Indoor plumbing is often taken for granted. Although we use our sinks and sewer system daily, they usually don’t require a ton of attention…until there’s a problem, that is. Nuisances such as clogged drains, plugged-up toilets, and sewer back-ups call for emergency. But most homeowners can avoid these with four methods of preventative care - most of which you can do yourself.
1. Watch what you flush.
This one is critical! Don’t flush anything but human waste and toilet paper. Avoid diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and even “flushable” wipes. Toilet paper is designed to dissolve but more durable products don’t break down and will cause toilet and drain clogs with time. Respect your toilet, and it’ll love you right back.
2. Don’t let grease near the sink.
Grease is going to coat not just the pipe under your sink, but every single pipe on its way to the main sewer line. Yes - all of your pipes eventually connect under your home. Grease and other gunk that accumulates over time can cause sewer mayhem in individual homes and even city systems. So do your sewer and your city a favor and toss all grease in the trash. (No, not the toilet!)
3. Clean every drain every month.
Sound tedious? Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds, and it’s absolutely worth the effort. Here’s how we recommend doing it: use an enzyme-based cleaner (not chemical-based). Or, if you prefer a homemade solution, a combination of baking soda and vinegar works great. Send the ingredients down the drain and let it settle for about 15 minutes. Follow with a rinse of boiling water. Viola! Told you it wasn’t so bad.
4. Keep your water pressure in check.
Clogs are just one way to wreck a plumbing system. Too much water at once can also strain valves, joints, and even the pipes themselves. High water pressure can lead to disastrous cracks and leaks, yikes! The easiest way to avoid this? Set your water pressure no higher than 80 psi. You can pick up a water pressure gauge at your local hardware store, and if you discover it’s too high, give us a call. We can help you install a regulator.
If you’re interested in learning more about pipe and drain care, we’re always here to help.
Thanks for reading!
-The Bob Oates Family