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5 ways to prevent plumbing problems

You can prevent plumbing problems - a clogged drain, leaky faucets, and other common plumbing nightmares - with a little preventative maintenance now and then. 

Some simple maintenance efforts now can stop little problems from becoming big, expensive fixes.

Here are 5 simple steps you can take to prevent plumbing problems in your home.

1. to prevent a clogged drain, don't pour in cooking grease.

Cooking grease cools and hardens as it goes down the kitchen drain, often leading to a clogged drain that's so gooped-up it requires a plumber to clean and repair.

Instead of sending grease down the drain, pour it into an empty milk or juice carton, and then dispose of it in the regular garbage. Your pipes will thank you.

Remember also to regularly maintain your garbage disposal to prevent it from becoming clogged or overworked, leading to an early (and expensive) replacement.

2. prevent plumbing problems by using inexpensive drain screens.

Use inexpensive drain screens (made of either plastic or metal) in the kitchen sink, the bathtub, and the shower to prevent food particles, hair, or small items like jewelry and toothpaste caps from creating a clogged drain.

You can also buy inexpensive plastic drain screens that can be placed over bathroom sink drains, right over the built-in stoppers. These screens will catch and hold hair, soap slivers, and other potential drain cloggers and make it easy for you to lift out the obstructions and toss them in the trash before they cause costly plumbing backups.

3. prevent a clogged drain with monthly baking soda treatments.

Rather than relying on expensive and usually toxic drain openers, every month or so sprinkle about 1/4 cup (60ml) of baking soda into your sink and tub drains, followed with just enough warm water to get the powder well into the drain.

Then pour in 1 cup (240ml) of white vinegar. Let the clumpy mixture stand a few hours or overnight to dissolve scum and bacteria buildup, then flush the drains with hot water.

Following this procedure regularly will keep your drains working freely without harming any of your plumbing fixtures or the environment. 

4. to prevent leaky faucets, go easy when tightening the handles.

To make faucet washers last longer to prevent leaks, turn the faucet off but don't tighten the handle any more than is needed to stop the water. Cranking handles forcefully into the off position wears down the washers faster.

5. install a washing machine hose screen.

To make washing machines operate better and last longer, install inexpensive hose screens on the hot and cold water hoses to keep sediment from clogging the washing machine's pumps and valves. Check the screens at least once or twice a year and replace them both if they are full of sediment or debris.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the products and tools you need to help prevent plumbing problems at home yourself.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.