Majority of plumbing emergencies are too much for the average homeowner. Dealing with these problems is often difficult since basic tools and troubleshooting methods won’t entirely solve the issue. Not to mention the messy aftermath and expensive repairs that these types of plumbing problems bring. There are some methods you can apply to prevent or significantly lower the instances of these plumbing emergencies and thus; save you from a ridiculously expensive repair.
Don’t use harsh cleaning agents when maintaining drains
Many homeowners often use chemical-type cleaners to unclog or serve as upkeep for their drain lines. However, frequently pouring these acidic products into your drains can actually damage the pipes in the long term. As what Amy Matthews (licensed contractor from Minneapolis) said: “Not only do they usually not work very well, they’re dangerous to people and dangerous to pipes, and horrible for the environment. Even the ones that say ‘won’t damage pipes’ will damage pipes.”
More importantly, drain chemical cleaners can cause health risks if you’re exposed to it through physical contact, inhalation, and/or ingestion. The strong compounds and acids can corrode the pipe lining which causes more problems. Corroded pipes often break off and contribute to clogs in the drain.
There are plenty of better alternatives for drain maintenance like plungers, drain snakes, or homemade mixtures. Here’s an example of a homemade solution: mix one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar for cleaning drains. After you mix these common ingredients; pour the fizzling solution directly into the drain hole. Leave it for a few minutes and then pour boiling water to clear the drain line. For heavy clogs; it’s best to use drain snakes and plungers instead of mixtures.
Have your pipes insulated if you live in freezing or cold locations
Freezing pipes are already an emergency situation itself due to the high risks of pipes bursting. If the pipes’ structure can’t take the cold temperature anymore; it will break and flood your home. You should insulate your pipelines by covering it with insulation blankets to prevent this disaster from happening in the first place. Insulating will help the pipes retain their heat and prevent it from freezing.
Have a general inspection of your plumbing system
It’s difficult to keep track with every possible plumbing problem in your home. Having your plumbing system inspected is one of the best ways to prevent a plumbing emergency from happening or developing. Inspections can avert any major plumbing emergency since it’s easier to detect the problems early on and allow actions to stop the complications from getting worse. You mustn’t forget to have your plumbing fixtures to be checked as well — especially the water heater since it often has many problems as it ages.
Be careful with the items you flush down your toilet
Sewer backups and toilet overflows are such a nightmare to deal with. The overflowing wastes are not only difficult to keep in the drain lining but also unhygienic. The prevalent cause of overflowing toilets and drain backups is the congestion of wastes.
Some homeowners have a habit of flushing down different objects that aren’t intended to be drained like female hygiene items, plastics, wipes, diapers, etc. To lower the chances of heavy clogs; simply limit the items drained by flushing only human wastes. Toilet papers can be flushed to some extent since it can go through the pipes with ease and decompose at a fast rate. Do avoid flushing large amounts of toilet paper since this will obstruct the toilet.
Ensure your sump pump is fully functional and free from problems
Basement floods occur due to pipe bursts, sewer line clogs, and/or heavy rainfall. Sump pumps are plumbing devices that gather flood waters in the basement and expel them out of your home through a discharge pipe. This shows how important these devices are for controlling floods in the basement. Having an occasional inspection of sump pumps should be conducted in order to avoid malfunction and other complications that can affect its overall performance.
The article is contributed by Your Neighbourhood Plumber Lane Cove; a leading plumbing company located in the heart of Australia.