Plumbing problems are the most prevalent issue for most households. They make up roughly 60% of all repairs that are done in our homes and they can also be the most damaging.
For example, let’s say your on holidays and your leaky toilet overflows. This kind of freak accident happens more often than you think and can ruin your home’s structural foundations by rotting wood and weakening floorboards as well as compromising electrical devices and power points.
So rather than an expensive repair job, you’re much better off taking some time to prevent the need for any emergency plumbing or worse. Here are a few insights from LJM Plumbing & Drainage on how to maintain your pipes and fittings to reduce the risks of a plumbing emergency.
1. Always Check and Monitor Your Water Pressure
The water pressure in your home could be the source of pipe breakages and other water related plumbing problems. It’s recommended that you check and monitor the water pressure and seal any fissures or leaks, and get to the cause of the problem before it escalates into something bigger.
2. Conduct a Toilet Maintenance Check
Sometimes you may suspect that your toilet is leaking, but you aren’t sure where. The best place to begin your check is the toilet tank. Sometimes the rubber cover located at the bottom of the tank (flapper) which releases water after a flush may warp and start leaking.
To confirm your doubts, add a few drops of food colouring in the tank and leave it overnight. If you find your bowl filled with the same colour, then you need to replace the flapper.
3. Regularly Clean your Tank
As time goes by, hard water limescale, bacteria, metal stains and mildew can accumulate in your tank. Since this is the same water that is used to flush the toilet, if you don’t clean your tank thoroughly, this tainted water can make your toilet bowls difficult to clean. To avoid this mess, clean your tank regularly.
4. Re-Caulk the Base of the Toilet
For some time now, there has been a serious discourse in the plumbing realm about the validity and usefulness of caulking the toilet base. What many people don’t know is that leaking from the inner part of the toilet is prevented by the layer of wax at the bottom of the commode and not by the waterproof caulking.
If the layer of the wax deteriorates, caulking restrains the water from getting out temporarily, and you might not see any leakage until later. However, caulking prevents the water from outside sources such as from the shower or overflow from getting under the toilet and rotting the floors. Furthermore, it looks aesthetically attractive.
5. Rinse Your Bowl Thoroughly
A shiny toilet is nice to look at, but this is not the main reason why it should be kept clean. Keeping the bowl clean helps to prevent clogging, corrosion and makes it easy to detect an incoming problem. An easy and natural way of keeping your bowl pristine is by cleaning siphon jets using a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water.
6. Avoid Pouring Cooking Oil Down The Drain
Most of the blockage in the drains especially the ones in the kitchen are caused by cooking grease. When cooking oil is sent through the kitchen drain, it cools, hardens up and blocks the drain. Instead of pouring it down the drain, put it in an empty juice or milk carton and dispose of it in the garbage. The drainage pipes will be efficient and will serve you for longer problem free.
7. Make Use of Drain Screens
Utilize cheap but quality metal or plastic drain screens in your bathtub, kitchen sink, and shower to prevent items such as food particles, toothpaste caps, hair and jewellery from going down the drain. You can also make use of plastic drain screens in your bathroom sink drains to stop soap slivers, hair, and other potent drain blockers.
8. Unblock Clogged Drains with Monthly Baking Soda Treatments
Instead of relying on expensive plumbing solutions such as toxic drain cleaning products, sprinkle ¼ cup of baking soda down the kitchen sink and bathtub drains, and flush with enough warm water to effectively get the powder down into the drain. Then, add 1 cup of white vinegar and let it stay there overnight to dissolve bacteria and scum and later flush the sinks with hot water in the morning.
9. Tighten Your Tap Handles Lightly To Prevent Leaky Faucets in The Future
Turn faucets off with moderation if you want them to last longer. Forcefully cranking the handles or over-tightening can make them fail faster and start leaking. If you’re looking for more water saving tips check out our previous post about conserving water.
10. Install A Hose Screen In Your Washing Machine
To increase the longevity of your washing machine, install affordable hose screens on cold and hot water hoses to keep sediments and other impurities from clogging the washing machine valves and pumps. Check to see if the screens have debris or deposits once or twice a year and replace them if they are worn out.
So there you have it, 10 easy ways to help reduce the risk of needing emergency plumbing. Of course this isn’t going to save you from all plumbing mishaps but it will keep your pipes and fittings healthy for longer!