4 Everyday Habits That Hurt Your Plumbing

Despite your best intentions, sometimes even your home-maintaining habits can cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, that counts double when it comes to plumbing. Like they say, the road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions. There’s no need to beat yourself up about it, however, because it’s not too late to learn better habits.

Here are four things you might do everyday that hurt your plumbing–and why you should stop doing them:

 

Treating your garbage disposal like a garbage can

It may seem like anything can go inside your garbage disposal, but that’s not actually the case. The main list of things garbage disposals can’t handle include: bones, fibrous vegetation like celery, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit pits, grease, oil, pasta, and vegetable peels.

The reasons these individual items aren’t good for your disposal are varied. For instance, when it comes into contact with water, pasta can swell and become gummy enough to shut things down. Fibrous vegetation, pits, and bones will dull your blades and never end up fully broken down, leading to future drain issues. Long story short: be kind to your garbage disposal and it will be kind to you.

Using chemical-based drain cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can be found in a variety of forms: liquid, gel, foam, crystal, or powder. The chemical agents in the cleaners react with blockage in a clogged drain. The resulting chemical reaction produces heat and gas that work to dissolve the clog.

Unfortunately, however, the same reaction that clears the blockage can also damage the pipes. Corrosive chemicals eat away at everything, after all–not just clogging material. Prolonged use of chemical cleaners can eat away at the inner walls of your pipes and create serious problems.

Using your bathtub drain  for all liquid disposal

Your home plumbing is more fragile than you may think. A bathtub drain isn’t meant for all things liquid. Dumping chemicals, cleaners, oil, or grease down a bathtub drain might release toxic fumes, create clogs or damage your pipes.

Generally, the only liquids going down your bathtub’s drain should be the ones that get there during standard use. Soapy bath water, shampoo and conditioner, and body wash are all fine. Cooking grease, sugary beverages, or food remains might not be. Dispose of them elsewhere to save yourself some trouble later.

Tackling plumbing problems without an expert

Taking things apart is almost always a lot easier than putting them back together. That’s why we almost always recommend calling a professional instead of tackling plumbing issues by yourself.

If you’re insistent on trying things on your own, we recommend fully documenting the entire process on your smartphone. That way, you can go back and see where you lost track of the process if something goes wrong. Plus, if you get especially lost, you can show an expert your photos to help them finish the job.

 

If some of these habits have led to damage you didn’t know about, that’s no problem. You’ve learned about how to do better, so you’re already halfway toward becoming a plumbing expert. If you need a little help along the way, however, never hesitate to call the experts at Ben Franklin Plumbing for that extra push.

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