Your home is made up of a series of plumbing lines and drains that bring you clean water and cart away waste. A healthy plumbing system ensures you and your family can easily and conveniently shower, wash clothes and cook every day. Clogs are one of the most common residential plumbing issues that can happen when inappropriate items are flushed or washed down the sink. Fortunately, there are many ways you can minimize your risk of clogs and protect your essential plumbing system.
Use Drain Screens
Don’t let loose hair make its way into your bathroom sink or tub. You may frequently shave over the sink or comb out your hair. While it’s unlikely the hair itself will start a clog, it can easily catch onto other items in your pipes. It may even become lodged around the joints and connecting areas. Prevent clogs by using mesh traps where possible. You can even place a mesh lint trap on your washing machine’s drain line to stop future clogs.
Don’t forget to check the sink stopper in your bathroom sink at least once a month. Hair, dirt and other debris will accumulate here over time. Constant water use may accidentally dislodge the clog and send it into your drain where it can cause more problems. Remove the debris and give it a quick wash with soap to stop bacterial growth and protect your plumbing.
Don’t Flush Inappropriate Products
Residential toilets aren’t meant to handle anything other than toilet paper and human waste. This is because toilet paper will quickly dissolve when introduced to water before it can cause a clog. The bacteria colony in your septic system takes care of the waste. Avoid putting cotton swabs, flushable wipes, feminine hygiene products or garbage in your toilet. All of these items can stop up the line and allow wastewater to bubble up into your sinks.
Flushable wipes especially can be insidious because they’re marketed as septic safe. In reality, they’re made of tough artificial fibers that don’t easily break down. Flushing one or two might not immediately harm your system. Prolonged use, however, can clog up your septic system and disrupt the efficiency and safety of your home’s plumbing.
Be Careful With Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals can cut down the risks of kitchen clogs when utilized correctly. Avoid trying to break up eggshells, bones, non-food items and stringy, fibrous products. Things like coffee grounds will make a thick paste when ground up that then coats the inside of your pipes. Shells and bones dull the system’s impellers and can cause significant internal damage.
Always keep dry goods like pasta, rice and oats out of your sink. These foods will easily get past your garbage disposal and begin to expand when submerged in water. Improperly using your disposal can lead to a shortened lifespan as well as future pipe issues. For the best results, trust our professional team for garbage disposal maintenance and installation.
Watch for Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can start as small as an insignificant leak or persistent dripping before they transform into an emergency. Watch for any changes in water color, temperature or pressure. Keep an eye out for any new mustiness in the air or potential discoloration on the walls. A constant leak can ruin the structural integrity of your walls, rotting away the wood underneath. There’s also a high risk of mold and mildew that can release harmful spores into the air.
Don’t ignore any change in your plumbing no matter how big or small. One of our professionals will quickly diagnose the root cause of the problem and find the best way to fix it while keeping your needs in mind.
Flush Your Drains
Homes today are often outfitted with water-saving sinks and low-flow toilets. These fixtures are exceptional at minimizing your home’s overall water usage. This also often means that more gunk is left to build up gradually in your main drain pipe. Give your system a little help by running hot water for a minute or two every once in a while. You can also contact our team to learn about other ways to assist your low-flow toilets without increasing your household’s water consumption.
Don’t Pour Grease Down Sink
During a busy party or holiday event, it’s easy to quickly pour hot grease or oil down the sink when you’re in a rush. Unfortunately, these products can be deceptive as they’ll usually harden once they cool down. Grease becomes sticky and sludge-like and will grab onto other hard objects going down your drain. Oils and fats are infamous for creating plumbing problems like fatbergs.
It’s better to get rid of all grease, fats and oils in the trash. Wait until it hardens and scoop it into a non-recyclable plastic bottle. After sealing it, you can then throw the container away with your regular trash. You also have the option to reuse some greases and oils in future dishes.
Replace Old Pipes
If you live in an older home, you may still have clay sewer pipes installed. This type of pipe can last decades with proper care. However, they’re very susceptible to tree roots that can invade and crack the pipe. Even if the roots don’t initially shatter the clay, they can cause substantial clogs that flood your property and yard.
It may be time for a pipe upgrade if you often notice a foul odor from your drains. You might hear gurgling coming from your kitchen or bathroom drains. You may even find backed-up organic material in your sinks and tubs. Call us for a sewer line inspection so we can determine if your pipes are nearing the end of their effective lifespan. We’ll replace your old clay lines with improved PVC pipes that will last much longer.
Schedule Yearly Maintenance
You need expert plumbing maintenance once a year to check for hidden leaks and structural problems. Your family is constantly using your fixtures and drains when they shower and clean. Even with healthy septic habits, your plumbing will still accumulate grime and debris.
A routine cleaning and maintenance appointment can remove this dirt. After scanning your pipes with industry-grade camera equipment, your plumber will walk you through any weak spots or potential concerns. Preventative care lowers your risk of repairs and future plumbing emergencies. Our plumbers can even make sure you’re not struggling with any silent gas line leaks that could harm your family’s health.
Best Comfort Company in Wichita
Fahnestock HVAC has been a one-stop indoor comfort company in Wichita, KS since 1946. We’re a family-oriented company with decades of experience delivering superior residential and commercial services. Our team is EPA-certified, NCI-certified and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Trust us to service your toilets and sinks as well as repair your pipes and sewer lines. We can install a new water softener, tankless water heater or under-counter filtration system.