As you can imagine, we get a lot of calls from people fix things that have broken or gone wrong. Sometimes there is no way around it and plumbing systems just wear out. But sometimes the problems can be prevented or diagnosed early before a major issue occurs.
Here are 5 preventable plumbing problems:
1. Clogged Drain Pipes
Kitchen sink drains are the biggest culprits, especially those using a garbage disposal. Clogs often develop over time by sludge accumulating in the pipes, which is essentially ground up food and waste particles. Often this can be prevented by simply running more water after using the sink or the garbage disposal. If your drain pipes are setup right, regularly running the water for a few extra seconds after using the sink can help push the gunk through your drain pipe and into the larger sewer pipe.
2. Clogged Toilets
Aside from not flushing too much toilet paper or the occasional toy tossed in by a toddler, pipe size and toilet type are the biggest causes of clogs. If a toilet drains into a pipe that is too small, the water will not empty fast enough and suction will be reduced, which makes your toilet prone to clogs. Likewise, not all toilets are created equal, and some drain too slowly, have pipes that are too small, or have worn out components in the tank that reduce effectiveness. If you have a problem toilet, get it look at before you have a major problem clog.
3. Sediment Filled Water Lines
A problem that is more often seen with well water, no one is immune to sediment slowly filling and choking water lines. This can eventually cripple a home’s plumbing systems. The simplest approach is to add a filtration system that filters every drop that comes into your home. This has numerous other potential benefits including better tasting water, healthier skin, and easier laundering. Whole home filter systems have dropped in price over the years and newer filters can backflush and clean themselves automatically and only need replaced every 10+ years.
4. Exploding Gas Pipes
Ok, usually the pipe doesn’t explode; it’s whatever is at the end of the pipe that’s at risk. Often when people add or maintenance gas stoves, furnaces, grills, heaters, or water tanks they make one of two critical mistakes. Either they do not turn the gas off before working or they do not create a proper seal with the gas fittings they are working with. There are a lot of potential do-it-yourself projects that you can call an expert to help with if you run into a roadblock. But gas projects are the least forgiving ones to mess up. Working with gas is serious business, it is best to just call a plumber who is D.O.T Gas Line Certified and make sure it gets done right and safely.
5. Sewer Backups
Sometimes sewer backups are caused by broken, obstructed, or collapsed pipes. If that happens you need to call a plumber quick. But sometimes they are preventable and are caused by bio-matter aka “gunk” that has just built up over time. In these cases, a non-toxic bio cleaner that is made up of bacterial enzymes can be added to your sewer system to literally eat away the gunk without harming your pipes. These products are organic but should still be administered by plumbers who have been trained to use them. Doing this before a major clog happens can save you untold headache.