How to Prevent Plumbing Problems

Clogged drains, water leaks, and running toilets are not just inconvenient, but they can lead to expensive repair bills and major disruptions in your home. Educating yourself and your household about plumbing problems and taking proactive steps to prevent them can make all the difference.

Check out these tips to help you avoid the most common plumbing issues: Know Where Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve Is.

Know Where Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve Is

A sudden plumbing disaster can strike without warning, and when it does, you need to know exactly where your main water shut-off valve is. If you don’t, you could find yourself frantically running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to shut off the water before it causes more damage. You’ll also want to look at alternative solutions, such as isolation or service valves that will turn off water to just one fixture or appliance.

The main shut-off valve is typically located in a basement or crawl space, or it could be outside near the water meter. It might even be buried outdoors, but in that case it should have a small panel you can open with a wrench or meter key. It will look different than the rest of your pipes and fixtures, because it will have a straight handle that doesn’t connect to a faucet or other fixture.

It’s important to remember that while you should know where the main shut-off valve is, every member of your household should be familiar with how to use it as well. This includes children and teens who might be home alone someday, or those who might need to turn it off in the event of an emergency. It’s a good idea to hang a large tag that says “Main Valve” on the handle to make it easier for everyone to find.

In addition to knowing where your main water valve is, you should also take the time to regularly monitor how drains and sinks work. Doing this will ensure that there aren’t any clogs or other problems developing. It will also give you a chance to be proactive and prevent any future issues from occurring, such as adding too much hair down your shower or bath drains or placing grease or other fibrous materials in your garbage disposal.

If you see any signs of a problem, such as a water leak or stains on the walls or ceilings, it’s a good idea to call your plumbers in Delaware County PA right away. They will be able to assess the situation and provide you with the best solution to avoid further issues.

Keep Your Drains Clean

Nothing puts a damper on fixing dinner, getting ready for the day, or hosting overnight guests like a slow or clogged drain. Clogged drains and sink traps aren’t just inconvenient, but they also leave behind a slimy buildup of gunk that can affect how well your pipes and fixtures work and even cause water damage to your home. The good news is, you can prevent most drain clogs by keeping up with a few simple plumbing maintenance tips.

Most of the causes of clogged drains are due to food and other foreign objects getting into your pipes. Grease is one of the biggest culprits, as it sticks to the walls of your pipes and can trap other types of debris. Make sure to collect cooking grease and dispose of it properly in a sealed container, and try to avoid pouring any other types of oil down your drains as much as possible.

Other common items that can lead to clogged drains include hair, coffee grounds, and soap scum. Try to keep these things out of your drains by throwing away or composting them, and using a mesh catch in the shower and bathtub to stop hair and other debris from going down the drains.

Finally, be sure to regularly flush your drains with hot water. This helps break up any potential clogs and eliminates smells. You can also mix a little baking soda and vinegar and pour it down your drains on occasion to keep them clean.

If you’re still struggling with clogged or slow drains, be sure to call your plumber right away. They can help you diagnose the problem and determine if there are any blockages further down your drain or sewer line that need to be addressed. If you’ve had recurring problems, consider having your plumber scope out your drain lines with a camera to find the root of the problem and fix it before it becomes a major issue. This can be a more cost-effective solution than having to pay for multiple repairs or replacements down the road.

Don’t Flush the Wrong Things Down the Toilet

Most of the time, clogged toilets are caused by people flushing the wrong things. This can be anything from baby wipes and wet-dry cleaning cloths to sanitary products, diapers, or tampons. These items do not break down in water and will clog the toilet drain, pipes, and sewer line.

Some of these items are also able to clump together and block the passage of other waste, which can cause a severe, costly clog. It is best to only flush human waste and toilet paper, as well as some common kitchen ingredients like coffee grounds, eggshells, grease, and oil.

Other household products that should not be flushed include cigarette butts, which can introduce dangerous chemicals into the water supply or harm wildlife, and rubber gloves, which can become tangled in the plumbing and create a blockage. You should also never flush medications down the drain, as they can contaminate water and make it unsafe to drink. Instead, you can take unused medications to medication-takeback programs, available in many communities.

Shower and bath drains can also become blocked by hair strands that build up over time, as can sink drains. You should use a shower curtain or a hair catcher in bathtubs and showers, and regularly clean your sink drains with baking soda and vinegar or a commercial drain cleaner. In addition, you should always be careful when using the garbage disposal, and only put food scraps in it that can be broken down easily by the machine.

The most important way to prevent plumbing problems is to perform regular maintenance, both with appliances and the plumbing system as a whole. You should also schedule a professional inspection on a regular basis to catch any small problems before they become big ones. This can help you avoid the expensive repairs that can result from clogged drains, pipes, and even sewage backup. It is worth the investment to keep your home and family safe from plumbing nightmares.

Don’t Use Hard Water

The plumbing in your home is extremely important. Leaky pipes, clogged drains, and other issues can wreak havoc on your home and cost you a fortune in repairs. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent these problems in the first place.

The main water valve, which is usually located at the lowest level of the house near the street, should be easy for everyone in your household to find and turn off. Hanging a large tag labeled “main shut off” near the valve can help everyone in your household identify it easily. It’s also a good idea to make a habit of turning off the main water valve before leaving your home for an extended period of time. This can help prevent severe flooding and water damage when you’re away.

Regularly inspecting your sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs for leaks is a great way to keep your home’s plumbing in good working condition. If you notice any signs of leaks, such as wet spots on the ceiling or walls, have them repaired right away. Also, be sure to check under sinks and around toilets for any signs of rust or corrosion.

If you have old galvanized steel plumbing pipes, you should consider replacing them with modern plastic or copper piping. These pipes are more resistant to rust and corrosion than steel, so they’ll last longer and prevent costly repairs in the future.

Hard water, which is water high in dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium, can cause several problems in your home. For example, it can leave behind a chalky residue on surfaces and create soap scum that is difficult to remove. It can also be tough on your laundry, making your clothes feel scratchy and dull when they’re washed in hard water.

Another major problem caused by hard water is mineral build-up in your pipes, which can lead to a clog. Having your plumber install a water softener is one of the best ways to prevent this issue from occurring in your home. It will also help reduce the amount of detergent and energy used in washing your laundry, dishes, and other things that require water.

Clogged drains, water leaks, and running toilets are not just inconvenient, but they can lead to expensive repair bills and major disruptions in your home. Educating yourself and your household about plumbing problems and taking proactive steps to prevent them can make all the difference. Check out these tips to help you avoid the most…