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.
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.
This will help 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.
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.
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.
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.