A plumbing emergency can be expensive to repair and can lead to water damage. Maintaining your plumbing can help prevent problems such as leaky pipes or backed up drains, allowing you to avoid a major plumbing disaster and save money. Here is a look at simple maintenance steps that can help keep your plumbing in good working order.
Clogged drains can cause water to back up into your faucets, not to mention that they increase pressure on your wastewater pipes which can then cause leaks and cracks. To avoid clogging your kitchen drains, avoid dumping food scraps into the sink and pour hot water into the drain every once in a while to dislodge grime and oil deposits in the pipes.
You should also use drain screens in your shower/bathtub drains to keep out hair and soap scum that can cause serious clogging. Be sure to clean the drain screens whenever they are filled with debris to prevent flooding and foul smells in your bathroom, and remember to keep anything other than sewage and tissue paper out of your toilets.
Despite your best efforts, hair, grease or other debris may find their way into your drains and cause minor clogging. If this happens, refrain from using chemical drain-cleaning products as they can actually corrode your cast-iron drainpipes, causing leaks that could cost a fortune to fix. The best solution to this issue is to hire a qualified plumber to snake the drains so as to clear out debris and allow wastewater to flow from your home freely.
Reduce water pressure
A strong stream of water from your showers may seem like a good thing, but the high pressure stresses the pipes and strains your pipe joints and faucet valves. This in turn causes leaks and reduces the lifespan of your plumbing. If you suspect the water pressure in your plumbing is too high, use a hose bib gauge to gauge the pressure and then consult a plumber as to whether the reading is normal. If the pressure is too high, talk to your plumber about installing a pressure reducer at your main water inlet.
If the mineral content in your municipal water service is too high, calcium and magnesium deposits can clog up your pipes and restrict water flow. The best way to combat this issue is to install a water softener at your main water inlet to remove those minerals and reduce the water pressure.
Scheduling annual plumbing maintenance can help keep your drains and pipes in great shape. Contact a company like Abbey Plumbing & Heating Co. with any questions you might have or to schedule maintenance.