From time to time, all homeowners find themselves in need of a professional plumber. Sometimes, these occasions arise through no fault of the homeowner – a seal may slip from a fitting, or an appliance may malfunction. But often, homeowners bear some responsibility for the problem.
Be sure that you are not engaging in any of the following four practices, as they can – and often do -- lead to expensive problems down the road.
Introducing Harmful Chemicals to Your Septic System
Septic systems are finely tuned devices, which require living bacteria to function properly. Anything that enters your home's drains or toilets will eventually end up in the septic system, so you must refrain from using any substances that will prove toxic to the bacteria living in the tank.
Bleach, liquid clog removers, cleansers and other chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria, so stick to chemicals explicitly approved for septic systems.
Pouring Grease Down a Household Drain
Hot grease pours down a kitchen sink quickly and easily, but once the oil cools, it will turn into a fatty, congealed mess deep inside your home's pipes. Never pour large amounts of grease into your sink; instead, let the oil cool slightly and pour it into a crumpled wad of newspaper. You can then place the saturated newspaper in your trash.
If you accidentally pour grease down the sink, flush the pipes immediately with copious amounts of hot water and a few drops of dish soap.
Treating a Garbage Disposal As If It Is an Industrial Wood Chipper
Garbage disposals are incredibly convenient appliances, but they break with extraordinary frequency. This is not because the average home disposal unit is poorly manufactured; quite the contrary, they are very well suited for their intended purpose. Use your disposal properly, and it should last for years, but if you abuse it, failure is guaranteed.
To that end, avoid placing bones or other hard items in the disposal, and use care to ensure that utensils, strings and other kitchen items do not fall into the unit accidentally.
Using Time-Released Toilet Cleaners
Everyone thinks blue toilet water is pretty, but the chemicals many toilet cleaners or toilet fresheners contain can wreak havoc on plumbing systems. Commonly, these tablets break into large clumps, which can clog the pipes or jam the flush valve. If you simply must use such a time-released toilet cleaner, opt for one that is completely enclosed, so large pieces cannot break free.
For more help with plumbing, contact a service like Maryland Sewer & Plumbing Service.