Most people think that plumbing issues can only be fixed when an issue arises. However, they forget that plumbing issues do not just happen all of a sudden. They are a result of a slow but continuous build-up of dirt, gunk and grime inside pipes that surfaces in the form of a major plumbing disaster. Not paying attention to the plumbing system or using it in the wrong way can lead to expensive repairs. It is better to take care of your drainage systems and leakages than to deal with big plumbing problems.
Here are 10 ways how you can avoid common plumbing disasters on your own.
- Keep an eye on the fixtures regularly for any leakage or clogs. If you see any unusual increase in your water bill, get your faucets checked. Even small leakages tend to get worse if neglected, often ending up flooding your bathroom. Some common signs and symptoms that we all usually always tend to ignore are rocking toilet base, water collecting up around the toilet, wet walls, building effervescent in the walls, small green spots appearing on the bathroom walls and smoggy odor in the rooms.
- Your toilet is not your dumping ground or your dustbin. You are only supposed to put the “necessities” into it. Avoid flushing tissue paper, used diapers, sanitary pads, or your dead goldfish into the toilet. Also, avoid throwing greasy liquids into the toilet such as oils, as it would clog up the plumbing pipes with all the grease, eventually blocking it up.
- You are also not supposed to dump the leftovers in your kitchen sink either. Before throwing dishes in the sink, remove all the food bits, bones, and insoluble items from the plate. Your sink will not be able to dissolve them either. Fruit peels, cornhusk, cabbage leaves, and leftover spaghetti – all will stick to the pipes and end up clogging it up. More importantly, do not throw anything made of plastic, metal or sponges into the disposal as it will damage your drainage system more than a celery leaf would. Only empty plates should go in your sink.
- If you know you do not want to clean the leftovers from the plate every time, simply buy a sink strainer and place it over the sinkhole and remove it every time it gets full. Not just in your kitchen but also put one in your shower to block all the hair and gunk going into the drain and blocking it later.
- Do not wash your drainage pipes with strong chemicals, as they tend to go hard on them and wear them out. Moreover, chemicals do not just cause the wearing out of drain pipes, but also affect the quality of water that passes through pipes. This is because the chemicals you will put down the drain will wash out in rivers and sea without breaking down, affecting the environment as well as causing a threat to living species. Try using a drain snake, plungers, or other soft methods to unclog the drain instead. Or simply call in the emergency plumber in San Antonio, TX to do the job.
- Water has all sorts of impurities in it and over time, sediment keeps building up in the tanks where you store it. If you have a water heater, you should drain it after every three months, so there is no sediment build-up at all, leading to blockages and any malfunction in the heating system. Shut off the water supply to it, disconnect it from the electricity or the gas outlet as well, and then drain the water. Also, keep a regular check for any leakages in the pipes or in the water heater tank.
- In winters, water pipes tend to freeze and that could lead to dangerous pipe bursts. It is necessary that you insulate your water pipes in cold weather preventing water to freeze in them. If you have pipes on the outside walls of your kitchen, bathroom or garage, just open up the cabinets to let warm airflow in, so the water does not freeze up. Also, keep the faucets a little loose to keep the water dripping from it. This way, water remains inflow and does not freeze up. If you have any outdoor hoses, detach them and empty water from the sprinkler system when it is not used.
- Locate where the valves to the water supply are and how to turn them off. It will help you in avoiding the big problems that can result from small leakages that went unnoticed. The water valve is usually beside the water meter, and in case of such emergencies, it is the first thing to be shut off so the mess does not multiply. Ensure proper oiling of the walls because it is normal for valves to get rusty and stiff, especially in winters.
- If your house is too old, so must be its pipe system. Old pipes are more prone to breakdown and leakages. Naturally, steel pipes tend to rust away with time, affecting the water pressure and eventually bursting away. If you find any pipes in such condition, you can line the existing pipes with fiberglass without having to replace them completely. You can also put epoxy on them. The best would be to call in an emergency plumber in San Antonio, TX to inspect your plumbing lines and give you a heads up.
- In case you are on vacation or if you spend most of your time out of the house, do not forget to turn off the main water supply to avoid water overflow. It is best to install automatic water systems in houses that will detect floods in the house due to overflow, spills or leakages. Other than that, ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for any plumbing emergency that may happen in your absence. Provide them the contact details of the plumbing service, if you have hired one to manage your plumbing system.