When it comes to avoiding plumbing disasters, prevention is key. Unfortunately, all home appliances have a lifespan. By taking care of them, you get to determine how long those appliances function optimally. Most people would rather receive annual plumbing services with a few DIY tweaks here and there than the alternative – a burst pipe in the main line, a sewer backup, flooding or discolored water. Oh, and that’s not to mention the bill.
In addition to annual plumbing services, there are a few basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself to extend the life and efficiency of your plumbing system. Here are a few maintenance tips that even the most inexperienced DIYer can do.
DIY Plumbing Maintenance
Only Flush What Can Be Flushed
The only thing that should be going down a toilet is human waste and toilet paper. This simple rule makes all the difference! Too often, people attempt to flush baby wipes, menstrual products, paper towels and even Q-tips down the toilet – doing so is a clogging disaster waiting to happen. Even too much toilet paper can get stuck in the twists and turns of your pipes, and too much debris leads to severe clogs.
Know How to Reverse a Minor Clog
When your sink or toilet does get clogged, you can equip yourself with basic knowledge to fix it without calling the plumber. It can be tempting to use chemical drain cleaners to clear a clog, but sometimes chemicals can cause more harm than good. Commercial drain cleaners eat away at your pipes, slowly eroding them. Eventually, an eroded pipe will spring a leak.
- Instead, use simple pantry ingredients: boiling water followed by a solution of baking soda and vinegar can clear most minor drain clogs without damaging your pipes.
- Alternatively, try using a plunger. For most basic sink and toilet clogs, a quality plunger will be able to get the job done.
Locate your Shut Off Valves
Your main water shut-off valve, which supplies water to your entire home, is typically located somewhere on the perimeter of your house where water would enter. You’ll usually only use this for traveling or for a serious flooding issue, but it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with its location. After all, you’ll want to reach it quickly in case of an emergency. There are separate shut-off valves for your toilet, water heater, washing machine, and sink. You’ll find these very close to the appliance, often visible on the pipes or exposed plumbing.
Keep it Clean
If you live in an area with hard water, you are likely familiar with the off-white sediment that builds up on shower heads and faucets. To make your appliances appear sparkling and new, you’ll need to break out the baking soda and vinegar again. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it to your faucet or shower head. Soak for several hours. Remove the plastic bag and let hot water flow through to flush the vinegar. If sediment is still visible, scrub with a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap.
Here at Shepherd’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, we are committed to providing you with plumbing services that last. Give us a call today at (650)263-6986 or visit our contact us page for any questions or general inquiries about our reputable plumbing services.