The holidays are over, and hopefully your household made it through them with no plumbing disasters. Now, with the new year in full swing, it’s time to make some plumbing resolutions that will help ensure that 2022 flows just as smoothly (pun intended).
2022 New Year's Plumbing Resolutions for Sacramento Area Residents
1. Install Drain Strainers and Covers
Clumps of hair and soap scum can quickly build up in bathroom sinks and drains, causing slow drainage and backups. While it may seem like there’s not much you can do about this, a drain strainer and drain cover can work wonders and they’re more popular than ever (two have even recently been featured on Shark Tank, Drain Strain and DrainWig). Of course, you’ll find many other inexpensive and easy-to-use strainers and covers at your local hardware store too.
2. Clean Gutters and Storm Drains
January is the wettest weather month in Sacramento, which can leave some homes susceptible to flooding. To prevent flooding, clean out your gutters, which are made to divert water away from the home (we recommend hiring a professional for safety). Also, clean storm drains, which help the flow of water continue its journey away from the home. By removing obstructions caused by leaves, birds nests, and other debris, you can keep your home and the surrounding area dry even during the rainy season.
3. Go Easy on the Garbage Disposal
Sometimes, we have a tendency to treat our garbage disposal units as magical devices that can eliminate any kind of waste. However, as many homeowners know, there are many materials that can cause serious damage to the unit and clog the drain. This includes:
- Fibrous or stringy foods (such as celery or other tough vegetables)
- Rice, pasta, or bread-based products that can expand when exposed to moisture
- Peels (banana, potato, etc)
- Animal bones and fat
- Cooking oils and grease
- Coffee grounds
One item to throw down the disposal once a month? Ice cubes. This will help keep your blades sharpened.
4. Treat Your Toilet Kindly
Like the garbage disposal, we sometimes are a little tough on our toilets. People have been known to throw all the following into the porcelain throne:
- Sanitary napkins and hygiene products
- Cleansing wipes and facial pads
- Cotton balls and swabs
- Paper towels
- Cigarette butts
Of course, if you have kids in the home, even odder items may find their way into the toilet (check out some of the most unusual things found in pipes and drains). And one final pro tip: Even if the package says “flushable wipes,” don’t flush them.
5. Go Green
Is 2022 the year you’ll be remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room? Consider choosing water-efficient faucets and showerheads, and/or place a point-of-use water heater in areas where you consistently run the taps to heat water up. You can go green outdoors, too, by installing a drip-irrigation system instead of a new sprinkler. You might also ask a professional about setting up your own rainwater harvesting system to use for watering plants or washing your car. Even if you don’t plan to do any remodeling, it can pay off (financially and environmentally) to keep an eye on your water bill.
6. Flush Your Water Heater
If you have a traditional water heater in your home, drain and flush the unit once per year. An annual flush and all-around check to make sure all the parts are functioning well can help you avoid cold showers, save you money, and extend the life of your water heater by up to 15 years (or you could be looking at replacing it in 5-6 years).
7. Watch Your Washing Machine
Summer will be here before you know it, and that means a lot of dirty laundry. So, before the season of sweat begins, visually inspect the hoses and machine. The lifetime of a rubber washing machine hose should be replaced approximately every 3 years. Also, with the beautiful weather we have in Sacramento, California, think about hanging your clothes outside on a clothesline. Get a fresh scent, save money, and conserve electricity!
8. Water Your Lawn at the Right Time
We’re no stranger to water restrictions in California and mandatory cuts are likely in 2022. When you can water, make the most of it. The best time to water lawns and landscapes is in the early morning before the sun comes up and evening after the sun goes down. This helps prevent the water from being evaporated when the sun is shining and the heat is at its peak.
9. Get in Touch with Your Roots
Many California homeowners have trees and shrubbery planted in their lawns. Have you been keeping an eye on yours? Any kind of tree growth can cause roots to make their way to your sewer line in search of water. So, know the signs of root infestation in sewer lines, from green patches and odors in your lawn to unusual gurgling sounds in your pipes.
10. Schedule Routine Drain Cleaning
We saved our most important New Year’s plumbing resolution for last: Schedule routine drain cleaning. As Ben Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, don’t wait until there’s a costly emergency, and schedule regular maintenance to keep things flowing, extend the life of your pipes, and extend the cash in your wallet!
Residential Drain Cleaning and Sewer Maintenance with Express Sewer & Drain
At Express Sewer & Drain, we know you’d rather be focused on your new diet, workout routine, or other 2022 New Year’s resolution. However, make plumbing a priority this year and keep your household running smoothly! Of course, problems can still happen, which is why we’re standing by to handle your plumbing emergencies in Sacramento. We’re always here for you. And with that, have a happy and healthy new year!