The best DIY care practices for home plumbing systems are actually simpler than you might imagine. With homemade cleaning solutions, regular upkeep, and self-inspection know-how, there’s little reason you can’t maintain your pipes and keep them running well on your own. Using these plumbing maintenance tips, you should be able to go about your day without worrying about possible damages within your plumbing system.
Why You Need to Prioritize Plumbing Maintenance
What a lot of at-home drain and plumbing care comes down to is prevention. Just like it sounds, the goal of prevention when it comes to plumbing is to avoid pipe disasters by conducting regular inspections and utilizing proper drain treatments.
Without regular check-ins with your plumbing system, you might have issues flying under the radar. If you don’t know that these plumbing problems exist, then they may be left unattended for a long period of time, allowing for the problems to grow worse.
Not only does plumbing maintenance prevent possible issues, but it can also extend the lifespan of your pipes. Pipes that are deteriorating will need to be replaced sooner or later. But, pipes and other plumbing features that are routinely checked will last longer without any large scale issues to take care of.
Tools You’ll Need for Professional Grade Plumbing Care
For virtually any home care techniques, you’ll have to be sure you’re equipped for the tasks at hand. After all, how can you dismantle and clean out minor plumbing fixtures on your own, if you don’t have the right tools to do so? Attempting DIY drain cleaning without the best tools for the job can make matters much worse, and turn minor drain issues into pipe disasters.
For the best home plumbing care, try keeping all of the following items ready:
- A standard plunger, and if available, a sink plunger (sink plungers provide a tighter seal and pressurization for removing sink clogs)
- Standard wrenches, basin wrenches, pliers and pipe tools
- Hacksaws, if necessary
- Metal filing tools
- Tube cutting tools
- A large bucket, for any water spillage that can (and likely will) occur, depending on your plumbing need
If possible, we also recommend purchasing a drain snake, or auger, from your local home improvement store. These tools are what professional plumbers typically use to grasp and remove stubborn clogs and residual debris. If you keep a drain snake handy, you will be able to handle most drain clogs without ever needing expert assistance.
5 Helpful Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
There are many things you can do to keep your plumbing system in good condition. Here are some tips to keep your home’s plumbing systems at peak performance, limit buildup, and improve care for your pipes.
1. Your Drains Are Not a Trash Bin
For starters, never treat your drains or garbage disposal units as you would a trash bin. Starchy food products, cooking oils, paper products, animal bones, and expandable goods are leading causes of kitchen drain clogs. Be sure to dispose of contents such as these properly, and you can avoid most everyday kitchen drain buildup.
In bathrooms, never attempt to flush garbage, sanitary goods or regular paper products down your toilet, as these rarely dissolve and can easily result in frustrating, stubborn clogging. And, when clogs build up, you might be facing a greater health concern regarding harmful bacteria.
2. Utilize Drain Covers
Purchase and install drain covers or strainers in your bathroom sink, shower, and bathtub. Hair buildup is a common clogging agent in bathroom plumbing systems, which can quickly become a hassle to remove. Strainers and drain covers ensure that minimal hair finds its way into your pipes.
3. Conduct Routine Checks
One of the easiest ways to prevent issues with your plumbing system is to get into a regular maintenance routine. For instance, it’s a good idea to frequently flush your drain fixtures with hot water, as this alone can remove minor debris from your pipes and preserve flow quality.
Additionally, make sure you visually observe all fixtures, such as the pipes below your sinks and the area surrounding the base of your toilets. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it might be time to search for the root of the problem.
4. Clean the Aerator
If you’re experiencing poor water flow or pressure, the problem may not be your pipes, but your faucet aerator (the small piece at the tip of your faucet), which is used to prevent splashing and shape the water stream. To clean your aerator, all you have to do is unscrew it from the faucet body and scrub out residue with a small brush.
5. Create a Seasonal Checklist
Due to temperature changes, plumbing systems can be affected by the weather outside. So, you’ll need to make some adjustments each season to prevent any possible damages. This includes shutting off valves and disconnecting hoses in the winter months to prevent issues related to frozen pipes.
For Plumbing Emergencies, Don’t Wait to Call a Professional
No matter how well you care for your home plumbing or treat your drains, there are some cases where DIY treatment just isn’t going to cut it. Don’t let minor drainage or water pressure issues snowball into full-scale plumbing disasters. Know and acknowledge when it’s time to call the pros for an expert assessment of your plumbing.
In many cases, major plumbing disasters can be entirely avoided with professional inspection. While you should always self-inspect your pipes for performance issues, we recommend having an expert evaluate your plumbing at least once per year. Professionals have a trained eye for drain and plumbing issues, and can advise the most affordable, thorough plumbing solution for your system.
In Sacramento, these professionals are the experienced plumbing technicians at Express Sewer & Drain. Our years of experience in clearing drain pipes, restoring plumbing systems and renovating damaged pipes make us the area’s top provider of home plumbing services. If you can sense the imminent failure of your home plumbing systems, or feel uncomfortable taking on DIY care practices alone, don’t hesitate to contact us right away.