Simple Plumbing Tips

by Jane VanOsdol on August 30, 2011

Plumbing is something we take for granted until a leak develops or a pipe bursts. At that point, we want a plumber here yesterday. As a homeowner, taking a few simple home improvement steps can help prevent some common plumbing problems that frequently crop up in homes. Consider the following advice to help keep your plumbing running freely.

  • Drains clogged from grease. Clogged drains due to a greasy buildup is a common reason for calls to the plumber. The first thing you can try is to purchase a product from the hardware store made just for this purpose. These products often work wonders and will have your drains flowing freely in a short time. An even cheaper remedy to do preventively is to periodically pour boiling, soapy water down the drains to help reduce the greasy buildup. This doesn’t work as well on a drain that is already clogged, so put it on your schedule to do as one of your regular chores. Of course, the best preventive measure is to keep grease out of your drains entirely. Collect the grease in an empty glass bottle once it has cooled and then blot up the excess from your pans with paper towels before washing the pans in the sink.
  • Drains clogged from hair. Another common reason drains clog up is from excess hair. Purchase a cover for your drain to prevent hair from going down the tub or shower drains. Try to clean them after each shower or bath to prevent a clog from forming. Again, purchase the hardware store product if, despite your best efforts, your drain does clog up. In either of these instances, if the drain still won’t open up, call in the plumbing contractors to fix the problem for you.
  • Frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are a hazard in the winter—one mess that you want to completely avoid because frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes. If possible, make sure your pipes are heated or insulated. This will prevent them from freezing. Another tip to make sure they don’t freeze is to keep a close watch on the weather. If the weather report is calling for sub-zero temperatures, then you’d be wise to turn your faucets on in each room before you go to bed to just a slow trickle/drip. The water moving through the pipe will prevent the pipe from freezing.
  • Winter Maintenance. Right before winter, remember to disconnect any outside drains and hoses. Turn off the indoor cut-off valve that is close to the faucet and open the outdoor faucet. These preventive steps will help keep your pipes from freezing.

These simple plumbing tips can help keep your drains and pipes in top shape year-round.

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