Plumbing issues are one of the most common home problems out there. Reports show that 10% of homes have leaks that waste over 90 gallons of water each day. If you want to avoid being one of those homes, you may want to learn a little about plumbing and handle a few of those problems yourself.
But it isn’t enough to have a plumbing maintenance routine — you need to know how to do things right to avoid causing even more problems. Below are seven home plumbing maintenance mistakes that you must avoid.
1. Using Too Much Drain Cleaner
Drain cleaners offer a quick way to clear clogs in plumbing lines. Just pour the cleaner down the drain, wait a bit, and run hot water to clean your water pipes.
But there is such thing as using too much cleaner. The problem is that drain cleaners use harsh chemicals to clean your pipes. Using too much of them can damage your plumbing.
Only use the recommended amount of drain cleaner indicated on the product. Also, try to avoid using drain cleaners too often. Using drain cleaner without buildup on the pipes means the chemicals will have direct contact with your plumbing and damage it.
2. Not Using a Drain Snake
In many cases, drain cleaner isn’t enough to clean a stubborn clog. No matter how much you pour down, you can never make a dent in the clog — and it may damage your pipes.
In cases like this, make sure you use the right tools. A snake drain is a better option for clogs that are hard to get out.
A toilet snake is a device that lets you push a coil down the drain. It has a mechanism at the top that allows you to spin the coil and loosen whatever is clogged in your pipes.
You keep pushing the coil down until you get to the pipe’s end, dislodging everything causing the clog.
3. Misusing Drains
Your drains aren’t designed as a place to dispose of everything. There is limited space for garbage and water to go down, and if you put in the wrong thing, it can get stuck and cause a clog.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with what can and can’t go down the drain. When you use a drain for what it’s intended for, you can avoid many of the clogs other people get.
Here are some common items to avoid using a drain for:
- Fibrous foods
- Coffee grounds
There are many other items, so you can’t read them all in one place. Just think carefully before you put something in the drain — and if you want to be safe, just throw it away.
4. Leaving Hoses on in the Winter
You may be someone that leaves the water flowing to your hoses outside. It’s easier to do this — you may need to use your hose at a certain point in your yard and don’t want to walk back and forth to turn it on and off.
However, you should only do this in the summer. Once it becomes winter and the temperature goes below freezing, you open yourself up to problems.
The water in your hose can freeze and burst in the winter. This isn’t just in your water hose, either. It can back up to the pipes in your house and cause indoor flooding.
At that point, you’ll need to find a plumber to fix the problem. View more plumbers here to find someone to help if you’re in this situation.
5. Mixing Pipes
In many cases, you can fix leaking pipes on your own. You can patch the part of the pipe that’s leaking and eventually replace the parts causing problems.
But it’s important to remember that not all plumbing parts fit together. You need the right size fixtures and match the same types of pipes together.
Another issue is pipe material. Take the case when you mix galvanized plumbing and copper pipes. In this case, you risk corrosion that damages your pipes — and contaminates your water supply.
6. Using the Wrong Tools
It’s tempting to try and handle plumbing repairs by using the tools you hand. After all, replacing drains and pipes just needs a basic set of equipment. You may believe what you have on hand will work just fine.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Pipes and other plumbing can be very sensitive — especially when you’re dealing with old pipes.
Make sure you learn the proper tools for plumbing tasks and purchase a set for the job. These tools aren’t expensive, so acquiring everything you need shouldn’t be a problem.
7. Not Calling for Help
Even if you’re handy around the house, you may not want to handle all plumbing repairs yourself. Some problems may be more complex than you think. Making the wrong choice may lead to an even bigger problem.
This is even more true when dealing with plumbing problems in the wall. You need to cut into your walls to get to the pipes, which is something you may not be comfortable with doing this yourself.
Call a pro to handle these issues and regular plumbing inspections. They will do the job right and leave your plumbing in better shape.
Watch for Home Plumbing Maintenance Mistakes
There are a lot of plumbing tasks you can handle on your own. You can clear your toilet, plug easy-to-access leaks, and much more. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful and ignore easy-to-make home plumbing maintenance mistakes.
Now that you’ve read about the issues above, you should be better prepared for repairing plumbing systems. Keep the mistakes above in mind to make sure you handle plumbing maintenance without issues.
Do you want to learn more tips for maintaining the other parts of your home? Learn more maintenance tips by checking out the blog.