Over time, your home’s plumbing system can become bogged down and less water efficient. Any number of factors can contribute to this, from lack of regular maintenance to misuse.
If neglected for too long, plumbing can become steadily worse, and cause big problems down the road. But there are ways to ensure your home’s plumbing system runs smoothly and efficiently. The following list includes just a handful of great ways to make sure the drains are draining, the faucets are not dripping, and everything is flowing properly, preventing the need for drain cleaning.
Some of these suggestions are specific to different plumbing systems, so double-check the type of plumbing you have before activating any of these tips.
1. Regular Maintenance
This is number one because it should be the household standard for everything. Regular maintenance of anything makes it run better, and this is certainly true for a home’s plumbing system. Most plumbing maintenance can be done with household tools, but for older systems or stubborn pipes, a few specialty items like a drain snake might be necessary.
To keep every drain in the house flowing as well as the day it was installed, remove the drain cover to check for clogs. Hair and soap-scum clogs are common in bathtub drains, and if they are removed on a regular basis, major backups will be avoided.
As for cleaning the entire length of a pipe, you can use liquid pipe cleaners on a regular basis. For those older pipes that can’t handle liquid cleaners, a standard twenty-foot drain snake will do the trick. Just be sure to follow the directions.
2. Update Faucets and Showerheads
As faucets and showerheads age, the water connections, seals, and washers can corrode and wear out. Water will begin to leak, causing water damage as well as a higher water bill. If the drip of the faucet keeps everyone up at night, it might be time to install a new tap; or, at the very least, replace the worn-out washers.
Another common problem with aging sink and shower hardware is lime, rust, and soap scum deposits inside the faucet or shower head itself. This type of buildup can seriously cut the flow of water and make it difficult for you to get any pressure.
Soap scum can be cleaned, but lime and rust are much more stubborn. Sometimes it’s just easier to replace the old with the new and thus more efficient.
3. Low Flow
When toilets age, their efficiency declines by half. A continuously running toilet is just a harbinger of worse trouble to come. Instead of adjusting the height of the toilet tank float ball to improve your toilet plumbing system, install a low-flow or dual-flush unit.
A low-flow unit will reduce the amount of water in every flush, and virtually eliminate any running toilet issues. A dual-flush unit offers the option of either half or full flushes, depending on what’s needed.
4. Evaluate Appliances
Although this is one of the most expensive suggestions, it can pay for itself in the long run. An appliances such as a dishwasher or washing machine could be wreaking havoc on your water bill and plumbing system.
Dated appliances typically use more water than is necessary and drain ineffectively. With dishwashers in particular, food particles that slip into the drainage system could be building up somewhere further down the pipeline. Replace these tired machines with a WaterSense washer and a dishwasher that has a built-in disposal.
These are just a few suggestions that will ensure a home’s plumbing system runs efficiently and worry-free. With regular maintenance and a few simple upgrades, your pipes will be happy and your water bill will stay low.
That should make for a happy homeowner as well.