How Can You Protect Your Plumbing System?

December 18, 2020

From the moment you wake up until you start to get ready for bed, you rely on your plumbing in one way or another. It’s easy to take your plumbing system for granted—until a problem occurs. If you encounter an issue, you quickly begin to realize how often you perform daily tasks like washing your hands, brushing your teeth, showering, and flushing the toilet.

Plumbing problems can be inexpensive and inconvenient. One of the simplest ways to spare yourself the hassles of dealing with plumbing system issues is to get into the habit of performing basic tasks on a regular basis. The following are several ways you can protect your plumbing system against damage.

Educate Your Family

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid the need for costly plumbing repairs or replacements is to educate your family members about what shouldn’t be flushed. Many items can cause serious clogs or other plumbing problems, such as:

  • Cotton balls
  • Hygiene products
  • Q-tips
  • Paper towels

To make things more straightforward, make it a household rule to only flush toilet paper.

Never Use Corrosive Chemicals

When your sink drains slowly or becomes clogged, your first instinct might be to run to the hardware store and purchase a chemical drain product. However, corrosive chemicals contained in many products can actually cause major damage to your drains. If you use products like these time and time again, you could be damaging your plumbing system without even knowing it until it’s too late. If you’re dealing with a clog, it’s best to leave the issue to a professional.

Insulate Your Pipes

It’s not uncommon for plumbing pipes to freeze or crack during the colder winter months. This is especially true if the pipes in your crawl spaces or basement are copper. A cracked or broken water pipe can cause major water damage to your home and be expensive to repair or replace. To avoid this risk, consider insulating your pipes.

Insulating sleeves can help to prevent pipe freezing, and they’re typically easy to install. They also help minimize condensation, which could also go a long way in reducing decay.

Don’t Ignore Minor Issues

Many homeowners put off taking care of minor plumbing issues for as long as possible. Unfortunately, what seems like an insignificant issue can quickly become a major plumbing problem if you neglect to promptly take care of it.

Keep an eye out for potential signs of plumbing problems, and never be afraid to reach out to a professional to ask questions. In the end, it’s much more cost-effective to address minor plumbing issues before they lead to the need for serious repairs. Signs of plumbing trouble to watch for include:

  • Leaking faucets and running toilets
  • Water dripping from pipe fittings or faucet valves
  • Rattling, gurgling, or hissing coming from pipes
  • Wet spots around pipes or under the sink
  • Visible corrosion on pipe fittings or valves

Be Careful With Garbage Disposals

While your garbage disposal can be incredibly helpful in getting rid of waste, it can also quickly clog your pipes. Even the most durable disposal has its limitations. It can be tempting to treat the garbage disposal like a garbage can, but certain things should never be put down your disposal. Items like coffee grounds, nuts and shells, fibrous vegetables, animal bones, onion skins, eggs shells, and pasta can cause serious damage to your plumbing system.

Drain the Water Heater

If you fail to properly maintain your water heater, it might not work efficiently, or it could stop working completely. Over time, sediment can build up inside your water heater. Even a tiny amount of sediment could cause problems for this appliance.

For this reason, it’s important to drain your water heater at least once a year. Since this task can be dangerous, it might be best to leave it in the hands of an experienced plumber.

Don’t Leave Pipes Unattended

If you leave the house for even a short period of time for vacation, take steps to protect your plumbing system. Shut the water off at the curb and drain your pipes to avoid the risk of serious problems. A pressurized leak could wreak major damage inside your home.

For all your plumbing needs or concerns, Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. in Nacogdoches is here to help. Our talented plumbers specialize in performing drain and sewer repairs, water heater services, whole house water system services, and plumbing repairs. We also offer skilled HVAC, cooling, heating, and sheet metal fabrication services. Contact us today for more information.