Guest Post by Jim and Dave Schuelke
I frequently feature guest posts by various authors. Here is an article discussing plumbing repairs, which I think we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy the article!
10 Tips to Help Avoid Emergency Plumbing Repairs
Your plumbing system needs regular upkeep to keep it working smoothly. Plumbing emergencies can cause serious inconvenience and often require expensive repairs. With a bit of foresight and preventive maintenance, it is possible to avoid emergency plumbing repairs. Read on for practical tips on how to prevent emergency plumbing repairs.
1. Watch What You Pour Down the Drain
Your drainage system isn’t designed to handle everything that fits. Don’t treat your drains as trashcans.
Foods such as potato peel, eggshells, pasta, and coffee grounds can clog the drains. Oils, fats, or grease solidify and form a sticky mass as they flow down the drainpipe.
Even a small chunk of sticky mass can attract other material and clog the drainpipe.
Allow fats, oils, etc., to solidify instead of flushing them down the drain. Dispose of food chunks and anything greasy in the trash can.
2. Avoid Harsh Drain Cleaners
When you notice that your bathtub or kitchen sink is draining slowly, you may feel tempted to visit a local hardware store and grab a chemical drain cleaner.
On the surface, it seems like a quick, easy, cheap, and convenient solution. Harsh chemical drain cleaners will sure work in the short term, but such chemicals can also corrode your drainpipes over a period of time.
Corroded pipes are likely to develop leaks when the water pressure goes up or burst on their own.
So don’t reach for chemical drain cleaners too often, or you might have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the near future. Chemical drain cleaners also have a serious negative impact on the environment.
3. Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Is Located
Despite preventive maintenance, it is possible that your plumbing springs a leak due to a hidden issue. On such occasions, you need to turn off the water flow immediately to prevent flooding.
Knowing how to handle the main water shutoff valve can help prevent major water damage and reduce the scale of a plumbing emergency till plumbing specialists arrive at your doorstep.
4. Fix Minor Plumbing Issues Immediately
Don’t ignore minor leaks and drips. You may think that a leaky pipe or a dripping faucet won’t cause significant water damage – but you cannot be more wrong.
First, there may be other, hidden leaks in pipes behind ceilings or walls. Second, even small leaks can wreak havoc on your home’s foundations, ceiling, and floors. Mold growth in the attic, basement, or on the walls and ceilings is one of the earliest signs of a plumbing leak.
So, don’t let seemingly minor plumbing issues go unattended. Call in a professional and get a leak investigated and fixed as soon as possible.
5. Use Drain Screens
Get drain screens for all your drains. Drain screens in your kitchen and bathroom can help avoid plumbing emergencies.
Human hair deposits in the pipes can get entangled in solids flowing through the drainpipes. Such deposits can quickly slow the water-flow and even lead to complete blockage.
Similarly, without a drain screen in your kitchen sink, many solids such as food scraps end up in your drainpipes.
6. Monitor Water Pressure
Reduced flow from faucets or showerheads can be due to sediment build-up. So, the low water pressure should be considered a red flag.
High water pressure, on the other hand, can stress your plumbing system.
7. Inspect Your Septic Tank
Be sure to inspect your septic tank regularly; watch out for water leaks, overflows, corrosion, etc., especially after heavy rains.
8. Avoid Using Flushable Wipes
Do you use ‘flushable’ wipes? Most of the flushable wipes available in the market will not biodegrade quickly. So, they can clog your drainpipes.
If you want to continue using wipes, avoid flushing them down. Just because something can be flushed down the toilet doesn’t mean it should be disposed of this way.
Flushing wipes, cotton balls, paper towels, sanitary napkins, and other trash can lead to a plumbing emergency.
9. Keep an Eye on Your Water Heater Tank
Water heater tanks have an inner lining that helps prevent rusting or corrosion.
Over a period of time, your water heater tank is likely to develop a sediment build-up.
When this happens, there’s a possibility of overheating. Beyond a point, excessive heat can rupture the protective lining, thus resulting in a major leak.
So, make sure to drain your water heater tank at least once every year to get rid of sediment build-up.
It is equally important to regularly inspect your water heater for any signs of a water leak.
10. Use Stainless Steel Hoses
Do you use rubber hoses? They lose flexibility over time and develop leaks. Consider using stainless steel hoses instead. They are more durable and less likely to develop leaks.
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