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Did you know that plumbing waste pipes can last at least five decades? Likewise, water lines, including copper and plastic, can last 50 years or more.
However, those estimates still depend on proper plumbing maintenance. Without this, your residential plumbing system and its components can break down sooner.
To that end, we created this guide on the top plumbing maintenance mistakes you should avoid at all costs. Read on to discover what they are so you can steer clear of them.
1. Relying Too Much on Drain Cleaners
In 2019, U.S. poison centers received over 8,000 reports of caustic drain and toilet cleaner exposure. Unfortunately, many of these incidents resulted in severe injuries and poisoning.
After all, many drain and toilet cleaners use caustic agents and acids. These are very potent chemicals that break up organic matter. That’s how they can work against drain clogs, and is also why they can harm humans and animals.
Overusing such potent chemicals can also damage and corrode pipes.
So instead of using drain cleaners, use a plunger to unclog a sink or toilet. Alternatively, you can pour some baking soda and vinegar to address minor blockages.
If none of those safer methods do the trick, then it’s time to call a professional plumber for help.
2. Over-tightening Connections
A vital task to include in your plumbing maintenance routine is to check pipes for tightness. These include drain and supply pipes under sinks and those for your washing machine. You must then ensure they’re properly connected to prevent leaks.
At the same time, you should avoid over-tightening their connections. Otherwise, that can damage their fasteners and fittings. That can then make the pipe joints more prone to bursting.
You’ll face more expensive water damage if that happens. Indeed, just one inch of water in your home can leave you with $25,000 worth of damage. And if that water is full of sewage or waste, it’s also dangerous as it’s full of disease-causing germs.
3. Fixing Only Visible Leaks
Never ignore plumbing leaks; immediately fix them with some plumber’s tape. Make sure you turn off your main water supply valve before doing DIY pipe repairs.
However, just as crucial is never to assume that all plumbing leaks are easy to spot. Remember, most pipes are inside walls and ceilings and under the floors. So when they leak, you likely won’t notice them immediately.
Some signs of hidden pipe leaks are moldy smells, elevated indoor humidity, and stuffy air. If the leak is massive enough, you may experience reduced water pressure. Likewise, your water bills will increase significantly.
If you can’t determine the leak source, it’s best to call a local professional plumber.
4. Not Using or Cleaning Drain Screens
Drain screens can make plumbing maintenance easier since they help keep pipes clean. After all, they filter debris, such as food scraps, soap bits, hair, and items you may drop accidentally. You can then throw whatever they catch into the trash, rinse them, and put them back over the drain.
Thus, if you haven’t been using drain screens, get a few for your kitchen sink now. Do the same for your bathroom sink as well as your floor drains.
Avoid These Plumbing Maintenance Mistakes
As long-lasting as plumbing systems are, they can degrade sooner if not cared for properly. That’s enough reason to avoid committing the plumbing maintenance mistakes discussed above. Lastly, don’t forget to schedule annual professional plumbing inspections and servicing.
If you’re ready to get your plumbing system serviced by experts, Academy Plumbing is happy to help. Call us now for a free quote or to schedule your service!