There are several proactive steps you can take throughout the year to keep your home’s plumbing system in good shape. Plumbing issues such as blocked sinks, clogged drains, leaking toilets, and damaged pipes are frustrating, can be expensive, and can negatively impact your quality of life. The following are some tips that you can follow to prevent these issues from happening.

Exercise Extreme Caution With Drain Cleaners

When your sink drain clogs, using a drain cleaner might appear to be a convenient DIY solution instead of calling a plumber. However, many homeowners who choose this option end up regretting it because it causes more harm than good. Although chemical cleansers are readily available at hardware and grocery stores, assuming they’re safe for all clogs oversimplifies the issue.

Why Chemical Cleaners Aren’t Suitable for All Drain Clogs

Chemical cleaners corrode pipes because their ingredients are harsh. These cleaners can inflict severe damage on your pipes. While they might temporarily clear a clog, the risks can cause your pipes to fail.

Clogs often signify larger system issues, such as tree root intrusions. While pouring a harsh chemical down the drain might provide a short-term fix, prioritizing the long-term health of your plumbing system is essential.

Moreover, using harsh chemicals in your plumbing poses environmental risks, affecting both the water supply and the environment. Opting for professional plumber services often represents a less harmful solution for addressing plumbing issues.

Steer Clear of Flushable Wipes

Many residential bathrooms feature flushable wipes because of their durability and comfort compared to regular toilet paper. While they offer benefits like skin-enhancing ingredients, homeowners often overlook their potential plumbing hazards. Regularly flushing flushable wipes can result in costly damage to your home’s plumbing.

Slow Breakdown

Despite labels claiming they’re “septic safe,” flushable wipes break down slowly. Various factors influence their breakdown rate, posing potential problems for your plumbing system as they accumulate.

Both flushable wipes and toilet paper contain wood pulp and break down quickly when submerged in water. However, flushable wipes gain extra strength from synthetic polymers, making them take days, not hours, to break down. This delay increases the risk of clogs and septic tank issues.

Major Clogging Concerns

While occasionally flushing a flushable wipe might not cause significant plumbing issues, frequent use exacerbates the problem. Over time, these wipes accumulate, obstructing the flow of waste, water, and toilet paper through your pipes.

The frequent use of flushable wipes correlates with an uptick in fatbergs in home plumbing systems. Fatbergs form solid masses comprised of grease, oil, and wet wipes. As they grow in your pipes, removing them becomes expensive and detrimental to your home’s plumbing.

Older homes with outdated, fragile plumbing face increased risks. Such systems are more susceptible to clogs, cracks, and damage. In these older plumbing setups, flushable wipes easily catch on debris, potentially causing system-wide failures due to their brittle nature.

Avoid Putting Grease Down Your Drain

Grease can be bad for your drain pipes. Many have heard the myth that it’s okay to pour grease down the drain as long as it’s accompanied by dish soap or hot water. Others think that pouring liquid oils down the drain will not cause a blockage. The truth is that you should never pour grease down the drain because it has a detrimental effect on your home’s piping network.

The Impact of Pouring Grease Down the Drain

When grease is hot, it’s in a liquid form and can easily travel down the drain. However, as the temperature lowers, grease solidifies and can create a clog that is extremely difficult to clear. The problem can build up until grease accumulation causes a blockage or other serious plumbing problems. Even if grease doesn’t stick to the pipes in your home but travels to the sewers, the problem worsens. In the sewers, massive blobs of grease and fat can be formed and sometimes clog entire sewer pipes.

The Proper Way to Dispose of Oil and Grease

It’s best to wait for any oils to cool down, and then use a paper towel to soak them up and throw the paper towel in the trashcan. If there is a sizable amount of grease, pour it into a container with a screwtop, like a soda bottle or water bottle. Once the container is full, throw the container into the trashcan.

Make Minor Plumbing Repairs Immediately

It can be tempting to put off plumbing issues, especially if they seem minor. However, if your goal is to protect your home’s piping network, it’s important to avoid procrastination.

Prevent More Issues

If you are procrastinating on plumbing issues, you will likely have to deal with more serious problems down the road. For example, if you do not call a plumber when your sink is clogged, your pipes will experience unnecessary strain. This could result in seals wearing out sooner, and you may need to replace the entire pipe.

Less Expensive

It can be expensive to have some plumbing work done. However, the sooner you call a plumber, the less expensive the repair is likely to be. Procrastinating on plumbing repairs could end up in a plumbing emergency at odd night hours, which often cost more.

Keep Your Drains Clean

One of the biggest problems with plumbing is clogged pipes and drains. Homeowners can avoid this by ensuring that their drains are clear and cleaning them after they use the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bathtub, or shower.

A dirty drain restricts water flow. It can be a breeding ground for hair, debris, soap, and other clogging agents to gather together. Keeping the drain clean every day will ensure that you have a functioning drain and, by extension, will protect your home’s piping network.

Maintain Water Pressure

The water pressure in your home should be between 40 and 85 psi. Anything higher than that will put undue stress on your plumbing system. Having a plumbing professional install a pressure regulator can ensure that your water pressure is always at a safe level.

Guard Against Frozen Pipes

Indeed, frozen pipes are not a major concern in San Jose, California. However, this does not mean that homeowners can be complacent when it comes to adding sufficient insulation to their pipes in garages, crawlspaces, basements, and other rooms. Over the past ten years, there have been several days where winter temperatures in San Jose have dipped below the freezing point. All it takes is a short amount of time of freezing weather before frozen pipes become a real issue.

The San Francisco Neighborhood Plumbing Experts You Can Trust

At Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter, we have been helping residents throughout the area for several years. We are committed to becoming neighborhood plumbing experts and the only plumbing team our customers need to call. We are a family-owned and locally operated business, offering service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our services include sewer plumbing, water services, and gas services. We install plumbing fixtures and water heaters too. Contact Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter today and see how our team of local plumbers has made a name for itself by providing a fast response and timely repairs for our customers’ plumbing issues.

Josh Gibson

Hi, I’m Josh. I’ve been around plumbing my whole life. When I was 5-6 years old my family built a home where I did a lot of the sanding of copper pipe and definitely some playing in the mud. Plumbing is a major part of my family as I am a fourth-generation plumber. The skills I bring to the job are a good technical knowledge of plumbing and code requirements. I am often complimented on my hands-on problem-solving skills.
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