Plumbing systems are designed to put up with a lot of wear and tear, but this does not mean that they are indestructible. Several common activities can end up damaging your plumbing if you are not careful. To keep your plumbing system working in optimal condition, avoid making these major mistakes.
Fixing Clogs With Chemicals
When you have a clogged shower or sink, pouring a gallon of cleaner down the drain seems like an easy and fast fix. However, many modern drain cleaners are so strong that they can eat away at the pipes. Using them repeatedly can end up wearing away a pipe until you develop a leak. Even if your pipe stands up to the corrosive chemicals, the products used to seal various joints and valves may not. Therefore, it is usually best to manually remove clogs instead of trying to dissolve them. If the clog is too deep for you to reach, Tucson residents can give Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call to get help with our clog removal services.
Ignoring Constantly Running Toilets
A toilet that runs all the time just seems like it might be a bit annoying if you can hear it, but it actually causes bigger problems. Constantly running toilets can end up using over 200 gallons of water a day. If you don’t want a sky-high water bill, you need to address this issue promptly. Another problem is that constant running can put more stress on the parts in your toilet, so it can end up requiring some replacement components if you ignore it for too long.
Skipping Septic Tank Checkups
If your home is not attached to the city sewer, the experts recommend you get your septic tank checked out once a year. This maintenance visit is very important because septic tanks are delicate systems. Small issues like an electrical short can lead to bigger and bigger problems, and then you end up with sewage backing up into your house. If you do not want to be stuck trying to clean up from this messy plumbing emergency, it is important to keep your septic tank in good condition.
Rinsing Grease Down the Drain
Pouring hot grease or oil down the kitchen sink seems like a good way to speed up your kitchen cleanup, but it is absolutely horrible for your plumbing. The main problem is that it congeals as it cools, turning into a solid lump that can block your piping. However, if you are pouring oil that is still boiling hot down the sink, the rapid change in temperature can make pipes expand and contract. This can put a lot of stress on pipes, causing a weak spot to form. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is easy. Use a heatproof spatula to scrape grease out of pans before cleaning them.
Mildew is a type of fungus that flourishes in damp areas. It is common for mildew to show up on the wall right above a kitchen sink or a shower, and that is usually just a sign your home needs better ventilation. However, mildew showing up in a room without water splashing around everywhere should be a major sign of concern. Homeowners might just shrug and think mildew is a sign they live in a humid environment, but it really is not normal for mildew to grow on walls in areas like the bedroom or living room. If you see this, it usually indicates that there is a leak behind the wall.
Leaving Old Pipes in Place
Did you know that many older pipes are made from galvanized iron and other materials no longer in use today? These older materials are not used in modern piping due to safety concerns. They tend to corrode or rust, which can lead to pipes that are more likely to burst. Even if your pipe does not break, it will often corrode from the inside out. Over time, this causes your water pressure to drop, as your water flow is restricted. Another potential problem is that some houses may leach lead into the water, leading to various safety concerns. Many homeowners leave these pipes in place because it does not seem worth the effort to replace pipes that look fine. However, you will wish you had invested in new pipes when one of your older pipes ends up breaking.
Flushing Anything Besides Toilet Paper
One of the key rules to keeping your plumbing system working well is to never flush anything besides toilet paper and waste. Items like feminine hygiene products, makeup removal pads, and paper towels should not go down your pipes ever. Many people think it is fine to flush these items as long as they are on a sewer system and have newer pipes, but they can still lead to issues. An increasingly common problem plumbers are encountering is flushable wipes. Though these might technically be flushable, they do not break down like toilet paper does. This can lead to major clogs in your pipes.
Attempting DIY Repairs
YouTube might make it look easy to fix leaky pipes or a squeaky tap handle, but if you do not have any plumbing knowledge, it is best to leave these tasks to the professionals. Over time, DIY fixes can end up causing more damage to your system. Any plumbing fix that is meant to be temporary is a bad idea as well since you can end up ignoring tiny issues until a major problem develops.
Ignoring Drippy Appliances
A big warning sign that is often overlooked is water heaters, furnaces, boilers, or air conditioners that occasionally drip a bit of water. Often, people think that they do not need to worry as long as their appliance is working. However, you should not just shove a bucket under the drip and carry on with your life. This relatively subtle sign can actually indicate that there is a big problem with the appliance, drain line, or plumbing itself. Getting a professional to inspect the problem as soon as possible can end up saving you from big, pricey repairs later on.
Neglecting to Winterize Your Pipes
Taking a little time to prepare before it gets cold outside can end up saving you a lot of hassle. The big danger of temperatures that drop below freezing is that pipes can burst when the ice inside of them expands. You can keep this from happening by insulating pipes that go outside or through unheated parts of your home. It is also important to drain things like irrigation systems so that these pipes do not have water sitting around inside of them.
When it comes to plumbing, minor issues and a little neglect can lead to a flooded house. That is why it is so important to get your plumbing maintained by trusted professionals. At Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Tucson, you can be confident that your plumbing is in good hands. In addition to helping with plumbing installations and repairs, we also fix, install, and service HVAC systems. Find out more about our services by giving us a call today.