No one wants to deal with plumbing emergencies. They’re inconvenient, may cause property damage and could land you with a hefty repair bill. While there’s no guarantee against plumbing problems, you can prevent most emergencies by following these tips.
Don’t Pour Cooking Grease Down the Drain
It might be liquid when it’s hot, but grease runoff solidifies into a gelatinous glob as it cools, causing a blockage to develop further down the pipe. To keep your drain flowing smoothly, dispose of grease in the trash. Other items that could harm your garbage disposal include hard bones and fruit pits, stringy celery stalks and corn husks, starchy oatmeal and pasta, and non-food items like rubber bands and twist ties.
Keep Trash Out of the Toilet
This plumbing fixture is only designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. Avoid flushing anything else, even “flushable” wipes and feminine hygiene products. These items don’t dissolve, so if they get caught on something, they can easily form a clog. Non-dissolvable products in the sewer also strain the municipal water system and increase the cost to restore quality drinking water.
Upgrade Appliance Hoses
Dishwashers, washing machines and ice makers often come with a black rubber hose. However, these can dry out and split relatively quickly. Avoid a slow drip – or worse, a torrent of water flooding from your laundry room or kitchen – by replacing rubber hoses with durable steel braided ones.
Maintain Your Water Heater
A corroded water heater is a headache every homeowner wants to avoid. The easiest way to prevent this is to perform annual water heater maintenance. One task on the list is to assess the anode rod. This aluminum, magnesium or zinc component is more reactive than the exposed steel walls of your water heater, attracting corrosion to protect the tank from rusting. It’s vital to replace the anode rod when it wears down to its steel core so the water heater remains protected.
Watch Your Water Bill
If you notice an unexplained spike in your water usage, this could indicate a hidden leak. If neglected, even a slow drip can turn into a big problem. Other signs to watch for and act on include stained walls, peeling paint, musty odors and a toilet that rocks on its base.
Know the Location of the Main Water Shutoff Valve
When a plumbing emergency occurs, the best way to limit property damage is to shut off the water as quickly as possible. That’s why you need to know where your main water shutoff valve is located. It’s probably either on a basement wall near the front of your house or buried in a water meter box near the street. If you can’t find it, ask a plumber for help during your next service call.
Mike Counsil Plumbing is here to help with any plumbing emergency you might be having. We also offer annual plumbing maintenance to stop emergencies in their tracks. To learn more, or to schedule services, please contact us at 408-618-8002.