In a home with a well-maintained plumbing system, it can be easy to forget just how important your functioning sinks and toilets are to your comfort. However, when your drains and pipes begin to clog, leak, or break down, it can delay your schedule and lead to unexpected costs. Fortunately, there are many great ways you can protect your plumbing including practicing healthy septic habits and scheduling regular maintenance services with a professional. Here’s how you can keep your home’s plumbing in peak condition no matter the season.
Insulate Your Pipes
The cold winter months can put your pipes at risk of freezing and bursting. Struggling with the aftermath of frozen pipes will often leave you with a flooded basement and hefty repair costs. To avoid extensive pipe damage, ensure all the plumbing outside your home is properly protected. This includes any pipes in uninsulated areas like your crawl space where the temperature can fluctuate greatly depending on the weather. Pipe insulation offers many great benefits like energy savings, temperature stability, and condensation control.
Use Garbage Disposal Correctly
Your garbage disposal helps to eliminate unnecessary hassle in the kitchen by grinding up old food that you would otherwise have to manually remove. While these appliances can break down many different materials, they shouldn’t be used to pulverize bones, eggs, fibrous foods, raw meat, or starchy potatoes. A garbage disposal is designed to break down food and minimize the risk of clogs. However, grinding the wrong items or overusing your disposal can wear it down and put you at greater risk of plumbing issues.
Limit What You Flush
Generally, you should only flush toilet paper and human waste down your toilet. It’s key to only dispose of things that will break down with time. You should never put feminine hygiene products, floss, hair, and cotton swabs in your toilet. These materials will accumulate in your pipes and slowly cause clogs. It’s also important to note that most flushable wipes aren’t actually septic-safe. They may not quickly break down and can often carry chemicals that harm the beneficial bacteria in your septic system. Educate your family members, especially your younger loved ones, on healthy toilet habits. You can also make sure garbage cans are readily available for any bathroom trash.
Locate Home’s Main Water Shut-Off
In an emergency like a flooding situation, you should know how to turn off your main water shut-off. When turned on, this valve allows the water from your city line to enter the home. Your municipal connection likely starts at the front of your house and runs straight back into your basement. If you have a water ball valve, you’ll want to turn the bar from a parallel position to a perpendicular one. Water gate valves, similar to hose faucets, must be turned clockwise until the water fully shuts off. Properties that draw water from wells may find the shut-off toward the back or side of the home.
Install Drain Screens
A lot of food and hair can accidentally slip down your drain without you noticing. Fortunately, mesh drain screens are a great way to catch debris before it can create a clog. These helpful tools don’t require any extensive installation. Instead, you place them over your bathroom sink or tub drains to catch debris. They’re affordable and easy to utilize, saving you from having to deal with pesky plumbing concerns in the future. If you don’t like the look of a traditional drain screen, you could try a more subtle inline strainer. These fit inside the entry of your pipe and can be pulled out when it’s time to empty them.
Use Natural Drain Cleaning Products
When you encounter a smelly or sluggish drain, you may be tempted to fix it with heavy-duty chemical cleaners. While these clog solutions are marketed to be plumbing-safe, frequent use can lead to more serious drain issues. You’ll find the chemicals can wear down the insides of your pipes, leaving them more susceptible to holes and loose connections. There’s also a good chance they may not completely clear the issue, meaning your plumbing could be vulnerable to more problems. Rather than waste your time and money on unreliable solutions, you should instead count on professionals to service your home’s plumbing.
Avoid Extra Pressure on Pipes
You should never hang clothes or objects from your pipes. The extra pressure may loosen their connections and ultimately result in leaks or lasting damage. Even hanging light objects like clothes can have a negative impact over time. Make sure nothing is leaning against your pipes or blocking you from seeing them. You should be able to regularly monitor the condition of your plumbing to catch the early signs of rust, corrosion, and potential leaks.
Don’t Pour Grease Down Drain
It’s essential to avoid washing grease, oil, or animal fat down your drains. When these substances are warm, it seems like they’d wash right out of your home with the rest of your used water. However, once the fat or grease cools, it begins to harden. It can stick to the sides of your pipes, collecting other debris and slowly narrowing the inner circumference. What may start as sluggish drains can quickly become a stopped-up pipe that can’t let any water through. If the grease manages to make it out to your sewers, it can form thick deposits called fatbergs. Not only could this disrupt your plumbing, but it could also lead to issues with your neighbors’ drains. It’s always safer to dispose of your oils and fats in the trash rather than your sink.
Schedule Annual Inspections and Cleanings
One of the best preventative measures you can take to protect your plumbing is to schedule annual expert care. Call in a professional to check every inch of your drains and plumbing lines for structural issues, holes, and leaks. You should also receive regular cleanings to scrape away any accumulated grime and maximize your home’s comfort. These services are an excellent way for plumbers to catch warning signs early, preventing you from paying substantial repair or replacement fees.
Don’t forget to count on your local plumbing team to handle your unexpected plumbing emergencies. Home solutions aren’t always effective and could result in more plumbing issues. Guarantee high-quality, lasting plumbing results by bringing your problems to experienced experts.
Responsible HVAC and Plumbing Company
First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is a customer-oriented indoor comfort company that’s served Metuchen, NJ, for more than 20 years. Our Master Plumber and skilled staff members will have no problem repairing your pipes, installing your new appliances, or servicing your sinks. We can also help you with water purification installations like softeners and reverse osmosis. Along with our comprehensive plumbing solutions, our team can handle maintaining or repairing your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, and boiler. Keep us in mind whenever you need fast and trustworthy 24/7 emergency repairs. Call First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule your plumbing service appointment in Metuchen or the surrounding areas.