10 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Knew
Being a plumber can be hard work. Aside from crouching under sinks and drains all day, a lot of the work they can do can be prevented just by giving homeowners the right information about how to protect and preserve their home plumbing. We went and asked some of our knowledgeable technicians what bits of advice they most wished their clients knew about plumbing and put together this list of tips just for you.
1. Water heaters need love too.
The water heater is something a lot of homeowners tend to forget about. They’re tucked away somewhere in a closet or your basement and you don’t see them on a lot, but that doesn’t make them unimportant. It’s key to remember to flush the tank in your water heater at least once a year to avoid build ups of rust and oxidation. When it comes to plumbing, preventative measures like this can save a lot of money and stress down the line.
2. Don’t put oil or grease down the drain.
Repeat after us: never pour cooking oil, bacon grease, or anything remotely similar to either down your drain. Ever. Oils and greases being poured down drains by homeowners are one of the leading cause of cumbersome clogs. Here’s what you can do instead of dumping them down the drain: pour used cooking oil or grease in a disposable plastic or foil container, freeze them, then throw them out with the garbage. A lot easier than having to pay to get your pipes fixed.
3. Waiting until the last second to call for help doesn’t help – at all.
The longer you let a problem linger, the worse that problem is bound to get. You’ll save more money catching an issue early than waiting to get help until it’s become a full fledged plumbing emergency.
4. Garbage disposals aren’t trash cans.
Most homeowners don’t know the exact purpose of their garbage disposal and treat them as an easy, out of sight way to toss whatever they want. Garbage disposals are meant for small amounts of scrap, but cannot handle a whole lasagna, or challenging food like celery or potato peels. When you do find yourself needing use of your garbage disposal, make sure to rinse everything down with lots of cold water to help avoid clogs.
5. You can’t ignore water around the base of your toilet.
You might be thinking, “Huh, maybe I missed when I went to the bathroom last,” when you see water around the base of your toilet. Not only is that kind of gross, it’s usually not true. Water around the base of your toilet is a typical sign of failure of the wax ring seal. Ignoring this problem can lead to rot, mold, and expensive repair. If you see unsightly puddles, call a professional before too much damage is done.
6. It’s best to avoid chemicals.
Many commercial chemical cleaners eat away at a lot more than gunk build-up. Dumping chemicals down your drain can end up eating away at, and ultimately irreparably harming, many varieties of pipes and drains.
7. It’s important to know where your shut-off valves are.
Imagine this scenario: your home is unrelentingly flooding and you’re not sure why. You’re scrambling around with soaked pajama pants wrapped around your ankles, crying out in despair, just wanting the water to stop, and… you don’t know where your water shut off valves are. Familiarize yourself with your home’s plumbing system before problems occur so you can respond quickly if and when they do.
8. Staying up to date is a huge help when it comes to problem prevention.
A frequent issue plumbers face is homeowners suffering from burst hoses and rusty build-up on fixtures. These are problems that can easily be avoided by keeping your fixtures and hoses up to date, replacing them on schedule before they become a problem.
9. It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to be an expert fixer upper if you own your own home. It’s important to be aware of the limits of your abilities, especially when it comes to something as important as plumbing, because when you’re halfway through a plumbing fix that’s too hard for you to complete it’s already too late.
10. A little knowledge goes a long way.
Just reading a list of tips like this puts you leaps and bounds ahead of your average homeowner. Knowing enough about your home plumbing to be able to find and address problems and find the right people to help you with them when they arise is something to be proud of. Go you!
Knowing how to best take care of your home plumbing is a great step, but sometimes there are problems that you just can’t handle on your own. That’s where Ben Franklin Plumbing comes in. Contact us any time, day or night, when you need a little extra help to keep your home safe and your plumbing in order.
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