Your entire home’s plumbing system, though largely invisible, drains smoothly when the lines are not abused or misused. Using them for the wrong reasons or purposes does cause severe clogging, backups, or worse, broken or burst pipes.
Understandably, most people do not know what can or cannot go down a drain system until they need a plumber’s help. Before this happens to you, our plumbing experts have assembled a list of the ten common mistakes damaging your home’s plumbing.
Watch What You Flush Down the Toilet
A toilet sees a lot of abuse because people often see it as the easiest way to dispose of things in the bathroom. The only things that are safe to flush down the bowl are toilet paper and human waste – that’s it! YOU SHOULD NOT FLUSH tissues, paper towels, cotton balls, feminine products, hair, bandages, cigarette buds, baby wipes (even one’s that say they are flushable). Ignoring this caution could cause a deep clog or worse the toilet overflowing.
Greased Poured in The Sink
Just because grease is a liquid does not mean it can be poured down the kitchen sink. When grease dries it becomes a gummy solid that will stick to the inside of the drain and your pipes. Any food waste, such as meats, small vegetables, or eggshells will cling to the dried grease, causing a more extensive clogging buildup inside the lines.
Ignoring Minor Leaks
A small plumbing leak can easily damage a pipe, especially when it’s not fixed promptly. Over time, a dripping faucet, a cracked pipe, or a small pinhole in the waterline can increase in size and damage. As the leak continues, that issue promotes dangerous mold and mildew growth inside and outside the plumbing lines.
Toilets Always Running
Assuming a running toilet means the handle just needs jiggling may not be the real issue. The symptoms could be a more severe problem lurking inside the tank, water lines, or toilet. For instance, the tank flap has become brittle. It can no longer close properly, continually allowing water to drain into the bowl.
Drain Cleaning Products
A quick remedy to unclogging a sink or bath is pouring in a drain cleaner. Little known fact – over-the-counter home cleaning products have loads of chemicals that eat away at solids. That means it can also break down and erode the inside of your plumbing, weakening the pipes and making them vulnerable to leaking or bursting. You can find out how to unclog a drain safely here.
Adding Weight To Plumbing Fixtures
Nothing should obstruct what goes through your plumbing. With that said, nothing should get hung on or installed to rest on your fixtures. That would include shower caddies, decorative soap dispensers, and anything with weight. Adding an extra few ounces or a pound of weight to a plumbing fixture can bend or break the faucet or showerhead.
Not Winterizing Outdoor Plumbing
In the colder months of the year you should always winterize your outdoor plumbing by disconnecting any and all hoses, insulating exposed outdoor pipes, and shutting off / drain the water supply to sprinkler systems and faucets. A burst pipe due to freezing temperatures is no joke, the water damage alone can be catastrophic.
Ignoring Fungus Signs
Mold or mildew found on walls or baseboards near the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room is a clear sign of a water leak. Over time this unwanted fungal growth can not only become hazardous to your health but also to your wallet. Get any and all mold / mildew problems looked at immediately by a professional.
Failure to Test Sump Pumps Regularly
It’s easy to forget about your home’s sump pump, but it’s important to stay vigilant on any required maintenance. A single sump pump failure can cause extensive flood damage. Be sure to test your unit regularly and make sure your sump pump has an alternative energy source in case of a power outage.
If you have any questions or concerns about any plumbing mistakes you found, contact Jackson Comfort Services and speak with our plumbing system experts!