You can protect yourself and your house from costly plumbing repairs by following these simple preventative plumbing maintenance steps and catching any potential problems early. Regular maintenance will keep your system running at its peak performance.
Do not pour grease, fats or cooking oils down any drains. They will solidify in your drain and cause clogging problems.
When using your kitchen disposal, always run cold water. Also, run the water at least 15 seconds after you turn the disposal off to clear the drain of all food remnants.
Do not put hard, stringy or fibrous materials into the garbage disposal. These objects can damage your disposal and clog your drain. Avoid: poultry skins, carrots, celery, banana peels, peach pits, bones, etc.
You can clean the disposal by running cold water and liquid dish detergent. Running ice cubes and citrus slices through your disposal cleans and sharpens your disposal blades.
Do not use your toilet as a flushable wastebasket. Sanitary products, cotton balls and diapers should never be flushed down your toilet. Facial tissue should also be avoided because they do not disintegrate like toilet paper and can clog your drains.
Pay attention to your toilet brush. Once the plastic is worn on the bristles and the metal is visible, throw it away. The metal will scratch your toilet bowl and make it extremely difficult to keep clean.
You may have a leak in your toilet and not even know it. To test, put a few drops of food coloring in the upper tank of the toilet. Wait a few minutes and if any color goes through to the bowl, you have a leak that is usually caused from a worn ball or flapper.
Shower and Bath:
Make sure each drain has strainers to catch hair and pieces of soap. Strainers are an inexpensive, easy way to prevent clogs.
Clean the strainers regularly. It is much easier to clean the strainer than unblock a drain later.
Clean your showerhead with vinegar. If your showerhead is not spraying evenly, it is probably a result of mineral deposits. Soaking your showerhead in vinegar can help you easily remove the deposits.
Check washing machine hoses regularly for wear. If you have rubber or plastic hoses, replace them with stainless steel braided hoses.
Check accessible pipes around washing machine, air conditioner and water heater for leaks. Early detection can make a big difference in the extent and cost of any repairs.
Get an annual checkup for your water heater. Sediment can build up at the bottom of a traditional water heater causing unneeded wear on the equipment and inefficient heating. A professional plumber can make sure your water heater is performing to its full potential.
We may have just made your “to-do list” a little bit longer, but by following these simple preventative plumbing tips you can avoid costly repairs down the road and keep your drains clog-free.