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How to Keep Your Home’s Plumbing System in Great Shape

As it's known, one of the most important aspects of your home is the plumbing system. From making showers and baths possible to being there for when you need to clean the dishes, the list of ways your plumbing is essential is endless.

However, if you haven't been gentle and taken the utmost care of it, there's a chance you might have a plumbing problem on your hands when you least expect it. Here are some important tips to know and use to help keep your home's plumbing system in great shape.

Be Mindful of the Cleaning Products You’re Using

Nowadays, there is an abundance of cleaning products on the market that promise to cut down on the amount of time you're scrubbing down your lavatory, as well as save the day when you run into various plumbing problems. However, you should always keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, many times, it most likely is.

Here are a few things you should avoid using in your bathroom to make it sparkle and shine.

Blue Cleaning Tablets for Toilets

One of the most popular cleaning products on the market happens to be a blue toilet tablet. This product will not only transform your "throne's" water into a deep, cartoon-like blue, but it also promises to keep your toilet clean for the weeks ahead. However, you should avoid using this product at all costs.

Unlike your standard array of toilet-safe cleaning products, these blue toilet tablets contain a series of corrosive chemicals (i.e., chlorine, anionic surfactants) that have the power to erode the flush valve in your toilet over time. Furthermore, this tablet even has the potential to get lodged under the flapper — which means your toilet would be running nonstop (never a good thing).

Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you run into a clogged drain in your home, don't be so quick to use a chemical drain cleaner to help save the day. Although these chemical concoctions are a temporary solution to the problem at hand, they are extremely dangerous to your home's plumbing system, as well as yourself.

As it turns out, many drain cleaners are considered acidic, meaning they'll heat up the minute that they come in contact with anything in your pipe. These drain cleaning solutions can begin to deteriorate your plumbing pipes with continued use — especially if they're on the older side or made of PVC.

To help clear a stubborn clogged drain, you'll want to rely on the help of a plumbing professional. Your plumber will have a safe, non-hazardous solution to clear the drain, as well as offer services — such as a drain cleaning — that can help lessen the chance of the clog from happening again in the future.

While on the subject of clogged drains, here are some other things you should never attempt if you run into this situation.

Do Not Use DIY Methods to Clear Drain Clogs

While we support homeowners tapping into their inner plumber and finding ways to resolve plumbing problems, making the wrong move can cause extensive (and sometimes expensive) damage down the road.

In addition to not using a chemical drain cleaning solution, here are some other drain-clearing methods you should avoid at all costs to preserve your plumbing.

Do Not Use a Coat Hanger

Often looked at as one of the most popular DIY drain clog-removal techniques, under no circumstances should you use a wire coat hanger to save the day. Wire coat hangers, as we know, are very sharp and slim.

If you happen to straighten one out and fish it down your problematic drain, the hanger could cause damage to the pipes — especially if they're old and frail.

Another thing to consider is that by blindly fishing into the drainpipe with the coat hanger, you could make matters worse and shove the obstruction even further into the pipe.

Avoid Using Hot Water and Vinegar

Suppose you want to clear that clogged drain with a homemade drain cleaner — a popular choice happens to be boiling water and vinegar. While putting this concoction together may seem to work at first, it's not very effective.

Additionally, attempting to pour hot, boiling water down your sink drain is very dangerous — if it splashes, the water could burn you.

Now that we've discussed what you shouldn't attempt to do if you have a clogged drain at home, here's why it's a bad idea not to take action at all and put off lingering plumbing repairs.

Never Put Off Plumbing Repairs

Suppose you were driving down the coast to San Diego and your vehicle's check engine light began to glow. Would you pull over to the side of the road to investigate the problem, or would you continue to drive?

Most likely, many motorists would pull over and check to see what the situation was before continuing the road trip — but when it comes to the world of plumbing, many homeowners would rather put off plumbing repairs.

Here's why that's a bad thing:

Mold Growth is Likely

As it's known, mold thrives in dark, damp spaces — especially where your plumbing pipes and water heater are located. If you put off a plumbing repair (or not be aware that you have one in the first place), the area will be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

However, if you think that something may be awry with your plumbing, you'll want to check for wet patches on your walls, random water stains on the floor, as well as inspect your home's water meter to see if it's still running — especially if all your plumbing fixtures are shut off.

Higher Utility Bills

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it's estimated that over 3,000 gallons of water are wasted every year due to leaky faucets. And if you've put off having a leaky faucet in your home repair, there's a chance you could be wasting as much water — your monthly utility bills may be a clear indication.

Now since we've covered the basics about why you shouldn't put off plumbing repairs, here are some other ways you can help take care of your home's plumbing system for the years to come.

Ways to Take Care of Your Home’s Plumbing

Like there are many different ways to prepare dinner, there are multiple ways to help take care of your living space's plumbing and preserve it for the future. Here are a few of our favorite tips to take into consideration:

Schedule Annual Plumbing Maintenance

Sure, just because your home's plumbing system seems to be running smoothly doesn't necessarily mean it's in tip-top shape. To lessen the chance of a potential problem down the road and make sure your fixtures will be suitable for the years to come, it's vital to schedule annual plumbing maintenance appointments with a professional.

By doing this, you'll help:

  • Save money on your monthly utility bills.

  • Lessen the chance of clogs in drains and pipes.

  • Extend the lifespan of your plumbing fixtures.

Only Flush the Essentials

Sadly, many toilet-related plumbing problems result from homeowners flushing the incorrect items down their "thrones." As it's known, only toilet paper and human waste are acceptable — anything else should be tossed out in a nearby trash can.

Some popular items that tend to be flushed (but really shouldn't be) include:

  • Diapers.

  • "Flushable" wipes (which aren't flushable).

  • Paper towels.

  • Feminine hygiene products.

  • Expired medication and more.

Purchase Drain Guards

If you're looking to reduce the chance of a clog from forming in a drain, consider purchasing drain guards for your home. These inexpensive plumbing details will help catch hair, soap scum, and other odds and ends from making their way down your drain and causing an obstruction.

Clean Sink Aerators

When was the last time you cleaned the aerator on your sink? Have you ever cleaned this small detail on your sink? If not, now is the perfect time to do this! Aerators act as a filter for your faucet — anything that shouldn't be distributed doesn't make it to your sink. However, when an aerator is clogged, it can lessen your sink's water pressure — which isn't comforting.

To do this, unscrew the aerator from your faucet and hold it under running water. Next, secure the aerator back in place, and you'll be good to go! It would be best if you considered doing this about once a month for every faucet in your humble abode for the best results.

Plumbing Services in Los Angeles You Can Trust

If you suspect you've run into a plumbing problem in your home, or know that one is present, don't be afraid to contact the expert plumbers at Red Lilly Plumbing to help save the day! Having served Los Angeles since 1924, our team can handle a variety of plumbing needs.

To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (323) 319-4102 or contact us online!