Ruining your plumbing can go beyond a toddler dropping an unsupervised (and expensive) watch down the toilet: despite your best intentions, you may be the culprit responsible for errant plumbing. As confusing as the maze of pipes and drains may be, keeping it working properly doesn’t have to be. Here’s a crash course on good plumbing:
Repeat after me: a drain is NOT a disposable for liquid.
No matter how tempted you may be to use it this way, your drain isn’t meant to whisk away any type of liquid waste you may churn out. Toxic chemicals like paint, cleaners, and oil are incredibly damaging to your pipes—not to mention the sewers and oceans it may eventually find its way to. Fight the urge of dumping it down the drain, and instead drop it off in a designated safety area in your city.
Too much of a drain cleaner is a bad, bad thing.
Despite being designed to clear any debris from your plumbing, drain cleaners can be dangerous. When used in excess, drain-cleaning chemicals can be potent enough to erode your pipes, which can cause leaks, high plumbing bills, and other damages. Be sure to use drain cleaner properly by following the instructions on the bottle. Just for good measure, you may want to also replace any harsh chemical cleaners with healthy natural alternatives like baking soda and lemon juice.
Even a septic tank has its limits.
While septic tanks are typically reserved for rural residents, older homes may have them as well. Despite being on your own personal sewage system, you can’t afford negligence. In order to maintain the waste-eating bacteria in the septic tank, you should avoid using heavy cleaners and chlorine. While using a little Drain-O isn’t the end of the world, avoid developing bad habits. In addition, there is a limit to what your septic tank can take. In Ireland, that may be 800 bodies; but here, it’s not. Do your best to avoid treating your toilet like a trash can.
Don’t let hoses become frozen.
Oklahoma winters can get pretty harsh, and you shouldn’t have to suffer more than you already do. Before the cold weather can settle in, you should disconnect any exterior hoses and let the pipe connections drain. Otherwise, water may get trapped in the pipe and burst—leading to one giant mess.
Venting pipes are for venting (surprise).
While this may seem like a given, plenty of plumbing problems have risen from homeowners attempting to run cables and other extensions down a plumbing vent pipe. In addition to providing the necessary suction for drainage, they also dispose of sewer gases. Cutting into the pipe vent can lead to a steady stream of noxious gases, so it’s better if you just let them do their job.
You are not a plumber, unless you’re a plumber.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies, especially when it comes to owning a home. We know how tempting it can be to pass up a large bill from a professional by just doing the task yourself, but often that leads to more damage and a lot of frustration on both ends. Unless it’s a small, simple task like unclogging the toilet, call a professional. If you ask nicely, we’ll probably even explain to you the process—so you can try it yourself next time.
Plumbing is too important to your home to go wrong—especially due to human error. Before you decide to channel your inner professional, why don’t you call us? We’re happy to help you understand and fix your own plumbing!