As a homeowner, the last thing you want to deal with is a plumbing system that’s always on the fritz. Water damage isn’t something to be taken lightly, but plumbing systems that always have problems can ruin your home’s pipes, your furniture, and even your home’s entire structure. Although plumbing problems may not seem too likely to strike, consider that more than one-third of homeowners in the US have dealt with plumbing-related water damage in some form.
Keeping your home’s plumbing healthy can seem like a lot to handle, which is why the plumbing experts here at ACE Home Services are here to help. We’ll show you just how easy it is to keep your plumbing system in tip-top condition with the handy tips below!
Let’s start in the area were there’s a lot of plumbing – the bathroom. Between the toilet, the sink, and the shower or tub, there are a lot are areas to pay attention to.
Treat your toilet right
When it comes to your toilet, do your very best to treat it right! It’s true that your toilet is made to handle waste and toilet paper, but flushing most other things down it more often than not leads to problems with your home’s plumbing. It can be tempting to flush something that looks similar to toilet paper like paper towels and tissues, but these things don’t break down too well when they come into contact with water.
You’ll want to keep your toilet as clear and clean as possible. You may have noticed that the rim inside your toilet has little jets — these are essential to your toilet’s flushing process and, without proper maintenance, can become clogged up with bacteria and mineral buildup. We recommend that you keep your toilet clear by cleaning it every week to keep your jets from getting blocked up with nasty buildup.
While we’re still dealing with toilet talk, don’t forget to fix that toilet that’s been constantly running. You’ve probably had to deal with a running toilet at one point or another, and while giving your flush lever a good jostle can sometimes alleviate the issue, it’s not a good idea to leave your toilet in poorly working order for longer than necessary. If you’re dealing with a constantly running toilet, don’t hesitate to give us a call to come on-site and diagnose the issue for you!
Mind your sink and shower/tub drains
Hair and soap residue can sneakily build up in these two important bathroom fixtures. Consider getting a hair catcher to put over your drains, especially in the shower or tub. This will help catch the hair and keep it from clogging your pipes.
You might also look into a liquid hand soap or shower gel that deposits less residue on your skin–and down your drain! Little changes can make a big difference in the health of your plumbing.
In the kitchen: put your garbage disposal on a diet
Most homeowners would agree that their garbage disposal is a tool they couldn’t imagine going without. If you don’t occasionally put your garbage disposal on a diet, though, it can cause lots of problems down the road. Despite having the word “garbage” in its name, not everything can be properly disposed of in your sink.
Always avoid feeding things like rice, pasta, potatoes, and other starchy foods to your garbage disposal. Starchy foods expand when they make their way to your pipes and eventually cause them to clog. Other cooking substances such as grease and oil will solidify once you send them down your drain, causing tough-to-clean buildups that are easily avoidable.
And, in case you don’t know, never use hot water when running your garbage disposal. Cold water will help your disposal’s blades stay sharp, and it allows oils to easily flow through your network of pipes to keep buildup at bay. Lastly, make sure you keep your cold water running for a couple of minutes even after you switch off your disposal.
Pay Attention to Your Water Pressure
Higher water pressure doesn’t always equal better. While you may want high pressure when you step into the shower, when it comes to your plumbing, too much pressure can cause a lot of stress on your pipes and joints which are so important to keeping everything flowing.
So, how do you determine whether you’re using too much water pressure? One thing you can do is purchase a pressure gauge from your local hardware store. All you need to do is screw your gauge onto a draw-off or outside faucet next to your water main.
Your pressure levels should ideally read between 40 and 80 PSI. If your readings are higher than 80, you’re probably subjecting your plumbing system to too much stress. In this case, the ACE Home Services plumbing team can help you install a pressure-reducing valve to regulate your home’s water pressure.
Prepare Your Plumbing For The Winter
Now that temperatures are dropping, it’s high time that you get your plumbing ready for the winter. As soon as water freezes inside your pumps, it begins to expand. And if you don’t have the necessary tools to monitor your pipes’ temperatures, you’ll have no idea that anything is even happening.
Too much frozen water inside your plumbing can cause serious issues, so make sure that you’ve disconnected your hoses that lead to faucets outside your house, and check that you’ve closed all of your shutoff valves. You’ll want to wrap any exterior pipes with foam insulation, which you can also grab from your local hardware store.
Get an annual plumbing checkup with ACE Home Services
Now is a great time to schedule an annual checkup with us so we can make sure your home’s plumbing is in great condition from top to bottom. We’ll go over the things that we’ve outlined in this article and much more! And if we notice any issues while we’re at your home, we’ll recommend the next steps to bring your plumbing network back to its best condition. Call us today at (602) 517-0221 and make sure your plumbing network is in optimal health!