If you're like most homeowners, one of the last things you want to deal with is a plumbing disaster. Fortunately, most plumbing disasters can be averted with proactive maintenance. For instance, you should pay attention to your plumbing system's overall health by inspecting pipes, joints, and your hot water heater regularly. Look for signs of corrosion or leaks, listen for unusual sounds, and take note if your water pressure or hot water supply seems to be declining. By staying ahead of potential problems, you can save yourself from the unexpected headaches of major plumbing repairs.
Here's what else homeowners can do to avoid common household plumbing disasters:
Watch What Goes Down the Drain
The easiest way to prevent a clogged drain is by being careful about what goes down it. Make sure only water, toilet paper, and human waste are flushed down your toilet. All other items, including baby wipes, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products, should be disposed of in the trash. When it comes to your kitchen sink, avoid disposing of fats, oils, and grease down the drain — these substances can solidify in your pipes, leading to blockages.
Also, keep in mind that even though this may seem like common knowledge to many adults, stuff that shouldn't get flushed or put down the drain often does — so if you've got a busy household or frequently have houseguests, it can't hurt to put up signs reminding people not flush certain items or put them down sink drains.
Guard Your Pipes Against the Cold
When temperatures dip below freezing, your pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. This can lead to significant water damage in your home and is a costly disaster to fix. Protect your pipes by insulating them, especially those located in unheated parts of your home like the garage or crawl space. Additionally, letting a trickle of water run from the faucet during freezing weather can help prevent pipes from freezing. You should also open the doors under your household sinks when outdoor temperatures plunge below freezing to allow the warmer indoor air to circulate around the pipe.
Know When to Call the Pros
Lastly, you will want to know when to call a professional plumber. While you can handle minor maintenance tasks and simple repairs yourself, there are situations when it's safer and more cost effective to call in the pros. If you notice a severe drop in water pressure, persistent leaks, frequent drain clogs, or any other signs of a serious plumbing problem, it's time to get expert help. A professional plumber has the knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix the issue quickly and effectively, preventing further damage and potentially saving you money in the long run.