We all make mistakes. It’s a big part of how we learn and grow. But when it comes to your home’s plumbing system, it’s better if you can learn from someone else’s mistakes. Here are six seemingly minor plumbing mistakes that could end up causing a whole lot of damage and wrecking your entire home.
1. Flushing Anything but Toilet Paper
Despite what the packaging says, there’s no such thing as a “flushable wipe.” Feminine hygiene products, wet wipes, paper towel, tissues or anything else that isn’t toilet paper should never be flushed. They may make it down the toilet, but they are likely creating a partial blockage further down the line that will eventually completely clog and could cause your entire plumbing system to back up.
2. Letting Grease Go Down the Drain
Grease is one of the biggest kitchen-sink hazards. It might seem harmless enough when it’s hot and liquefied, but as soon as it hits the cooler pipe and faucet water it congeals and creates a thick, gunky buildup on your pipe walls that can only be removed by a process called hydro-jetting. A better solution is to pour it into a contain and dispose of it in the trash or how ever your local waste-removal service recommends.
3. Using Aggressive Drain Cleaners
We strongly urge against using chemical drain cleaners in any situation as they can be damaging to your pipes and don’t always even reach the clog. However, liquid drain cleaners can be helpful in certain situations, if used properly. It’s important that use the right one not only for the type of plumbing you have but also the type of clog you have – not just the most powerful one you can buy. Make sure the solution doesn’t come into contact with any fixtures, that you follow all safety precautions and avoid contact with your skin, eyes, or clothing.
4. Treating Your Garbage Disposal Like a Garbage Can
Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love garbage disposals. They make meal prep and cleanup so much easier, but it’s important not to abuse them. There are certain things they just weren’t designed to handle and ignoring that can not only be environmentally unsound, but it can also wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system causing serious damage to the garbage disposal and your pipes.
5. Forgetting to Winterize Your Pipes
This is a big one for us in Minnesota and we can’t stress enough about the importance of protecting your pipes from the inevitable below zero temperatures that happen every winter. When it gets cold enough, water in your home’s pipes can freeze, and when it freezes it expands. This creates pressure inside the pipes and can cause them to burst. You can find more information on frozen pipe repair and prevention here.
6. Not Knowing Where or How to Shut Off Your Water
It’s not very often that you need to shut off the water to your home or a fixture, but in an emergency situation or when doing a repair, you’re going to want to know exactly how and where to shut off your water. Your home’s main shutoff should be close to where the main water supply pipe comes into your home. Additionally, each sink and toilet should have its own shutoff on the pipe that supplies water directly to it. They should be located near the fixture, commonly directly below it. Not being able to quickly shut off your water during an emergency could be an extremely costly mistake. To make sure yours will work when you need it to, it’s a good idea to test your shut off valves once a year to prevent them from seizing up.
Calling Plumbing Experts When You Need Help is Never a Mistake
No matter what’s happening with your plumbing, it is never a mistake to call a trusted professional for help when you think you need it. Whether it’s because of a mistake you made or not, if you are in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area and need help with your plumbing, you can call One Hour Rooter at (651) 217-8439 . We’ve got your back no matter what with quick, professional plumbing & drain cleaning services.