Plumbing’s the name and clean water is the game. If you don’t treat your plumbing system right, well, you’re hosed – and yes, that pun was intended. It can be hard to know the do’s and don’ts of the plumbing structure that exists in your house or apartment, but once you know the general rules of thumb, calling a plumber is a lot less necessary. Here’s a list of tips on what not to do with your plumbing system so as not to damage it.
Using your toilet – or your in-sink-erator as a trash bin
This is one of the hallmark issues that many plumbers see on a regular basis. Often it’s toys or large items that get flushed down by children, but did you know that flushing items like paper towels, grease, extra food, cat litter, and many other items could be damaging the plumbing system? People often overlook flushing these items, but over time they can build up and cause you some major problems with clogging, leaks, or broken pipes. It’s important to be careful with what you flush, and when things get too bad, don’t be afraid to call in back-up from the plumber.
What’s more, despite its name, the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink can’t just take anything. Do not pour grease, oil, or any kind of fat down the drain. Use a container you can pour grease into, and once that container is full, dispose of it with the rest of your trash. Other things you shouldn’t put down the disposal are: potato skin peelings, celery, fruit pits and seeds, coffee grounds, pasta, rice, and bones. And, of course, any non-food items. While some of these seem obvious, they have been found within people’s sinks.
Drain cleaners and do-it-yourself
Most of us have seen the commercials where some “plumber” suggests that if you want to maintain the life of your plumbing system you should flush some harsh chemical concoction down the drains on a regular basis to help get rid of built up gunk. Fun fact: this is actually a very damaging thing to do to your plumbing system and it can often result in more serious problems like a broken pipe. Using a very basic drain cleaner helps remove gunk. Unfortunately, this often leads to a mineral deposit that could cause you even more issues. The use of an acidic drain cleaner is potentially dangerous as it can cause severe chemical burns, and if it gets in your eyes it could even cause permanent vision loss. It’s important to let the professionals handle blockage and build-up because they have years of experience, and special tools and knowledge that can solve situations like this.
Sometimes the attempt to fix your leak or plumbing issue is admirable and you have the skills to do it, but more often the issue is beyond your expertise. If you ask any experienced plumber, he can give you a list of crazy cases they have seen where people tried to take the situation into their own hands, and soon realized that it was beyond them. Too often DIY plumbing leads to a minor disaster that can be avoided by simply by calling somebody who fixes plumbing issues for a living.
Neglecting your plumbing
We understand – you’re forgetful. So are we. However, that doesn’t excuse you from responsibility. When you see a problem that is occurring and you put it off or procrastinate it, you might be contributing to a huge problem down the road. Take the time to check out what is going on and assess the situation. With plumbing issues it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.
Overall, these are a few simple rules to keep in mind as you go throughout your life. It’s easy to forget about the plumbing, and sometimes it’s just easier to toss just about anything down the toilet and sink. However, when you remember the cost in the long run, you’ll be more inclined to take care of your plumbing system to ensure smooth passage.