Clogged drains and toilets, leaky faucets, low water pressure, or a constantly running toilet are common household plumbing issues that can disrupt your life, but they’re nowhere near as bad as a burst pipe or sewer backup.

The best way to prevent major emergency plumbing issues like these is to keep up with your plumbing system throughout the year. If you take care of minor problems as they arise, you can prevent them from becoming expensive, urgent repairs.

Don’t Ignore Small Leaks

If your shower or sink faucet is slowly dripping, it may not seem like a cause for alarm. But this small drip not only wastes gallons and gallons of water over time – leaving you with a high water bill – but it can become a burst pipe that floods your home.

You can fix a minor drip on your own if you have a little plumbing know-how, but if you’re not sure how to disassemble your faucet and replace a washer, it’s best to call a professional. There could be bigger problems lurking deep in your system.

Be Careful What You Flush Down the Toilet

A lot of normal bathroom products claim to be flushable, but they’re not. Feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, and baby wipes are common culprits that are often flushed, creating deep clogs.

You should only flush toilet paper and waste down your toilet – nothing else. If you drop something in your toilet, dislodge it with a plunger or contact a plumber to get it out.

Don’t Reach for Liquid Drain Cleaners

Liquid drain cleaners are a common household item for slow drains and clogs, but reaching for them could leave your plumbing system in worse shape. These powerful drain cleaners use corrosive chemicals to remove clogs, but they also degrade your pipes. You can never use a drain cleaner for a toilet clog, as it can damage the porcelain.

It’s much better to rely on natural drain cleaners like vinegar and baking soda to gently clean your pipes without damaging them. Doing this on a regular basis can remove residue that can lead to a slow drain, preventing major clogs before they happen.

Don’t Pour Cooking Grease Down Your Drains

If you flush cooking oil down your kitchen sink during cleanup, you’re asking for a clogged pipe. Grease is only liquid when it’s hot, so it’ll end up in your P-trap where it solidifies and captures other debris on its way down your drain. Worse yet, if it makes its way to the sewer system, it can combine with the sewer waste and cause an expensive blockage.

When you’re finished cooking, pour your cooking grease into a container and let it cool. Once it’s hardened, you can toss it in the trash. You should also install a drain trap to catch particles and keep them out of your pipe.

Flush Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is only designed to chop up soft food particles, but not hard foods like fibrous vegetables, animal fat, bones, or corn husks. These products should never be put in your garbage disposal, as they can damage the blades, leave residue in the pipe, and cause odors and clogs.

Even if you avoid putting these foods in your garbage disposal, it’s important to clean it regularly to remove food residue. You can flush it out with cold water, baking soda, and vinegar. You should also run it regularly, even if you have nothing to dispose of.

Know Your Own Limits

If you have some DIY skills, you can tackle minor problems like a clogged toilet or a dripping faucet. Bigger problems, such as a burst pipe or a broken garbage disposal, should be left to a professional, however.

Plumbers have the skills, know-how, and experience to take on major plumbing repairs without doing more damage to your plumbing system or home. If you attempt these things on your own, you could injure yourself or make matters worse.

Take Care of Your System

Plumbing issues will crop up sometimes, no matter how well you care for your system. If you ignore issues like a drip, a leak, or funny noises and smells, you’re only buying time until it becomes an expensive emergency.

Keep track of changes in your plumbing system and call a plumber to fix problems when they occur. You’ll not only have time to schedule appointments when they’re more convenient, but it’s a lot cheaper to fix minor things than major repairs.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is a great way to keep your plumbing system running at its best and extend its lifespan. With maintenance from a professional plumber, you can identify minor issues and get them fixed quickly, rather than waiting until they become an urgent and potentially harmful situation.

In need of plumbing repairs or maintenance? Contact us at ASI Heating and Air to see how we can help!