10 Quick Plumbing Tips For Easy Plumbing Maintenance
Just like changing your car’s oil before the “check engine” light comes on or mowing the grass before you need a guide to get you to the mailbox, being proactive with plumbing maintenance can prove greatly beneficial to waiting until there’s an emergency. Below, you’ll find 10 tips ranging from quick fixes to preventative maintenance that will help your home water system operate more efficiently here in the Raleigh, NC area.
- Be Good To Your Disposal: Avoid putting waste into your disposal that is difficult to grind – especially stringy objects like celery and carrots. Also, run the tap approximately 15-20 seconds before and after operating the disposal in order to flush the pipes and keep them clear.
- Don’t Pour Grease Down The Drain: fats from those oils combined with other chemicals in the sewer can react and create buildup – basically pipe “plaque”. These buildups cause nearly 50% of all sewage backups in the U.S.
- Low Water Pressure? Try Cleaning The Aerator: If you’ve ever tried to use the nozzle or sprayer on your sink and been met with a drizzle, or your sink is suffering from low water pressure, lime and sediment buildup in the aerator is the likely culprit. Remove the aerator and clean it with a small brush dipped in vinegar to remove any buildup.
- Strain Your Drains: Be sure tub and shower drains are fitted with strainers that will catch hair, soap, and other debris from entering the drainpipe and causing a clog. Clean these strainers regularly.
- Clean Your Showerhead Inside And Out: To clean the exterior of the showerhead, and in doing so remove ugly buildup, fill a small plastic bag with one cup of vinegar. Seal the bag over the showerhead overnight (masking tape, a twist tie, or zip tie will do), remove it and wipe down the showerhead in the morning, and voila! To clean the interior of the showerhead, remove it from the wall and clean both ends of the connection with wire or pipe cleaner.
- A Toilet Is Not A Trashcan! A toddler may think otherwise, and most homeowners are guilty of tossing a few things in the toilet that should go in the wastebasket. Avoid flushing any non-dissolving waste products, such as cotton balls, sanitary products, or diapers, as they can easily clog pipes and cause overflows.
Laundry Room Tips:
- Check Washing Machine Hoses For Wear: One of the easiest preventative maintenance tasks you can do is check hoses every few weeks or months for cracks or other signs that they are on the way out. The last thing you want is to transfer a load to the dryer in ankle deep water. And consider replacing hoses with stainless steel braided hoses, as they last much longer.
- Strain These Drains, Too: Just like a shower or tub drain, washing machine hoses and drains should be fitted with a strainer. Just think of how much hair and debris goes in with a load of dirty laundry. Don’t fret – most hardware stores or online stores can supply you with specially made laundry hose strainers.
- Save Energy (And Money) By Checking Water Temperature: Be sure your home’s water heater temperature is at the proper setting. This will save energy and money by ensuring you aren’t pumping hotter than needed water into your washer, and it can keep you and your family safe from accidentally being scalded from dangerously hot water pouring into the washing machine.
- Don’t Hesitate To Call The Professionals: If you’re not sure you can fix a plumbing issue, or you hear a spouse or significant other mumble, “Uh-Oh” from the other room while water pools beneath the door, call a professional.