Believe it or not, many plumbing calls come about as a result of not following a few simple preventive plumbing tips. With some routine maintenance, it’s easy for homeowners to protect their house from costly repairs by following some preventive tasks and spotting simple problems before they become big ones.
- While it may be fun to use the toilet as a magical self-emptying garbage can, it’s wise not to use it for waste products. The only thing that should be going down the toilet is toilet paper. Even facial tissues, napkins, or paper towels can sometimes have a hard time breaking down in water, and can accumulate in the pipes. Pro-tip: go easy on the toilet paper.
- Toilets sometimes develop leaks that are difficult to spot. A quick trick is to use some food coloring in the upper tank of the toilet. Look to see if any colors goes through to the bowl. If it does, there is most likely a leak stemming from inside the tank.
- Read the fine print when buying drain cleaners, as many of them specifically mention that they should not be used in toilets. In general a lot of drain cleaners are not very effective, and can wear away at pipes over time, making them extremely weak and prone to needing replacement.
- Nobody wants to pick up gooey hair from the bathtub, but it’s better to catch it before it goes down the drain. Make sure the drains have strainers to catch hair and other debris before it can makes its way into the pipes. One of the leading causes of needing to snake a drain is hair that builds up over time.
- Often, mineral and lime deposits can clog showerheads. Instead of spending money on a new one, why not spend a few minutes cleaning it instead? To do so, soak the showerhead in white vinegar for a few minutes to remove these deposits, and give the shower head a squeaky clean polish.
- Nobody enjoys cleaning their shower, but it’s important to do so regularly. Grime, body oils and other soap residues build up in layers over time, and can wreak havoc on the appearance and cleanliness of the shower. The longer one waits to clean the shower, the more difficult it becomes.
- As tantalizing as it may be to discard grease, fats and cooking oils down the drain, it should never be done. These sorts of liquids solidify over time as they go down drains, and become problematic to remove.
- Be careful what goes into the garbage disposal. While many newer models are becoming increasingly efficient at pulverizing Lego blocks and chicken bones, this only reduces the life of the unit and could break things entirely. Even fruit pits can damage the blades, and fibrous materials such as poultry skin can tangle around the blades and cause clogging.
- Remember to clean the disposal regularly to avoid clogs and mysterious odors. Throw some ice cubes, vinegar and cold water into the disposal and run it. The resulting ice chunks can dislodge unwanted food debris and the vinegar will take care of any bacteria festering in the pipes.
Some of the items on the list may seem like no brainers, yet it’s surprising how many people forget a lot of these basic maintenance tips. With any luck, calling the plumber can be avoided with care and vigilance.
For bigger problems, it’s best to consult with a professional. Narrow Path Plumbing is always pleased to answer the call for any job, big or small.