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8 Tips on How to Avoid Plumbing Problems

plumbing supplies resting on a black tabletop with a clipboard

Let’s face it, no homeowner wants to deal with plumbing problems, yet they seem to pop up at the worst possible times. As much as we’d like to ignore them, plumbing issues can cause major damage internally and externally to your home. Ignoring them is the last thing you want to do, but there are also plenty of ways to prevent them from occurring in the first place. With a bit of plumbing knowledge ourselves, the experts at Curtis Total Service know exactly how to keep appliances operating just as they should, and here are eight tips on how to do so. 

Flushing Wipes? Don’t Think About It

The only thing that should go into your toilets is toilet paper. Flushing paper towels, children’s toys, or other objects is almost guaranteed to clog your toilets. And don’t even think about flushing those “flushable wipes,” either. While they may be advertised as flushable, many of these wipes don’t actually break down as toilet paper does. This increases the likelihood of a clog, and even if it doesn’t directly impact your toilet, it can damage sewer lines over time.

Don’t Dump Grease Down the Drain

It can be tempting to toss some grease right down the drain without even batting an eye, but that’s definitely something to avoid. Grease is one of the more common drain-clogging materials because once it cools, it leaves a giant blob of sticky material. This can attract particles that would otherwise slide down drains easily, making it much harder for water to traverse throughout the sewer system. 

Prevent Your Garbage Disposal From Overworking

Can you overwork your garbage disposal? Yes! It can be tempting to spend each day dumping coffee grounds and other ground-up material in the disposal, but it’s also ok to give it a rest. While its job is to grind up material, you wouldn’t take your car out for 150-mile road trips every day and expect it to last as long as an average driving routine, right? Grind up some ice cubes to keep the disposal clean and give it a rest before things go south.

Perform a Monthly Visual Inspection

Monthly visual inspections are great ways to identify any small signs indicating trouble. Is your faucet starting to leak a bit, even when the pipe is fully turned off? Is water beginning to pool up behind washing machines or near drains in the basement? Inspecting various plumbing appliances can give you an early idea of any issues before things get bad and help prevent plumbing problems. Don’t want to do it alone? A good local plumber can provide solutions like video plumbing inspections that take a deep dive into the condition of your appliances.

When in Doubt, Drain Screens Are Your Friend

If you have to wash a lot of hair or are often cooking and finding drops of food falling into the kitchen sink, invest in a drain screen to save yourself the trouble. Not all drain screens scoop up all types of water, but they do an awfully great job collecting most junk. You can cut down almost everything that goes down drains, and as an added bonus, drain screens are also relatively cheap. For $10, you can prevent a world of trouble!

Chemical Drain Cleaners Are NOT Your Friend

Drain screens are good, but chemical drain cleaners usually aren’t. They’re mostly ineffective on clogs and can wear down pipes and erode your sewer system’ drains. Try using non-toxic drain cleaning methods like baking soda or vinegar mix. Keep high-quality plumbing appliances handy, and don’t forget to call a plumber when in a bind. 

Turn Off the Water If You’re Not Home

Are you leaving the house for more than a week? Turn off your water! Accidents while you’re away, can cause major damage because there’ll be no one there to stop any issues. Common plumbing problems like broken pipes don’t wait for you to return from a vacation. The main valve is usually somewhere on the street side of your home. Turn that valve off (not the water heater), and don’t forget to restore the water pressure when you return home.

Regularly Flush Drains

A good drain flush never hurt anyone. Run some hot water down the drain every week or so to eliminate any oils or debris stuck on the drains. You can mix in the homemade baking soda and vinegar solution as well, and consider flushing a large volume of water down drains that aren’t frequently used or don’t always receive a ton of water when in use.

Even if Plumbing Issues Arise, Curtis Total Service Has Got Your Back

Even following these eight tips, plumbing problems can still rear their ugly heads. Fortunately, you don’t have to let them continue. With Curtis Total Service, we make issues a thing of the past with our plumbing repairs for eastern Pennsylvania residents. From clogged drains to faulty water heaters, you’re always covered with our contractors. Contact us today for more plumbing tips, plumbing maintenance, or other services (such as water treatment, heating, electrical services, and air conditioning) and find out the benefits of a premium plumbing service!