When it comes to taking care of your home, plumbing should be at the top of your priority list. There are a few things every homeowner should know about plumbing to keep their home in good condition.
1. Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain
Over time, grease and oil can build up in your drains and cause clogs. To avoid this, dispose of grease and oil in a container, such as an old coffee can.
2. Use strainers in your sink
This will help catch food particles and other items that could clog your drain. Be sure to clean your strainers regularly so that they continue to work correctly.
3. Know what not to flush
Flushing items like diapers, sanitary napkins, and paper towels can cause major clogs in your plumbing. Only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet.
Pro tip: those “flushable” wipes may not be a good idea either.
4. Inspect your pipes regularly
Check for any leaks or cracks in your pipes annually, and have them repaired as soon as possible. This will help prevent any further damage to your home and avoid the need for more extensive repairs down the line.
5. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners
These can damage your pipes and be harmful to your health. Instead, try using a natural drain cleaner like baking soda and vinegar or calling a professional.
6. Use a plunger to clear clogs
If you have a clog in your sink or toilet, try using a plunger to dislodge it, and don’t ever resort to chemical cleaners (see tip # 5).
For a sink clog, use a cup plunger. For a toilet clog, use a flange plunger. Be sure to cover the entire drain opening with the plunger and create a seal before you start plunging. Plunge up and down several times before lifting the plunger to see if the clog has been cleared. If it has, give it a flush, or pour in some boiling water. If not, repeat the process.
7. Know where your main water shut-off valve is located
In the event of a plumbing emergency, you’ll need to know how to shut off your water. The main shut-off valve is usually located near your water meter or where the main water line enters your home.
8. Annual Water Heater Inspection & Maintenance
An annual inspection and maintenance service performed by a licensed pro will ensure your water heater lasts longer and operates safely and efficiently. What many homeowners DON’T know is that annual maintenance is actually required to keep many manufacturer warranties valid!
9. Don’t hesitate to call a professional
If you do encounter a plumbing problem, it’s always best to call a licensed professional plumber to handle it. Trying to fix it yourself can often make the situation worse.