Tips for Maintaining Your Household Plumbing

Pipes under a sinkKeeping your household drains in top shape can save you hundreds of dollars in plumbing bills. Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, having a good understanding of how your plumbing works is helpful in maintaining an efficient system. By changing a few habits, you can prevent the frequency of plumbing problems. The following tips can help weekend warriors prioritize plumbing tasks. It may also be a good idea to review these tips with everyone in the household:

  • Easy DIY plumbing maintenance differs for bathroom and kitchen drains. For cleaning drains in the bathroom, pour in at least one tablespoon of table salt followed by ¼ cup of vinegar. Let this mixture sit for about one hour. Run hot water to clear out all residual substances. Repeat for even better results.
  • In the kitchen, grease build-up can be addressed with liquid dish detergent and plenty of boiling water. Squirt a generous amount of dish liquid directly into your kitchen drain. Slowly pour a pot of boiling water into the drain. This method works because the boiling water melts grease deposits while the detergent dissolves the grease and oil. If buildup in your kitchen sink is bad, repeat this process 2-3 times.
  • It helps to pour boiling hot water down kitchen and bathroom sinks on a weekly basis. If this is too inconvenient, try for twice a month.
  • Cover drain openings with a grate to prevent hair, food pieces, and grease from clogging the pipes. Replace old or torn grates.
  • Make a habit of checking faucets and pipes for rust or damage. If it’s time for an upgrade, consider lead-free pipe options, as they are corrosion resistant.
  • Check your hot water tank at least once every six months. The average lifespan of a tank is 12 years, though they usually begin to have leaks or other problems well before.
  • Handle small problems with a few basic tools that can be purchased from A plunger, a pipe wrench, and a sewer snake will allow you to tackle dripping faucets, clogged drains, and blocked toilets with relative ease.
  • In the winter, insulate exposed pipes in the garage or other crawl spaces to prevent freezing.
  • Switch to biodegradable products to shield your pipes from harsh chemicals.