Although your pipes are hidden behind walls and floorboards, it is important not to forget about caring for your plumbing system. In order to care for your pipes to ensure they keep a long life and to prevent costly disasters later, there are several simple things you can do to keep things running smoothly.
1. Avoid Chemical Drain-Clearing Products
Liquid drain clearing products usually do much more harm than good. These chemical products erode more than just the clog; they can eventually erode right through cast-iron drain pipes. Not only do they wear on your pipes, they often don’t even remove the entire clog.
After the chemical product clears through a portion of the material that is stuck in the pipe, the remaining liquid clears through the drain and doesn’t completely remove the clog. Over time, the substance build up will continue to accumulate and re-clog the drain. In order to ensure the clog is completely removed, it is better to hire a plumber to snake the drain and completely remove the hair or grease that is plugging the drain or buy a snake yourself for about $20 at a hardware store.
2. Prevent Future Clogging
Clogged drains are not just a nuisance, they add pressure to your pipes, stressing them and shortening their lifespan. Preventing clogged drains can be easier than you think with some basic tactics. Keeping food scraps out of kitchen drains and hair out of bathroom drains is an easy way to prevent clogs. Install screens in sinks and bathtubs to ensure easy removal. Another way to prevent future clogs is to ensure grease is disposed of in its own container. Grease is only liquid when hot and hardens into a thick mass when it cools down, which can clog drains quickly. To prevent these grease clogs, save a used can or glass jar to pour grease into when cooking and dispose of it in the garbage.
3. Reduce the Pressure
As nice as it feels in the shower, high pressure can stress your pipes. Having this pressure increases the likelihood of leaks and drastically reduces the life of your plumbing. To gauge pressure, use a hose gauge on an outside spigot and open the line fully. Normal pressure is between 40 and 85 PSI. Anything higher than normal levels could cause a costly problem later. And remember, low-flow showerheads won’t affect your pipe’s pressure.
4. Soften the Water
Water often carries a high mineral content, known as hard water, which shortens the plumbing’s lifespan. Calcium or magnesium buildup in pipes and can restrict flow over time if it builds up. To tell if you have hard water, white buildup on showerheads and faucets is a sure sign. To effectively deal with hard water, install a water softener. Most use sodium to counteract the minerals found in hard water and remove them before they pass through the home’s plumbing system.
5. Keep your Sewer Lines or Septic Tank Clear
If you have municipal sewers, hire a plumber to snake and maintain your sewage cleanout every few years. Will cost $75 to $100 and will remove tree roots that inevitably work their way into these pipes, which can lead to messy sewage backups. If you have a septic tank, make sure to get the tank pumped every 3-5 years. This normally costs around for $200 to $500.
Let us set you up for success!
At Fitzgerald Mechanical, we know how important plumbing is. We want to make sure you are set up for success by professionally installing your residential or commercial plumbing system right. Once it is installed, we want to make sure you also have what you need to keep it running smoothly for years to come. If you are interested in getting a new home or business’ plumbing installed, call us today at (208) 340-4691!