendly local plumbing professional or municipality before flushing any item not associated with sanitation waste removal through the sewage systems.
Keep Drains Clear
Clogged drains may lead to backups and costly repairs, so it is important to maintain them correctly. To keep your drains clear, pay attention to what is going down them. Anything that is non-biodegradable (like cigarette butts, plastic objects and pieces of metal) should be disposed of in regular garbage. Grease and oils from cooking should also never be put down the drain, as they can both block flows and adhere to pipes over time.
To prevent clogs from forming in the first place, use strainers or mesh screens over your drains so that large particles don’t make it through. If you shower or bathe regularly you may want to try cleaning agents for hair clogs, such as shampoo-based products like Drano or Sure Plumb. In general though, prevention is better than cure – try not to let any food particles enter your pipes by disposing of all waste properly.
If you suspect a blockage is present, pour boiling water down the drain first; this will often clear a clog if it’s caused by grease build-up or starchy sediments like rice or pasta starch. If you are unable to dislodge the blockage with boiling water alone, use a plunger to push debris back out and then run hot water through the pipes for a few seconds for further cleaning effect. If home remedies prove ineffective, call a certified plumber for professional help before further damage occurs from the obstruction.
Install Water-saving Devices
Installing water-saving devices is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to conserve water. Begin by investing in high-efficiency showerheads and faucets; look for fixtures with the WaterSense label that feature a maximum flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute (GPM) – this will help you save both energy and money on your water bill without sacrificing performance.
You should also consider investing in ultra-low flush toilets or dual-flush toilets, which can reduce your home’s total toilet flushes by 20 to 60 percent when compared with conventional models.
Other types of water-saving devices, such as
- low flow irrigation systems
- sensors that detect motion in rooms
- rain barrels
- graywater systems
can also be installed with minimal effort. By making these improvements now, you can maximize the efficiency of your plumbing system while also protecting natural resources and reducing operational costs.
Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain
It may seem convenient to pour grease down the drain, but eventually, it will lead to clogs and other costly plumbing problems. Fats, oils and greases (FOG) congeal overtime, creating a blockage that slows down water drainage and prevents other materials from flowing through the pipes.
When pouring grease down your sink is unavoidable, dispose of it using a jar or can lined with newspaper or absorbent material. Kitchen strainers also come in handy when collecting solids before they reach the drainage system. Once full, dispose of the content properly by following local health regulations.
Grease can easily be recycled when done safely – for smaller amounts boiling water can help break them apart – but should not be disposed off as liquid waste into sewage systems. Maintenance also involves replacing outworn pipes and removing tree roots from sewer lines when necessary.
Insulating your pipes can go a long way in preventing problems such as frozen pipes and high water bills. Most hardware stores sell pre-slit pipe insulation that wraps around the pipe like a sleeve. Make sure you measure your pipes before selecting the right size insulation. Be sure to cover all exposed piping, even in the basement and attic, with minimum R-3 insulation rating.
In addition, protect your plumbing during cold weather by insulating exposed outdoor faucets and opening cabinet or closet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.
Hire a Professional for Regular Inspections
It is important to schedule regular inspections with a plumbing professional in order to identify any potential problems and make repairs or replacements in a timely manner. These inspections are vital for your home’s safety and comfort as they ensure your plumbing system is running properly. Plumbing professionals have the experience and knowledge to diagnose problems, inspect parts, and detect potential issues that are not visible to the naked eye.
During an inspection, the plumber will look at key components of your home’s plumbing system such as:
- Water heaters
- Sump pumps
They will check for wear and tear of pipes and drains, leaking faucets or toilets, water pressure problems or corrosion. The plumber may also suggest necessary upgrades or changes such as new fixtures or pipes if needed to improve overall efficiency and performance of the system.
In addition to inspecting the visible components of your home’s plumbing system, a professional may also use advanced technologies such as video inspection cameras to detect hidden leaks or blockages beneath surfaces such as inside walls or underground pipes.
Proper plumbing maintenance and care can be the difference between a properly functioning home and a plumbing disaster. Following these tips, you can ensure that your home’s plumbing system works as efficiently and effectively as possible:
- Keep your water heater in good condition with regular inspection, flushing and tank draining as needed.
- Don’t ignore small problems like drips, low pressure or clogs – they can quickly become more serious issues if not addressed promptly.
- Regularly inspect toilets, sinks, showers, drains and pipes for any signs of wear or damage and repair them promptly to avoid costly repairs in the future.
- Finally, use water conservation methods whenever possible to maximize the efficiency of your plumbing system over time.
With proper upkeep and care, you can keep your plumbing in tip-top shape for years to come!
Andrew Lee is the founder of My Plumber. He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of plumbing. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has written several articles and given talks on plumbing.