Your plumbing system is one of the most useful and essential parts of your home. Without it, you won’t be able to take hot showers, do your laundry, wash dishes, and enjoy the many conveniences of a home with running water. It makes sense to take care of something that makes your life so much easier.
However, there are many things that homeowners do and use that harm and even destroy their plumbing system. If you’re doing or using any of these, better stop now before your plumbing breaks down on you.
Botchy DIY Fixes
There are many home maintenance jobs that you can DIY, but a major plumbing problem should not be one of them. Your plumbing system is composed of an intricate network of pipes, fixtures, and mechanisms that are connected to one another. If one part is messed up, it’s going to affect the other parts sooner or later.
If you encounter a problem that’s more than a leaky faucet, a clogged toilet, or other minor plumbing issues, you better call a professional plumber to handle the job.
Harsh Chemical Cleaners
Many cleaners contain harsh chemicals that not only harm your health and the environment but also damage your plumbing system. For instance, products for unclogging drains use extremely strong chemicals to dissolve blockages, but the same chemicals are also slowly eroding your pipes and plumbing fixtures.
Avoid using chemical cleaners. Instead, use natural alternatives, like vinegar and baking soda, that don’t damage your plumbing.
Poor Drain Treatment
Poor drain treatment involves using your plumbing fixtures in a way they should not be used. This includes the following:
- Using your toilet to flush foreign objects, like sanitary pads, tampons, diapers, and toilet paper
- Overstuffing your kitchen’s garbage disposal system
- Pouring oil and grease down the drain
Another thing that can ruin your plumbing system is neglecting issues when they arise. Leaving plumbing problems untreated for a long time will almost always result in more serious and more expensive issues later on.
Extreme temperatures can hurt your plumbing system. During the winter, frozen pipes can burst and ruin your entire plumbing system. Too much heat can also damage your pipe. That said, protect your pipes from extreme temperatures by covering them with insulation foam, and don’t set your heater temperature too high to avoid overheating the pipes.
When unfreezing your pipe during winter, avoid doing quick fixes that only harm them. Don’t use open flame directly on the pipes. Instead, slowly thaw the frozen pipe using a hair dryer, hot towel, portable space heater, heat lamp, or electrical heating tape. It may take more time to use these tools, but using them is much safer for you and your plumbing system.
Preventing Plumbing Problems
Take steps to safeguard your plumbing system from common problems. Cover your pipes with foam insulation to protect them from extreme temperatures and prevent leaks. Consider switching your old toilet to a water-efficient macerating toilet to prevent clogs and save water.
Leave complex plumbing issues to the pros, and use safe, nontoxic products to clean your drains and fixtures. Finally, do a routine check of the plumbing system to catch problems before they get worse.