Are you worried about causing harm to your plumbing? Good plumbing is essential to a healthy home, yet most people don’t understand how some of their innocent actions can wreak havoc with pipes, drainage, etc. It is helpful to set up a regular maintenance session with your plumber to avoid problems you can’t anticipate. It is always best (and less expensive) to catch small problems before they turn into emergencies. Plus, your plumber can show you some of the more routine tasks that you can do yourself on a regular basis to keep your plumbing operations problem-free.
This short list will give you an idea of how much you may be contributing to your home’s plumbing problems and how to avoid further damage.
Everyone gets sink and toilet clogs now and then from grease, hair, and other seemingly innocent items. While most people reach for the liquid plumbing products, this is not recommended. These products contain chemicals that rarely complete flushing out the system, so while it is doing its job, plastic and metal drain pipes can become damaged. The weaker the pipes become, the more likely it is to have to completely replace the pipe(s). Plus the chemicals are so caustic they can do damage to your skin if extra caution is not used.
Toilets are not meant to be receptacles for garbage, such as women’s sanitary products, wet-naps, cotton pads, or kitty litter. Even if the toilet is new and flushes instantly, these items will ultimately create a blockage. Although it seems harmless to toss a few remnants of food into a nearby toilet, keep in mind that food does not break down and adds to the possibility of a clog somewhere in the drain line. And never, but never, use your toilet to dispose of cigarette butts.
If you’re not a plumber, leave the technical jobs to us. One of the biggest reasons plumbing services have so many emergency calls is to “fix” what the homeowner tried to do themselves. Plumbers start as apprentices and must be certified in most provinces, which can take years before becoming a certified journeyman plumber. If you follow these tips, you may never need expensive emergency plumbing services.
If you don’t already know where the main water valve is, find out as soon as possible. If you experience a water emergency, completely shutting off your main valve will save water and prevent the situation from becoming worse. While you are at it, learn how to turn off all of the water valves in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, and outdoors. If any of the valves appear old and rusted or won’t easily turn, you will want to replace them. If they are completely unable to turn, have a plumber come out and change them for you to avoid a water disaster.
Blue toilet water seems so sophisticated and modern, right? The truth is that the drop-in fresheners contain chemicals that ultimately wear out some of the toilet’s working parts. Some of the inexpensive fresheners don’t disintegrate as intended, so there is also the possibility that the remains get stuck in the flush valve, causing yet another problem. Chemicals are not good for plumbing in general, and this is no exception. There are new products on the market that work perfectly for reducing bathroom odours. Although they may not turn the water colour to blue, you will be saving your toilet from requiring emergency services.
Did you know that water hoses become old, weak, and often end up bursting? In order to avoid a flooding fiasco, change out rubber hoses on washing machines and dishwashers about every three to five years. Although it is not an easy thing to remember, it is important enough to put on your calendar or hire a plumber to keep track and do it for you. Or if replaced with braided stainless steel hoses, the potential problem can be solved even though they too, can burst over time.
These days, buying a water-leak protection system is well worth the money. “When water is flooding your home, the clock is ticking,” says John Galeotafiore, Consumer Reports’ associate product testing director. “The ability to stop that immediately would be a big advantage.” This type of system provides an alarm and main water shut-off and can now be controlled and monitored with a smartphone app.
Outdated hot water heater
Hot water heaters are not meant to last a lifetime. They end up having problems if not replaced every 8-12 years. For best performance, your hot water heater should be drained and cleaned once a year. If you start hearing a loud knocking noise or noticing leaks in the heater, you may be facing a replacement sooner than later. Some problems can be fixed by replacing some of the parts, such as valves, thermostats, etc. If the heater isn’t properly maintained or problem signs are ignored the only solution will be to purchase a new one.
Garbage disposal issues
Not all garbage disposals are alike. The more expensive models can handle more fibrous foods, however, none are intended to be used for every scrap of food. Always use cold water and dispose of the food slowly without jamming too much in at once. Most people have heard that lemon rinds make the sink smell fresh, yet some disposals are not strong enough to handle them. If it sounds like your disposal is struggling, turn it off and check for remnants that need to be removed.
Water heater pressure valve
We don’t recommend draining and cleaning your hot water heater yourself unless you are trained. The valve is a bit tricky and if not removed professionally you could end up with serious burns from the scalding hot water. Leave this job to the plumbing professionals, but do not put its maintenance on the back burner.
Call New Canadian Drain & Plumbing
Plumbing problems can be a nightmare in terms of cost and damage control. We encourage all of our clients to keep up with the maintenance and avoid emergency services. Consider planning routine services annually to keep your plumbing healthy.