Maintaining or repairing your home plumbing is an essential part of home improvement. But understanding potential issues and acquiring the necessary equipment can be difficult. There are many aspects to consider for each plumbing project, and that is why calling a professional is usually your best bet. Here are 5 helpful things to remember in order to protect your pipes.
1. NEVER dump grease or oil down your drain! Grease solidifies when it cools meaning it will congest your pipes, particularly in the bathroom and kitchen sinks where other products or items wash down the drain. These areas are prone to developing blockages. Instead, dump grease somewhere outside and properly dispose of any oil.
2. Prevention is key when it comes to pipe blockages. Taking steps to prevent clogs will save you time and money. One of the most common jobs for plumbers is removing clogs from pipes. Major sources of obstruction come from a combination of hair, food, and grease. Placing covers over drains to catch debris will help keep the larger particles out of your pipes.
3. Not all drain cleaners are equal. Some contain chemicals that are exceptionally bad for your pipelines. Instead, make use of a drain snake to pull out blockages you may find. You can try this before calling a plumber and it may alleviate the problem. If you cannot get the clog out, a plumber will easily have the skills to remove it for you using a similar technique.
4. Install eco-friendly and water saving devices in your home. Doing this can preserve water and reduce stress on your plumbing. Invest in a low GPF (gallons per flush) toilet and low flow faucets. Not only will you be saving water, you will be saving on your water bill—a win-win!
5. If dealing with the aftermath of a leak, you can sometimes fix ceiling discoloration without painting the entire area. Create a solution using 1 part bleach and 2 parts water, and try swabbing a small part with a sponge to lighten it. If the results are satisfactory, then continue cleaning the ceiling. Depending on the stain, you may need to adjust the bleach/water ratio so make sure to sample a spot first. Also, practice safety by using gear to cover your hands and eyes when working above your head.