The ease of modern day plumbing is something we can take for granted until something goes wrong. The good news is that many of the common problems we experience are largely preventable. To ensure your plumbing continues to work smoothly, avoid these common mistakes that can ruin your plumbing and cost you time and money.
1. Your Toilet is Not a Trash Can
This is something many of us are guilty of. How many times have you tossed something into your toilet without stopping to think if it should really go in there? If you’ve been treating your toilet like a trash can, this is something you should stop doing immediately. Ideally only natural waste and toilet paper should go in your toilet and nothing else.
Many homeowners make the mistake of throwing things like food scraps, coffee grounds, and even cat litter in their toilets. These items can overflow the toilet, cause clogged pipes, and lead to expensive repairs by a plumber. Besides these issues, every clog weakens your pipes and shortens their lifespan, meaning you’ll need to replace them sooner than you once expected.
As an added reminder, only liquids should go down your drains. Keep these items out of your toilet:
- Coffee grounds
- Oils, fats, grease
- Cat litter
- Paper towels
- Cotton balls
2. Stop Pouring Grease Down the Drain
This is another common mistake that is detrimental to your plumbing. If you’ve been throwing away your weekend brunch bacon grease down the toilet or kitchen sink drain for years, now is the time to stop. The grease is not simply washed away once you run the tap. Instead, it hardens inside your pipes and can create a clog so severe only a plumber will be able to remove it.
Instead, allow grease to solidify and then dispose of it in the garbage. Some households will use old coffee cans to store grease and throw it out in one large batch as opposed to a little bit in the garbage here and there.
3. Attempting DIY Repairs
Unless you’re a licensed plumber, you should hold off on attempting to repair your own plumbing issues. A seemingly easy to repair problem could end up being much more difficult and involved than you first thought. The last thing you want to do is create a bigger problem that will end up costing you more money. If you’re at all unsure of what the problem is, be safe and contact a licensed plumber first. Not only will you save yourself the hassle, but you will also save time and money in the long run.
4. Crowding Pipes
This is something that might not have been entirely up to you but is something you can correct if you see it. When installing a new bathroom, there should be ample space between the plumbing, fixtures, and walls. If your toilet and sink are crowded too closely together, this can result in a number of issues, including being uncomfortable and bumping into things in an odd layout.
The same is true for the kitchen. Make sure there is enough space around the dishwasher and that it is far enough away from the sink so that both can function properly. If your kitchen or bathroom has any spacing issues, a plumber will be able to asses the situation and make the necessary changes.
5. Too Many Appliances Running At Once
Do you constantly have low water pressure in your home? This could be due to having too many appliances in your home that use water. For example, if you have a dishwasher, washing machine, and multiple 3 piece bathrooms throughout your home, it’s very likely that you could experience low water pressure.
One way to fix this issue is to be conscious of when you run each appliance. If you’re the kind of person who likes to multitask, doing your dishes, laundry and showering all at the same time could be negatively impacting all three tasks. Instead, set aside designated times to perform each task when you know the others aren’t happening. If this doesn’t help with your water pressure, consider hiring a plumber to take a closer look.
Now that you know some of the most common mistakes that ruin your plumbing, you can stop doing them to ensure your plumbing stays happy and healthy. Should there come a time when things aren’t running smoothly, you can always find a plumber on HomeStars to help.
Cover image courtesy of Bethany Dillon.