Photo By Deagreez at istock
If you’re not a professional plumber, you can’t be expected to know all there is to know about the plumbing system in your home. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know anything about plumbing. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about plumbing as best you can to make sure you can keep an eye out for plumbing problems in your San Antonio, TX, home. If you’re looking for the most important knowledge you can have to avoid costly plumbing repairs, here are some things that every homeowner should know about their plumbing system.
The Shut Off Valve
One of the most important things to understand as a homeowner is what to do in case of emergency. Panicking when you’ve got hundreds of gallons of water spilling out of a broken pipe is the last thing you want to do. The most important thing to do is get your water shut off so you don’t have to deal with extensive water damage once the leak is fixed.
Every home has a main water shut off valve for exactly this purpose. This valve turns off the water supply from the meter to your home, which ensures water stops flowing to the leaking pipe no matter where it’s located. This gives a plumbing repair company time to locate the leak, get everything cleaned up and repair the leak.
If you don’t make it to your shut off valve in time, you’re going to end up with a much more costly plumbing repair bill. Leaks will eventually lead to water damage, especially if you’ve got a completely busted pipe. This water damage may mean you need to have drywall, wood and flooring replaced in your home for structural purposes.
Watch Out for Pipes
Something a lot of San Antonio, TX, homeowners don’t think about when it comes to plumbing is where their pipes are located. You’ve got pipes running through various parts of your walls, so it’s important to be careful when drilling into walls.
The simplest way to determine whether or not you’re going to drill into a pipe is to use a wall scanner. These scanners are just like stud finders, only they provide you with a little more information. If you want to avoid spending money on plumbing repairs because of a punctured pipe, you should always check for pipes before drilling.
Know What’s Flushable
One of the biggest mistakes’ homeowners make is thinking they can simply flush anything down their toilet. While toilets are fairly resilient in terms of what they can flush, flushing the wrong things will eventually lead to a clogged drainpipe. This means you have to call a plumbing repair company to unclog your drains, which means even more money spent.
By avoiding flushing the wrong things, you can keep your drainpipes in good shape so you don’t have to worry about clogs forming. For the most part, toilet paper is the only thing that should go down your toilet. Even the wipes that are marked as flushable are very bad for your toilet. Products like these don’t break down, which means they eventually form a solid clog in your pipes somewhere.
Treat Your Garbage Disposal Right
For a lot of homeowners, having a garbage disposal means not worrying about what goes down the kitchen sink drain. While your garbage disposal is designed to help break down food to prevent clogs, putting all your food waste down the garbage disposal will eventually lead to a plumbing repair call.
For the best results, you should put as much food in your garbage can as you possible can. If you’re having trouble dealing with liquid food waste, you can get a strainer for your sink to remove the liquid before dumping the garbage. There are even strainers that attach to the corner of your sink, so you don’t have to worry about blocking your drain.
Every once in a while, you should pour some baking soda and vinegar down your garbage disposal to clean it a bit. The bubbling action of the baking soda and vinegar break some of the gunk off the blades, plus vinegar is a natural cleaning solution. Ice also works well for both cleaning and sharpening your garbage disposals blades.
Use the Right Drain Cleaner
Just because you’re occasionally pouring some drain cleaner down your drain doesn’t mean you’re doing your best to avoid plumbing repairs. The fact of the matter is, you need to make sure you’re using the right type of drain cleaner if you really want the best results. If you ask most plumbing repair companies, they’ll tell you enzyme-based drain cleaners are the way to go.
While Drano and other chemical-based drain cleaners may be the most popular option, they can be very hard on pipes. Prolonged exposure to chemical drain cleaners can even cause your pipes to corrode and leak. Enzyme-based drain cleaners use enzymes to eat away at the organic material that’s causing a clog in your drain without damaging the pipes. Since these drain cleaners don’t damage your pipes, you can use an enzyme-based drain cleaner on a regular basis to prevent plumbing repair and drain cleaning service calls.
A Little Help
As important as it is to have a little bit of plumbing knowledge, there’s no way to know it all if you’re not a professional. Your job as a homeowner is to understand the basics of your plumbing system so you know exactly when it’s time to call a plumber.
Whether you’ve got a problem with your home’s plumbing or you simply need to upgrade or replace a fixture, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX, can help. With years of plumbing repair experience, we can tackle just about any job with ease. Next time you have a leaking pipe or a clogged drain, call bluefrog at (210) 361-3418.