Homeowners often take hot water, flushing toilets and draining sinks for granted. These luxuries have become staples in our pampered, first-world lives, and people expect their plumbing to “just work.” Fortunately, a good installation can get you pretty far with your plumbing, however the homeowner does need to put in some TLC to save themselves some heartache. Here are four bad plumbing habits homeowners often slip into.
1. They don’t take care of their appliances. Large plumbing appliances must be maintained at least once a year. In San Antonio, hard water runs through our city water lines and into our homes – but not without first passing through the water heater. The water heater catches the majority of the calcium and sediment buildup from the hard water. So what? Well, your water heater must first heat the sediment and then the water. Manufacturers encourage homeowners to maintain their water heaters with a yearly flush. This should help to prevent calcium and sediment accumulations. To truly combat hard water, invest in a water softener. Water softeners also require maintenance. You must replace salt regularly and have a licensed technician service the softener at least once a year to ensure proper operation. If you chose not to service your expensive plumbing appliances, you will be forced to replace them prematurely. Think of it like getting an oil change for your car. You wouldn’t buy a hot, new race car and never change the oil.
2. They use use pipe clearing chemicals on complete clogs. Commercials are great at illustrating the ease and ability of a “drain clearing product.” However, they seldom miss the important information, like when and how to use the product. If a drain is completely clogged, meaning you run the water and it sits without draining, do not add chemicals. Adding chemicals to a completely clogged drain will corrode your pipes and cause bigger problems. Use these chemical treatments sparingly and as intended.
3. They leave leaks unattended. This will cost you more than you realize. It may seem like a literal “drop in a bucket,” but add it up and it results in major water wasting over time. Getting a leak fixed promptly will save you time and money in the long run.
4. They flush more than waste and toilet paper. Just because it “fits” in the toilet, does not mean it should be flushed. Just because it is advertised as “flushable” does not mean that it is good for the sewer system. Baby wipes, for example, are marked as “flushable” in some brands. However, flushing wipes (along with tampons, cigarette butts, toys, etc.) can cause major sewer blockages that result in costing the homeowner money.
I get it, maintenance is a pain in the butt. But when you realize how much money it could save, it should be a part of your yearly homeowner routine. If you have any questions or concerns about your own plumbing habits, feel free to contact Mr. Plumber at 210-492-2000.