No one ever thinks about maintaining their plumbing system. We take care of our bodies by eating right and exercising. We tune up our cars and change the oil regularly. Most of it is preventative maintenance; for example, taking vitamins, exercise, and oil changes, are things we do as preventative maintenance. Have you ever noticed how many companies offer tune-ups? You can even get your garage door tuned up for about $60. So, the big question is, “How do you maintain your plumbing system?” Let me rephrase the question, “How do we maintain your plumbing system without costing an arm and a leg?”
First, We Need To Define Plumbing System
The phrase “plumbing system” refers to the water supply and distribution pipes, plumbing fixtures, faucets, and the removal of waterborne wastes. Additionally, it includes vent pipes; and water-treating or water-using equipment. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t give their plumbing system a second thought. Unless, of course, something goes wrong, then we start to take notice. A home under twenty years old rarely runs into major plumbing issues unless the cause was brought on by poor installation or, in some cases, years of high water pressure will stress your plumbing system.
Install A Reverse Osmosis Or Water Treatment System
The number one culprit of a failing plumbing system is hard water—the mineral deposit build-up in our pipes over many years. They tend to build up in our freshwater pipes, causing them to restrict. But, unfortunately, they also cling to the walls of our sewer lines, not to mention our faucets and showerheads. So if you want to maintain your plumbing system, have a reverse osmosis or water treatment system installed. If the water gets treated before it enters your home, it will eliminate the calcium and minerals from your plumbing system.
Watch What You Put Down Your Drain
So much of what we do requires maintenance, but caring for your plumbing system requires more discipline—for example, watching what you put down your drain. The bottom line is that clogged drains strain our plumbing system and shorten its lifespan. Start by keeping things like food scraps from entering your kitchen drain. You can’t help but let hair gel, toothpaste, hair, hand lotion, soap, and phlegm stick to the walls of your bathroom sinks. But you can keep it from turning into black slime, causing your sink to clog. A simple mix of baking soda and vinegar mix poured down the drain can keep the slime from building. Install shower and tub screens on your drains; this will stop hair from accumulating in your shower drains.
Give Your Water Heater Maintenance
Have your water heater flushed at least once a year. This will remove the hard water deposits sitting at the bottom of the storage tank, which causes your heater to work overtime. It will also extend the life of your water heater. Some manufacturers require maintenance to validate a warranty should something go wrong. Flushing your water heater is all part of your plumbing system maintenance.
Don’t Use Your Toilet As A Trash Can
Never use your toilet as a trash can. Toilet paper, along with solid and liquid waste, should be the only thing going down your drain. Better yet, purchase a bidet and eliminate the toilet paper altogether. It takes about two weeks to get it down to a science, but once you do, you’ll never return to toilet paper again. As a reminder, no paper towels and wipes, even if they say flushable.
Another example of what to never flush are hygiene items, rubber bands, hair, and cotton swabs, which can accumulate in the line and result in an annoying obstruction since a toilet bowl is not a garbage can. Instead, ensure a trash bin is in the bathroom and use it.
Maintain your plumbing system By Checking For Leaks!
Another way to maintain your plumbing system is to check for leaks in your plumbing system. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that 10% of households in the U.S. have plumbing leaks. They claim that one trillion gallons of water are wasted annually. Most leaks start in a place that rarely gets checked. For instance, under your sinks and around angel stops and shut off valves. Puddling water around the house can also be a telltale sign that you have a water leak.
Don’t Put This Down Your Garbage Disposal
Remember, your garbage disposal is part of your plumbing system. So never dispose of the following down your disposal: Coffee Grounds, Pasta, Bones, Nuts, Oatmeal, Onion Skins, Egg Shells, Fibrous Vegetables, Potato Peels, Pits, Paint, and Corn Husks. Additionally, never put liquid grease down any drain. Keep in mind, that grease is only a liquid when it’s hot. After it’s poured down your drain, it becomes hard, attaches to your sewer pipes, and becomes a catch-all for food, eventually clogging your drain.
how to maintain your plumbing system Recap:
- Install reverse osmosis or water treatment system in your home.
- Watch what you put down your kitchen and bathroom drains.
- Never use your toilet as a trash bin.
- Watch what you put down your toilet.
- Flush your water heater once or twice a year.
- Older homes should have their sewer lines camera inspected every three to four years.
Need help with your plumbing maintenance? Have a current plumbing issue? Maybe you have a question for one of our highly skilled plumbers? Whatever the case, call Big B’s Plumbing today. We’re A+ rated with the BBB with over a thousand five-star ratings. You’ll always get the service you deserve.