Plumbing repairs aren't something that the average homeowner always has included in their budget. However, routine plumbing services and preventative maintenance can save you a substantial amount of money in repair costs. So, if you're like most homeowners and hate flushing money down the drain, the best solution is to avoid misuse of your plumbing system. Here are a few tips to help keep your pipes and drains in good working order.
Be Aware of What's Being Flushed
Unless it is specifically labeled toilet paper, it shouldn't be flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of clogged toilet drains is items being flushed that don't belong there. Common items that get flushed and that will eventually clog the drain include, paper products, diapers, wipes, grease, and feminine products. Even unexpected items, such as facial tissues, may cause clogs because the fibers don't disintegrate like toilet paper. Not only can these habits wreak havoc on the plumbing system by causing blockages and failures, but it's bad for the environment as well.
Replace the Ball or Flapper
If you replace the ball or flapper inside of the toilet tank once a year, it will reduce the amount of water being wasted, which will be reflected in savings on the water bill. The ultimate solution to avoiding unexpected costs for plumbing services is to upgrade the toilet to one with a modern tank fill system and self-selecting flush.
Keep the Hot Water Heater Tank Clean
The hot water tank is one of the most commonly overlooked fixtures in a home, until it breaks down. You may not think about what the hot water tank goes through on a daily basis, but there is a lot of dirt and sediment that can build up and settle at the bottom of the tank. If this sediment isn't dealt with, it may cause corrosion, reduce the lifespan of the water heater, and affect the water heater's ability to efficiently heat the water. You can save a significant amount of money by flushing the tank at least once a year. If you aren't comfortable doing this, contact a local plumbing service to do the work for you; it will be less expensive than replacing the entire tank.
Strain the Drains
The easiest and least expensive way to prevent clogged drains is to eliminate the risk of something clogging them. Using strainers on all of the drains, including the shower and sink drains, will prevent unwanted items, such as hair and unwanted solids, from entering the drains and clogging the pipes. Be sure to clean the strainers regularly to allow for proper water drainage.
The most important thing you can do to avoid excess plumbing expenses is to repair all leaks as soon as possible. It may not seem like much, but a small leak can drastically increase your water bill. As soon as a leak is noticed, turn the water supply off to the leaking area. If you notice hot water leaking, whether from a pipe, faucet, or supply line, it can lead to bigger problems. When hot water is leaking, it means the hot water tank is being drained, which can burn out the heating element, so contact a plumber right away to make the necessary repairs.
Contact local plumbing services for more information about maintaining your systems.