3 Things Plumbers Want Homeowners To Learn

Posted on: 6 February 2017

From buying furniture or décor to cleaning windows and shampooing carpets, the challenges of home ownership are easy to see. You may already understand the importance of cleaning and making basic repairs, but maintaining your home's plumbing and septic systems is also necessary. Not only are these systems essential for washing dishes and clothes, but your plumbing and septic is also crucial for bathing and removing waste from your home. Because these are necessary tasks for you and your family's needs, proper understanding of your plumbing and septic systems is imperative. Here are a few things plumbing contractors want homeowners to know about their plumbing and septic systems.

Water Heaters Don't Last Forever

Showers and baths, shaving at the sink, laundering clothes and linens, and even washing dishes all require hot water. This hot water is supplied from an appliance that is often forgotten. Many homeowners take their water heater for granted, believing it will last forever without any maintenance. Unfortunately, traditional water heaters only have a lifespan of between 8 and 12 years, but proper maintenance can extend the life of this important appliance.

Draining the tank of your water heater a few times per year is helpful for prolonging the life of your water heater.

After turning off the water and gas or electrical supply, connect one end of a hose to the drain valve and place the opposite end of the hose in a large bucket or outdoors. Then, turn the water supply back on to allow the water to flow through the tank and out of the drain valve. Allow it to run for a few minutes before shutting the water back off.

Flushing your water heater is effective for removing mineral deposits and sediment that is lingering inside the tank.

Don't Rely Heavily On Your Garbage Disposal

Having a garbage disposal is great for reducing the risk of clogs while rinsing and washing dishes, but most homeowners use the disposal in an excessively harsh manner. When you have food scraps in the sink drain, make sure your water is running before turning on the disposal.

Egg shells and small scraps of fruits or vegetables are easily broken down in the disposal. However, never place the following in your garbage disposal:

  • Plastic/Glass/Metal
  • Medications
  • Flammable/Combustible Liquids
  • Cigarette Butts/Chewing Tobacco
  • Bones

You should also clean the disposal regularly to remove leftover food debris and bacteria. Drop a few teaspoons of liquid dish soap into the sink drain, allow cold water to run, and then turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds.

Your Toilet Is Not a Trash Can

Whether used to clean the bathroom or clean yourself, most cleansing wipes that are deemed "flushable" should not actually be flushed down the toilet. While these wipes may be labeled biodegradable and safe for your septic systems, the materials are not easily broken down in the septic and sewer systems. Flushing these wipes can increase your risk of toilet clogs and even backed-up septic systems, so it is best to avoid placing these wipes in your toilet.

In addition, using your toilet as a trash can to dispose of other waste can damage your plumbing and septic lines. Avoid flushing large chunks of food, cigarette butts, and condoms down the toilet, as well. This debris is difficult to move through your toilet drain, but it can also build up inside your septic system, resulting in an expensive septic failure.

Also, avoid flushing medication down your toilet. You may think this is the best way to dispose of unused or expired medication, but the toxic chemicals are too harsh for the environment.

Plumbers can help with maintenance and repairs, but proper understanding can reduce your risk of plumbing and septic problems. With this guide, you will have a better grasp on protecting the lifespan of these important home systems. 

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Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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