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plumbing

Tips On Taking Care Of Your Plumbing

Owning a house can be tricky. There are hundreds of things that you have to take into consideration. Unless you’re a trust fund baby, money, when owning a house, will always be an issue. Every month, you need to take care of your house mortgage, car loans, electric bills, gas bills, etc. It will never end. On top of that, there is the maintenance and upkeep of the property. You have to worry about plumbing, lawn and garden aesthetics, lighting, security, mould, etc.

Plumbing, for example, when left unchecked can wreak serious havoc on your property. Flooding caused by a burst pipe, for instance, will not only ruin your floorboards and possessions but can also drastically lower the overall market value of your property. Your plumbing, when maintained improperly can cause serious damages. Make it a habit to regularly inspect your piping system such as your copper piping, plastic pipe, kitchen taps, bathroom taps, compression fittings, to ensure that everything works perfectly.

A house’s internal plumbing system is one of the fixtures of a real estate property that is often taken for granted. A new homeowner can honestly go for years without encountering any plumbing problems. However, once the problem starts, it’s a huge one. This is because wear and tear can accumulate over the years. Your copper tubes may already have micro leaks since year one but it only presented a problem in year four. By this time, there is already irreparable damage and the costs are far higher than you would’ve expected. Even your pipes need regular maintenance to avoid any major problems that would require a plumber to come to your house with his power tools to fix the issue. 

It is of utmost importance that your plumbing runs smoothly. If not, this can cause severe repercussions such as a sky-high water bill, rotting, mould growth, damage to walls, floor tiles and floorboards, flooding, and even weaken the structural integrity of your house.

While it is understandable that you want to save money by DIY-ing small plumbing repairs with your own plumbing tools and plumbing supplies. A few hand tools, a wrench, a plunger, a sewer snake and your knowledge of plumbing from browsing YouTube videos and WikiHow articles just will not do when it comes to major damages. It would be better to hire someone instead of taking on a task that requires the expertise of a professional plumber. You might do more damage to your pipe and tubes.

Having said this. The best thing to do is still prevention. Why pay a plumber to fix your central heating system, line guttering, and pipe insulation when you can take steps to avoid them in the first place? A few tips to reduce the wear and tear of your plumbing system will keep the plumber away for another day.

Here, I have outlined some of the best tips and tricks on how to take care of your plumbing. 

Prevent Clogs

Clogs are perhaps one of the most common plumbing problems that you will encounter. A clog happens when there is foreign material that’s blocking the natural pathway of water (your pipe and tubes). This is, more often than not, caused by food scraps, tissue papers, sanitary napkins, and human hair. Proper waste disposal must be maintained.

Avoid clogs by throwing these in a trashcan instead of down the drain. For food scraps, make sure that you’ve scraped all the food off of the plates before you do the dishes. After doing the dishes, let your tap run for a few seconds to help rinse debris down the drain reducing the chance of buildup. Tissue paper and sanitary napkins can go straight to the bin. Make it a habit to rid your shower drains of your hair on a regular basis. Installing a screen will also catch foreign materials and stop them from going straight down your pipe and tubes.

Pipe Insulation

Frozen pipes can cause a major headache. If your pipe and tubes have insufficient pipe insulation, the water inside can accumulate and freeze. Gradually, this could result in a major build-up. Extreme cold can also turn your plastic pipe and copper tubes brittle and prone to leaks or bursting. Because there is a blockage on your pipe and tubes, the pressure builds up which usually leads to your plumbing system breaking down. During winter, make sure that you prepare your pipes with the right pipe insulation materials.

NEVER use a propane torch to melt your pipes as this could pile up to more damage to your pipes, or in extreme cases, a fire.

Avoid Pouring Foreign Liquids Down Your Drain

If it’s not soap or water then it shouldn’t pass through your drains. It has become common for homeowners to just pour their liquid grease down the drain along with the rest of their food scraps. Liquid grease, when it cools down even for the slightest bit, solidifies. Just think of your pipes as arteries. When a person eats too much oil, the chances of arteries getting blocked is higher. This is because the pathway is blocked by solidified grease. If you have a blocked pipe, try to pour hot water to melt down the fat. This habit of yours can cause pressure buildup and end up with you having a burst pipe.

On the other hand, you may think that using commercial drain cleaners regularly is taking care of your pipes, right? Right?

Wrong.

Commercial drain cleaners that advertise themselves as industrial-strength clog removers can cause your pipes a lot of harm in the long run. Drain cleaners have harsh chemicals that can cause your pipe and fittings to go thin and brittle which could result in leaks or bursting. 

Look For Leaks

Did you know that the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average household’s leaks account to almost 10, 000 gallons of water wasted every year? This is because 10 % of American homes have leaks that waste over 90 gallons of water or more on a daily basis.

Everything may be working out fine for you but in reality, leaks start off as micro leaks with the tiniest amounts of water wasted that doesn’t affect the water meters. By ignoring them, not only are you weakening the structural integrity of your pipes but you are also wasting water and spiking up your water bills. It can even be from loose pipe fittings. 

Do a regular bi-monthly inspection of your home plumbing. Look for leaks along pipes, faucets, pipe valves, showerheads, radiator valves, toilet flappers, and pipe fittings. A musty smell, puddles of water, and mould growth are some sure giveaways that there is a leak nearby.  Take care of them immediately by buying pipe sealant. However, if there is already a crack or that the damage is too bad, sealant will not work and a professional must be called immediately.

Don’t Crank Your Water Heater Too High

Hot water can easily shorten the lifespan of your plumbing. While hot water is essential for daily chores such as washing dishes and taking a nice hot bath, you really don’t need to crank it up that high. Adjust the temperature of your water heater to keep it from damaging the pipes. Be aware also that sediments gather at the bottom of your hot water tank over time which shortens its lifespan due to rust and corrosion. If your water supply has high mineral content, hard water can form from the accumulation of minerals. Rid your water tank of residue once in a while.

Adjust Your Water Pressure

Yes. I get it. You’re impatient and want to finish the dishes immediately by blasting the plates with powerful bursts of water. However, one thing you should know is that high water pressure causes great stress on your pipes and may cause leaks. A pressure reducer can prevent your pipe from bursting due to pressure buildup. This also saves you from paying too much on your water bill.

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