4 Important Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems Year Round
Plumbing problems can happen at very inconvenient times: in the middle of the night or when you've travelled away from home. Water supply pipes are often stressed by a number of factors, including seasonal temperature changes and overtreatment with unclogging chemicals like borax. This article highlights four important practices to reduce likelihood of pipe clogs or bursts all year round.
1. Clean sump pump and pit
This is especially important before the cold winter temperatures come. In extremely cold weather, it's not uncommon for sump pumps to freeze and stop working altogether. The result is a flooded basement, particularly once the winter rains begin. Inspect the sump pump and pit and remove any dirt and debris in the sump pump. Next, disconnect the extension hose before freezing temperatures hit, as it can get clogged with ice causing backed-up water damage. However, do not unplug your sump pump in winter, as the pit can still fill with water which needs to be removed somehow.
2. Use the toilet properly
Did you know that using a lot of toilet paper without flushing enough can eventually clog your sewer pipes? Probably not. This is especially important for parents of very young children. Train your children to use the correct amount of toilet paper and explain what will happen if they use too much. Ensure bathroom time is supervised until this lesson is learned.
3. Keep fats out of the kitchen sink
Fats are an inevitable part of cleaning up after a meal. What most people don't remember is that most kitchen sink pipes are curved, which provides a perfect spot for accumulation of fats. This problem can be compounded in winter. You can prevent as much fat as you can from entering your drains by using strainers in the sink. Do not throw out your oils, greases and fats down the sink. Finally, pour hot water down the drain after washing greasy dishes. You can do this at the end of every day or only periodically. Do it more often and for longer during the winter because pipes are already cold.
4. Keep foreign matter out of bathroom drains
Some people get rid of dirty water from cleaning and washing by pouring down the bathroom drain. Bathroom drains are no less susceptible to clogging than kitchen drains. Install a strainer to keep out hair, small soap pieces and other loose dirt from the drain when water goes in. You should also not get in the habit of using chemical solutions to unclog the drain, as these chemicals are harsh and end up eating at the pipes over time. This makes them lighter and easier to break.
For more information or if you have an emergency, contact a local emergency plumber.