All too often, homeowners wind up losing money on expensive, thorough home plumbing repairs due to completely avoidable circumstances; primarily, how they treat their drains and handle maintenance. This is the easiest way homeowners can burden themselves with unnecessary repair expenses… and is completely avoidable should they learn the right drain cleaning and inspection behaviors to exercise.
Don’t wind up like these poor folks. Treat your home plumbing right, and it will do good by you in return; avoid making the following mistakes whenever possible.
Treating Your Disposal Like a Trash Bin
The most common way we see homeowners here in Sacramento destroy their home plumbing (and wind up costing themselves huge sums in the long run) is by throwing general waste down their sink’s disposal. While referred to as “garbage disposals,” these plumbing instruments are meant for biodegradable, easily processed food products only.
What this doesn’t include is:
- Most notably, food grease and excess fat
- Plastic products, such as wrappers
- Animal cartilage and bone fragments
- Overly fibrous, stringy foods (such as corn husks and celery)
- Similarly, overly starchy foods, such as vegetable peels and skins
Many Sacramento plumbing disasters are the end result of garbage disposal abuse. When homeowners cram impassable foods through their disposals, they only set themselves up for expensive, professional repairs down the line. These oils and other products build up within the drain pipes under disposals, and can result in real damage and performance issues should they linger on ignored.
Using the Wrong Techniques to “Fix” Your Drains
Almost as bad as abusing your garbage disposal is using the wrong techniques, tools and cleaners in attempts to repair or clean your drains. Very often, we find Sacramento homeowners get in far over their heads with DIY repairs, and wind up dealing more damage to their home plumbing and costing themselves greater in professional repairs later on.
If you’re going to try a DIY sink, faucet or drain pipe repair, make sure you know what you’re doing, understand how your plumbing works and have the right tools on-hand. These tools include:
- Basin wrenches
- Metal files
- Pipe wrenches
- The appropriate fittings and pipe sections (must meet the right measurements!)
- Hacksaws, for cutting out pipe sections, Hex-shaped wrenches
- Plumber’s snakes
Plumber’s snakes, in particular, are incredibly handy, professional tools that you can pick up at your local home improvement store; these are the same tools that the pros use in their drain cleaning jobs to dislodge and clear out clogs.
To properly use a plumber’s snake, all you have to do is push the snake mechanism through your drains, turning clockwise as your progress. Eventually, you might feel some resistance, or hear some metal-on-metal scratching as your push the tool through your drain; this is just the snake passing a curve in your drain pipes.
Continue until you come across the clog or obstruction, and keep turning clockwise until the tool “hooks” onto the clogged debris. Eventually, the tool will puncture through the clogged debris and come out on the other side. Now, all you have to do to clear the clog is pull the snake straight out of the drain pipe slowly and carefully, taking the clogged debris with it. It’s the standard application of a professional plumbing tool… one you can buy at your local home improvement store and use to clear your drains in minutes.
If you find yourself in over your head with DIY repairs, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumbing service right away. Abstaining from doing so will only worsen the situation, and possibly cost you more in repairs and renovations down the line. If you don’t feel prepared to fully handle a DIY repair, don’t try it. Contact a professional to make sure the job gets done right.
To avoid the need for repairs together, we at Express Sewer & Drain recommend you have your home plumbing inspected professionally once a year, and that you self-inspect your drains once per month. Know what Sacramento plumbing warning signs to look out for, and act fast if you notice changes in your plumbing performance or leaking anywhere in your plumbing system.
Careless Use of Chemical Cleaners
A final poor plumbing technique we see all too often in Sacramento plumbing systems is the overuse of chemical drain cleaners. Not only can these cleaners harm and corrode your drain pipes, but they can also post severe health risks to you and your family. The pressure and foaming additives that make these cleaners break down clogged materials can also eat away at your drain pipes, and result in costly, unnecessary plumbing repairs.
Instead, there are actually some home-remedies you can try, which have been proven to clear out moderate clogging and grime. For instance, soda product, vinegar and hot water cleanses. These cleansing methods use natural reactions and acids to break down clogged materials in your drain, in a much safer technique than by using the harmful additives in chemical cleaning products.
To learn more about how to save on your home plumbing by using the right cleaning practices, or for more information about professional Sacramento drain cleaning, contact us today. Our experts would be glad to speak to you about any of your home plumbing needs.