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5 Plumbing Problems and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Dec 27, 2018 9:50:00 AM

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Plumbing problems are never a fun thing to deal with, especially when they come as a surprise. Sometimes it can be difficult to predict problems with your plumbing system because so much of it is behind walls or underground. However, with the right tips and tools, many plumbing issues can be delayed or avoided completely. Let's take a look at 5 plumbing problems and how to avoid them.

Leaking Toilets

Toilet leaks typically happen when the flush valve or flapper in your toilet tank wears out over time. The flush valve is the mechanism that moves water from the tank and into the toilet bowl when you push down on the toilet handle. Sometimes the chain or lever that connects the flush valve to the toilet handle can become caught and keep the flapper open, putting your toilet into a constant state of flushing and filling. This process can waste hundreds of gallons of water and drive your monthly water bill up. If you have an older toilet, checking on the flush valve and flapper occasionally can help you recognize problems before they happen. Fortunately a new flush valve is a very inexpensive piece of equipment and installation is simple if you follow the instructions provided with the part!

Clogged Bathroom Drains

Bathroom drains include sinks, tubs, and showers. Many things can contribute to clogging a bathroom drain. Hair, makeup, dirt, fingernail clippings, beard shavings, etc. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that drains weren't really meant to handle all this debris. The easiest way to keep your bathroom drains from clogging is to be mindful of what you're allowing to put down the drain. However, if your drains are clogging, you can remove the grate or stopper, and use a plastic snake to attempt to pull out anything that could be caught in the drain. While there is a huge temptation to use them, we highly recommend avoiding chemical drain cleaners as they can cause chemical burns, corrode your pipes in the long run, and if left in the reach of children, could be ingested.

If your drains are still clogged after trying to remove any possible debris, you should give your local plumber a call. They'll be able to help you handle any bathroom drain problems you may be dealing with.

Backed up Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sinks (much like bathroom sinks) aren't designed for much more than water, soap, and very small food items to travel down their drains. However, people can often treat them like a secondary trash can. Fats and oils, soft cheeses, stringy foods, coffee grounds, and more can all cause your kitchen drains to clog. Make sure when you're cooking or cleaning up after meals that you're throwing these things in the trash can rather than washing them down your drain. The last thing you want is for your kitchen drain to start backing up and not be able to use it at all.

Water Heaters

Problems with water heaters aren't the most common, but fixing them can be very expensive. While designed to last 15-20 years, water heaters can break down over time. Things like leaks and ruptures can cause damage to your home, your plumbing system, and force you to replace your water heater completely. If you have an older water heater, be on the lookout for rust and leaks. If you notice any, call a plumber immediately to come take a look. Paying for a simple repair is much less stressful and costly than a full blown water heater replacement.

Broken Garbage Disposals

Last but not least, let's talk about garbage disposals. You've probably noticed we have many articles discussing what you should and shouldn't put down your garbage disposal. The reason we talk about it so much is because of how often we hear about broken garbage disposals due to very avoidable reasons.

The easiest way to avoid having to replace your garbage disposal is to pay attention to what you put in it. Animal bones, lemon rinds, ice, and other hard objects can blunt the blades making it much less effective at breaking down other foods. Additionally soft foods like cheese or bread can gum up the motor and cause it to burn out. Depending on your garbage disposal type and brand, the part itself can cost upwards of $300 and that's before installation. Avoid having to pay for a replacement garbage disposal by taking good care of it!

While you can't avoid every single plumbing problem out there, we hope the tips in this article will help you keep your homes plumbing in the best condition possible! It's easy to take your plumbing for granted until something bad happens. Avoid costly repairs and replacements by caring for you plumbing the right way!

If you find that you do have plumbing problems that need a little more than routine maintenance, give Ken's Plumbing a call! Our professionally trained and licensed plumbers would be more than happy to help you out. You can give us a call or contact us online to schedule your plumbing service today!

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Topics: Water Heaters, Garbage Disposals, Plumbing Tips