As a homeowner, plumbing maintenance is critical if you want to be able to efficiently flush waste and bring water into your home. As we get closer and closer to wintertime, it is becoming increasingly more important to take various measures to ensure that your plumbing system is in perfect working condition. Many of these methods are simply preventative. Not only will maintenance prevent clogs – it will also prevent corrosion and frozen pipes. In the wintertime, the cold air can cause your pipes to freeze and possibly burst when the ice expands the metal of the pipe. Fortunately, plumbing maintenance is easy – it is all about getting into the habit. Here is how to maintain the plumbing in your home.
- Don’t flush grease down your drain. Cooking grease and oils can wreak havoc on a drain. Over time, the grease and oil will turn into a thick substance that will block and clog the drain – kind of like an artery with too much cholesterol. Ideally, you want to put grease in a separate container and then dispose of that container.
- Tighten joints and seals. It is also important to make sure that all the joints and seals in your home are tightened. Over time, the seals and joints that connect all your pipes can become loose. If these joints get too loose, you could have a leak on your hands. You can usually use a wrench to ensure that each seal is as tight as it should be. You can inspect the pipes in your basement and under individual sinks.
- Don’t put foreign objects down the drain. On top of making sure that you don’t put grease and cooking oil down the drain, you also don’t want to put any foreign objects down the drain. In your kitchen sink, you want to avoid putting any items that won’t degrade quickly, like pits and bones. In the shower, you want to avoid sending too much hair down the drain, because not only can hair be messy – hair can also cause a pretty nasty clog that won’t be fun to clean up.
- Let the hot water run. If you live in an area where the temperatures drop below the freezing mark, you may want to let the hot water run in your home. The hot water can make sure that any ice forming in the pipes is melted. If you don’t blast the hot water once and a while, the ice will expand and cause the pipe to literally burst, which will be a frustrating mess to clean up.
- Hire a plumber for an inspection. Every year or so, you want to call a plumbing service – like Northeast Plumbing & Mechanical - to inspect your plumbing system. Ideally, you want to have any problems diagnosed before they turn into big problems later down the line. In the end, it can be very easy to miss something important – if you do, it could have serious consequences.