As any plumber or even most experienced homeowners can tell you, proper care for your home’s plumbing system involves knowing what not to do just as much as knowing what to do. There are a variety of mistakes some homeowners might make with their plumbing system, even some where they assumed they were doing the right thing — but with a little bit of knowledge, you can avoid these errors and keep your system in great shape.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re proud to offer a wide range of plumbing services, including 24/7 emergency plumbing solutions in Lehi — but also numerous programs or concepts that will help your home or building avoid any plumbing emergencies or major issues altogether. What are some of the most common mistakes we see made by our clients within their plumbing systems, and how can you avoid these risks through some simple understanding of how your system works? Here’s a primer.
Improper Toilet Usage
One of the single most common plumbing mistakes made in homes today is one that can be made by anyone who lives there: Improper usage of the toilet drain, especially to flush down items that are not approved to go down the toilet.
The most common item we see flushed down toilets is paper towels, which can either get stuck in the system and reduce water flow to the bowl or even get caught up in the flapper and cause it to stop working properly. Paper towels are followed closely by feminine products, which can also create blockages when they catch on tree roots that grow into the line.
The other major issue with flushing items like this comes in the form of drain flies or fruit flies — since their breeding area doesn’t necessarily get cleaned out regularly when flushing things down the toilet, drain flies become an issue where your plumbing system is concerned.
To avoid any of these issues, use the proper toilet flushing-approved items like human waste and toilet paper down the drain. Don’t put anything else in there, no matter how innocuous it might first appear to you. Also make sure that your household members are aware of these rules — especially when you’re away from home and can’t be there to note if someone flushes an inappropriate item.
Chemical Drain Cleaners
While the occasional use of a chemical drain cleaner for a minor clog or blockage is usually okay, you don’t want to make this a regular habit. This is because chemicals can cause problems with the materials used to build your plumbing system over time, causing corrosion or even chemical burns to the skin if you come into contact with them.
If your drains are starting to clog up quite frequently, make sure they’re fully clear before attempting drain cleaners of any sort. You can do this with a plunger or even a handheld auger for minor blockages, but if you want to go the chemical drain cleaner route make sure your drain is clear first.
If you’re starting to notice corrosion issues with your plumbing system, it’s time to call in a plumber. Corrosion can be sign that there are serious organic or other issues going on with your system, and if left unchecked these issues can cause leaks or major damage.
Attempting Fixes You Aren’t Qualified For
While there are certain very basic plumbing areas where you can attempt a DIY fix, such as using your plunger to try and unclog your toilet, there are many other fixtures or components that require professional attention. For this reason, you want to be very specific with what you attempt to fix on your own and what you call a professional for.
For example, you wouldn’t want to try and fix your garbage disposal unit on your own, or even attempt to replace a water heater that’s more than 15 years old. On the other hand, you might be able to change out an older spigot for a new one with relative ease, especially if all it requires is the loosening of some nuts with your fingers.
Leaving Water on Or Dripping
You might not realize just how much water will be wasted if you leave water running in your sink or tub at all times, even if it’s an infrequent event. This is because the average faucet can drip a steady flow of between one and three gallons per minute.
If you notice a draining issue with your toilet, make sure to shut off the water supply before embarking on any repairs. Just to be safe, you might want to leave the water turned off for several hours after your repair is completed just to make sure it’s actually fixed.
In other cases, water losses will be due to cracks or other leaks that aren’t as visible as a small drip from a leaky faucet. If you notice any leaking around your shower, toilet, or sink, turn the water off immediately and call a plumber.
No Plumber On-Hand
Finally, another common plumbing mistake homeowners make is not maintaining a connection with a quality local plumber in case of issues. Even if your plumbing system is currently in tip-top shape, you never know when an emergency might happen — and if you don’t have a plumber on standby you could be in for a world of hurt.
If you need to find a reliable and trustworthy local plumber in Lehi or any nearby area, make sure to contact the professionals at Action Plumbing today.