If you've ever had to battle a stubborn drain clog, you probably hope you never have to deal with the inconvenience of a clogged drain again. However, clogged drains are fairly common, especially if you don't take good care of your plumbing. When you own your home, you want to maintain it properly, and that includes the pipes and drains. Here's a look at four things you can do to care for your plumbing.
1. Have A Water Softener Installed
Hard water is bad for your plumbing. It causes scale to build up in your drains and plumbing pipes. That can lead to problems with water pressure and clogging. When you have a water softener connected to your plumbing, hard water is no longer an issue.
2. Use Screens On Your Drains
Rather than leave your drains open so small items could accidentally fall in and cause a clog, keep your drains covered with screens. This is particularly helpful for tub and shower drains because the screens will keep hair out of the drains. Also, having a screen on your clothes washer helps keep lint out of the drain that could build up and cause a clog.
3. Clean Your Drains Regularly
Buy a plumbing tool that snags hair so you can pull hair out of the shower drain regularly. You might also want to buy a small drain snake so you can clear out mild clogs before they turn into big ones. Cleaning the drains regularly keeps odors down and helps prevent clogs from forming. You may want to buy enzyme cleaners that clean the bacteria out of the drains but that don't harm the pipes. You could also just pour baking soda or vinegar down the drains.
4. Check For Leaks Periodically
Sometimes you know when a pipe or drain is leaking because you can see the water. Other times, you can't tell because the leak is hidden. Suspect you might have a drain leak if you smell musty odors or sewer odors around your home. You can check for hidden supply line leaks by watching your water meter to see if water is flowing when the faucets are all turned off.
If you suspect you have a plumbing leak, or when you have a clog you can't handle, call a plumber for help so the problem is fixed quickly. You might damage a drain by being too aggressive at plunging and trying to dislodge a clog, and if a leak is the problem, your home could sustain water damage. Plumbing problems should be repaired as soon as possible since they tend to get worse if left on their own.