Plumbing was invented by the ancient Romans thousands of years ago, and ever since then, plumbing has become an essential part of our everyday lives. Many of us take our plumbing systems for granted until some common plumbing issues pop up. Many of these issues arise from plumbing system maintenance mistakes.
If you don’t engage in regular plumbing maintenance, you will find that making your plumbing system last will be an impossible task. But what are some common plumbing system mistakes and how can you avoid them? Keep reading and learn how to keep your residential plumbing system in great shape.
Don’t Use Too Much Drain Cleaner
You might think that drain cleaner is a relatively safe thing to put down your drains. After all, its sole purpose is to be put down drains to clean out the pipes. However, this does not mean that you should use a drain cleaner to your heart’s content.
Keep in mind that drain cleaner is made of very harsh chemicals that can degrade just about anything. That’s why it’s so great at eating away at clogs in drains. These clogs are formed from calcium buildup, clumps of hair and dead skin, and many other types of debris.
Calcium buildup is one of the hardest problems to remove. It tends to get stuck on the edges of pipes and narrows the pipes as a whole. Drain cleaner, of course, is very good at doing this, but once it removes the calcium buildup and grime, the plumbing pipes themselves will be much more vulnerable.
If you use drain cleaner too often, it could start to strip away the inside of the pipes. Eventually, this will weaken the pipes and it may even lead to much more serious plumbing problems later on like leaks or bent pipes. Many people don’t know this and use drain cleaner all the time to clear out minor clogs.
Fixing Stubborn Clogs
If you have a stubborn clog that doesn’t seem to be going away, don’t keep using drain cleaner as it will only do more harm than good. Instead, try using other tools like a drain snake. This will allow you to physically dislodge whatever may be lodged in the pipe.
You can also try some natural cleaners. For example, if you use baking soda and vinegar in a drain, this mixture will dissolve debris almost as well as industrial drain cleaner. If you still have a clog after all that, it is best to call a professional.
A professional plumber will have the right tools and knowledge to clear the clog while keeping your pipes in great shape. They will also be able to see if there are any physical problems with the pipes such as bends or leaks.
After your plumber gets to work and fixes the problem, your pipes should be in great shape as long as you don’t keep using drain cleaner on your pipes all the time.
Using Your Drains Incorrectly
Many people don’t bother to think about how drains work or what they can handle. Instead, people tend to think that drains can suck up anything that’s thrown at them. While drains can certainly be very helpful in this regard, they are not invincible and they will sustain a clog eventually.
However, some clogs are worse than others and some are much harder to remove than others. If you don’t take good care of your drains, they aren’t going to function very well for very long. A lot of people misuse their drains without even realizing it.
For example, suppose that you use the sink in your kitchen a lot because of its handy garbage disposal. You might think that because the garbage disposal blades can chop up whatever might be in the sink, you are free to throw anything you want down the drain.
You might pour grease, old coffee grounds, old vegetables, and more down the drain to be cut up by the garbage disposal. However, just because your garbage disposal can handle all of this debris doesn’t mean that your drain can. Even if the debris is cut up into tiny pieces, these pieces can still end up causing big problems for your drain and pipes.
This is especially true for tough substances like fibrous vegetables. Even though the blades in the drain will cut it all up, the fibrous pieces will still be quite tough and won’t hesitate to stick in the sink’s pipes. This is also true for other materials like egg shells, hair, and other debris.
For that reason, you should be more careful with what you throw down your drains.
What To Put Down Your Drains and What To Avoid
When you put all this debris down your drains, you will not only cause clogs but you could even damage your pipes. This is not to mention that your garbage disposal will sustain damage from this misuse over time as well.
While the disposal’s blades might be very sharp, they can’t handle everything. After trying to grind up fibrous vegetables, the blades will eventually become dull and they might even bend and become useless. The only way to keep your drain and garbage disposal in good shape is to be more careful with what you put down your drain.
While you can, of course, put a bit of food down the drain once in a while with the help of the garbage disposal, you shouldn’t do it all the time. You should mainly opt for soft foods and other substances as these substances will be very unlikely to damage your drain. They will also be far more unlikely to cause clogs.
However, you should avoid pouring grease or fat down your drains. Both of these substances can build up in your pipes and create clogs that are especially hard to remove.
Leaving Outdoor Hoses on in the Winter
Leaving your outside hoses on during the winter is not something you want to deal with for several reasons. Many people don’t even realize that they leave their hoses on once winter comes around. You might forget to turn off your hose at the last minute or winter may come all of a sudden and occupy you with other matters.
However, if you happen to remember your outdoor hoses, you should turn them off at once. Why should you bother, you might ask? The danger has to do with the freezing temperatures and how they interact with the water still flowing into the faucet of the hose.
As temperatures drop, water will obviously turn to ice and this is also true for water that is currently flowing through your pipes. Many people forget about the issue of frozen pipes or burst pipes, but these problems become very real in the winter.
If you happen to leave your outdoor hose on in the winter or forget that it’s on, you’ll likely be dealing with frozen or burst water lines. These problems, of course, are hard to fix and can be quite costly to repair due to the labor and the replacement of the pipes. This is not to mention that these pipe problems will severely change how water runs in your home.
Once a water line bursts, you will hardly be able to run your sink or take a shower. Instead, you’ll need to fix the problem right away or, preferably, call a professional. The best thing you can do, of course, is to avoid the problem by turning off your outdoor hoses in the first place.
Many people are determined to fix their plumbing problems themselves, but there comes a point when it is better for a professional to do the job for you. This is especially true for serious problems like burst pipes. There is no point in trying to repair such a problem by yourself since it takes so much effort, skill, and time.
Instead, it is much more convenient to hire a professional plumber.
All About Plumbing System Maintenance Mistakes
There are many plumbing system maintenance mistakes to consider that can make a big difference in the quality of your plumbing system. If you don’t take good care of your drains and pipes, they will eventually become degraded and need to be replaced.
For that reason, avoid throwing debris down your drains, don’t use drain cleaner too often, and always be sure to turn off your outdoor hoses before winter rolls around.
If you need a plumbing problem fixed right away, contact us here to learn more.