When it comes to plumbing, good intentions do not necessarily make for good decisions. To help prevent you from flushing money down the drain, we’ve gathered some of the most common plumbing mistakes we see, so you can avoid them!
Mistake #1: Overusing Drain Cleaners
While cleaning out your drains regularly is a good idea, using chemical drain cleaners too often can have nasty, unintended effects. Pipes are strong, but so are the chemicals in drain cleaners. If used too often, they can start to eat away at your pipes, leading to even bigger problems down the line. They’re also detrimental to the environment.
Instead of these harsh chemicals, consider using green alternatives like baking soda, boiling water, or enzymatic drain cleaners. You can also use a drain snake. Get our guide for DIY snaking here.
If your drain is consistently clogged, it could point to a more serious issue. The problem area is probably deeper in your pipes than you can access with a cleaning product, and it’s time to call a professional plumber.
Mistake #2: Abusing Your Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal is a great addition to any kitchen, but there is a limit on what it can break down. Unfortunately, many people abuse their garbage disposals by treating them like garbage cans.
If you want your garbage disposal to function properly, do two things:
- Avoid overstuffing the disposal.
- Never put non-food products into it.
Starchy foods like potatoes, rice, and flour will gum up your drain, so dump those peels in the trash! Avoid pouring grease in the disposal, as it can harden and cause clogs.
Mistake #3: Overtightening Plumbing Connections
When a pipe springs a minor leak, it can be tempting to try and save a buck by fixing it yourself, but it’s easy to make a small issue worse. This can increase both the time it takes to fix and the cost of the repair.
One common mistake when attempting a DIY fix is overtightening connections. This extra strength could cause a crack to happen in your pipes. While the mistake might not be obvious right away, it will be if a leak causes puddles in your home.
This extra strength can also be an issue if you’re trying to undo a stuck shut-off valve. You could break off the knob and the valve stem.
If you aren’t sure how much strength to put behind your tightening efforts, play it safe, and call a plumber for advice.
Mistake #4: Forgetting to Winterize Your Home
Before winter arrives, it’s vital to disconnect your outdoor hose and turn off the water. If the water is on and connected to your house through winter, the pipes can easily freeze and burst, potentially causing a plumbing emergency. Too many people suffer from unnecessary flooding because they don’t realize they need to take this simple, but important step. It’s also a fairly easy task to forget about. Write it on your calendar, so you remember to take care of it before cold weather arrives. Or join C&W’s Ultimate Savings Club, and our licensed technicians will complete a 14-point inspection every year.
Pro Tip: Winterizing doesn’t just need to be done to outdoor pipes. Read our guide on insulating indoor pipes here.
Mistake #5: Tackling Projects Beyond Your Skill Level
It can be tempting to grab your plumbing toolbox when you encounter a plumbing problem and take it on yourself. While a reasonably informed amateur might be able to accomplish some minor plumbing repairs, there are many jobs that require extensive plumbing knowledge.
It’s important to be realistic about your skills. YouTube videos and other tutorials are helpful, but without prior knowledge and experience, even a dripping sink can become more serious.
If you decide you want to DIY a plumbing project, check out our guide for DIY plumbing tips here. And if you have any questions, call a professional. They have the experience and tools to help ensure everything is done right the first time around.
Mistake #6: Ignoring a Problem
If you’re noticing a problem with your plumbing, large or small, don’t ignore it. Even a small thing, like a dripping sink, can add up in the long run when it comes to your water bills.
Plumbing issues won’t go away if you ignore them; they will only get worse. And worse could mean extensive damage to your home and even higher repair bills when you do call a plumber. It’s best to call a professional as soon as you notice a problem.
Mistake #7: Neglecting Plumbing Maintenance
You shouldn’t only call a plumber when there’s a problem. Regular, annual maintenance can help ensure your plumbing is in working order. It can catch issues before they get worse—or even before they’re noticeable! This scheduled maintenance can also let you know of any aspects of your system that need to be replaced in the near future, allowing you to plan—and budget—ahead.
Preventative care also comes in handy if you decide to sell your house. If you know what’s going on, you won’t get a shock when it’s time for your home’s inspection just before the sale.Knowledge is power! Avoiding these common plumbing mistakes can help prevent bigger problems and expenses, or damage to your home.
Our trained, licensed, and experienced technicians get the job done right the first time, and we’re always available to answer plumbing questions! To schedule a repair, an installation, or to join our Ultimate Savings Club to get an annual maintenance check, give C&W Plumbing a call at 972-395-2597.
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