Whether your plumbing system is new or several years old, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to take proper care of it. If you neglect your plumbing system, it can get damaged and require hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs. If you spend some extra time maintaining your plumbing system, you can save money and avoid big messes. Here are seven effective ways to keep your plumbing system healthy:
Do not Treat Your Toilet Like a Garbage Can
Some homeowners make the mistake of using their toilet as their personal trash can. Doing this can lead to clogs and even damage your pipes. Human waste and toilet paper are the only things that should ever be flushed down your toilet. In fact, you should not even put paper towel in your toilet. Paper towels aren't easily broken down like toilet paper and can be difficult to flush. Throw them away in the trash.
Also, be careful about how much toilet paper you flush at a single time. Flushing too many sheets of toilet paper can cause a clog. If you anticipate having to use a lot of toilet paper, only flush a couple of sheets at one time.
Check for Discoloration Around Plumbing Fixtures
It is a good idea to inspect your plumbing fixtures periodically to see if there is any orange or pink discoloration. If there is, it is a sign the water in your house has too much water. A simple way to take care of this problem is to install a water softener.
Get Your Drains Professionally Cleaned
Even if you are good about maintaining your drains, you should get them cleaned by a plumber at least once a year. He or she will use professional products and equipment to deeply clean out your drains, reducing the risk of future clogs.
Do not Throw Grease in Your Garbage Disposal
Leftover grease from your food might seem like it is acceptable to throw in your garbage disposal, but it can actually lead to a major clog. Grease will solidify in your drains and cause a blockage. It is better to throw food grease in a plastic container and toss it in a garbage can.
Look for Leaks
Remember to check for leaks around your house at least a couple of times a month. If you find puddles around your piping, it is time to call a plumber. Leaks do not just make your plumbing system less efficient; they can also lead to mold growth, which can be harmful to your health.
Insulate Your Pipes
Exposed pipes, such as the ones in your garage or a crawl space, are more likely to freeze when the temperatures get very cold. When pipes freeze, they can burst, creating a big mess in your home. That is why it is a wise idea to insulate exposed pipes before winter arrives. The process does not take very long and will prevent a big disaster.
Drain Your Water Heater
It is important to drain your water heater once a year to remove sediment that accumulates on the bottom of the tank. This sediment does not just hurt the efficiency of the water heater; it can also clog the water pipes in your home. Try to drain your water heater tank in the springtime.
Following these helpful tips will help you keep your plumbing system healthy and efficient. If you ever encounter an issue with the system, such as a leak or clogged drain, you should not wait to contact an experienced plumber. Putting off plumbing problems will just make them a lot worse.