Very often we tend to neglect the network of sewer and water pipes inside our homes. But if you provide your plumbing system little regular attention, you can prevent leaks, prolong its life and avoid expensive repairs.
Here are some tips for regular maintenance of your plumbing and sewer system:
- Avoid harsh chemicals
The most common plumbing problem in your homes is clogging of drains. You can purchase chemicals meant to clear them. But such products may do more harm than good. In reality, they can corrode your drain pipes made of cast-iron. Also, they are unable to remove the whole clog, and the problem recurs causing more and more use of harmful chemicals.
The better option is to hire professional plumbers or drain cleaning specialists, who can remove all the hair and grease clogging the drain. You can even go the DIY way by buying a snake and try to unclog the drain all by yourself.
- Take care of what is flushed and drained
The sewer system is more sensitive than you think, so think twice before flushing anything down the drain. Note that wrappers, diapers, paper towels, and sanitary napkins can clog your drain. Even for that matter- dental floss and cotton swabs.
With regard to the kitchen and laundry room sinks, the worst things that will cause clogging are cooking fats and food waste. Avoid flushing down dangerous chemicals like insecticides and pesticides. So also, do the same for solvents, thinners, and paints. Instead, take these to the nearby hazardous waste collection centre.
Also, take care not to flush down medications and drugs. They will cause harm to health by contaminating the whole system, by seeping into the supplies of drinking water.
- Reduce pressure
Though water of high pressure will help you have a good bath, it will stress your pipes enhancing the chances of leaks. This will reduce the life of your plumbing and make your faucets, appliance valves, and pipe joints work harder.
You can measure the water pressure with a hose bib gauge from hardware stores. Attach to an external spigot and open the line. Normal pressure will count between 40 and 85 psi. If it is above the range, you must hire a plumber to install a pressure reducer.
- Soften the water
In case your water has high mineral content (hard water), it can shorten the lifespan of your plumbing system. Naturally occurring minerals like calcium or magnesium build up inside your pipes and restrict flow, boosting the pressure. Also, they can corrode fittings and joints.
A tell-tale sign of hard water is a white build-up on faucets and shower heads. The only solution for hard water is the installation of a water softener. This may be made of sodium or most recently, from electromagnetic pulses which dissolve minerals.
- Clear your sewer lines and septic tanks
In case you have municipal sewers, hire a professional to snake your main sewage line, every few years. This will help remove roots of plants and trees which have made their way into the sewage system. In case you have a septic tank, get the tank pumped out, every 3 to 5 years.
These are some top tips for maintaining your plumbing and sewage systems.