Don't Flush Maintenance Down the Toilet! What You Can Do to Maintain Your Home Plumbing System

You've probably never caught yourself thinking, "Ah, who needs plumbing?" It's unsettling to even think of life without it.

But because it works so well so often, we so easily take it for granted. When was the last time you gave your home plumbing system a checkup?

Never, you say? Do you even know how? Well, keep reading and you will.

Keep your plumbing problem free with these simple plumbing maintenance tips.

Avoid Harsh Chemical Products

Many products that claim to fix or prevent plumbing issues cause more of them instead. Here are some to avoid.

Never use those top tank toilet sanitizing tablets. They sanitize your tank all right. But they also eat away at the mechanical components in the top tank, causing you to buy replacement parts often.

And every plumber will tell you to never, ever use chemical clog removal products. These will actually deteriorate certain kinds of pipes. 

Have a professional plumber use a drain snake instead. Or buy your own for about $20 at a hardware store. You can sometimes even find a rudimentary plastic clog removal snake at the dollar store.

Get a Water Softener

A water softener will prevent any and all problems caused by hard water, period. It's a money-saving investment in the long run.

Prevent Clogs

Clogs create pressure buildup in your pipes, shortening the lifespan of your plumbing system. To prevent clogs, be careful what you put down the drain.

Never flush anything except water, human waste, and toilet paper. Toilet paper is specially designed to disintegrate easily in water to prevent clogs. Other paper products are not.

Keep as much food as you can from going into the garbage disposal. Clear dishes off in the trash before putting them in the sink. And never put potato skins, other peelings, coffee grounds, eggshells, or cloth into the garbage disposal.

As much as you can, keep hair from going down any drain. If hair does build up, remove it.

Check for Clogs

If the water in any sink or bath is draining slow instead of swirling smoothly, it's probably a clog. Clear it with a snake or call professional plumbing services.

Check For Leaks

Household leaks waste about 1 trillion gallons of water nationwide each year. They can also cause serious (and expensive) damage to your home if left unchecked.

To check for leaks, inspect your house for water damage, puddles or moisture, musty smells, and mold growth. These could be signs of a leak. Call a professional to look at it.

Cold Winter Maintenance

When water freezes in your pipes, they can burst. If you live in an area where winters are sub-freezing:

  • Disconnect all hoses from outdoor spigots and stoor them inside
  • Wrap spigots in heat tape or foam insulation
  • Do the same for pipes in uninsulated basements or garages
  • Have your sprinklers blown out and shut off

And if winters get really cold, leave all faucets slightly on. Letting them drip keeps the water in the pipes from freezing.

Don't Neglect Home Plumbing System Maintenance

Trust us, you do not want to wait until it's too late. Very few problems in life are as messy, slippery, dirty, or stinky as home plumbing system problems. Use this home plumbing inspection checklist to prevent them.

Now read 4 Home Improvement Tips Better Left to the Pros.

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