Taking care of your pipes does a lot more for your home than you think. By taking the time to clean your pipes on a regular basis, you can keep your plumbing and utility bills under control. Basic maintenance is usually enough to prevent your plumbing system from giving you trouble. This blog post looks at some tips that will help you fight clogs, limescale build-up and increase the longevity of your plumbing system.
1. Work On Softening Your Water
The softer your water, the longer your plumbing will last. Water with high mineral content is known as hard water. The naturally occurring minerals in hard water such as magnesium and calcium build up inside your pipes and cause blockages. The minerals from hard water can also corrode your joints and fittings which causes costly repairs. If you notice a white buildup on your showerheads and faucets, then you have hard water. You can also check with your municipal water service to see how hard the water in your area is. Anything over 140 parts per million is considered hard.
The only practical way to deal with hard water is to install a water softener. Water softeners work to dissolve the minerals in your water. Traditional softeners dissolve the minerals by adding sodium. However, new electronic softeners can simply get rid of the minerals with electromagnetic pulses. Water softeners give you clean drinking water that’s also better for your skin and your hair. You’ll also reduce the stress on your pipes and diminish the frequency of repairs.
2. Consider Reducing Your Water Pressure
Reducing your water pressure is an often overlooked way of taking care of your pipes. High water pressure puts additional stress on your pipes and drastically reduces their lifespan. High water pressure makes your pipe joints, faucets and appliance valves work harder. Adding a low flow showerhead only affects the water coming out, the pressure will remain the same inside your pipes. You’ll need to hire a plumber to install pressure reducer which is an investment that will reduce the number of repairs necessary over the years.
3. Attack Small Problems While They’re Still Small
While a leaky faucet may seem like a minor annoyance, it’s actually something that’s important to address right away. The leaked moisture puts additional wear on your sink fixtures and encourages mold and mildew to grow. If you see small puddles around your home, find the problem and deal with it as soon as possible. Regularly check behind your fridge for puddles to make sure your icemaker isn’t leaking. Small puddles can indicate bigger problems than a large puddle since small puddles mean your floor is absorbing some of the liquid. Jump on these problems before the damage is permanent.
4. Prevent Clogs Before They Happen
Being protective of what goes down your drain is an excellent way to stop clogs before they happen. Every clog puts additional pressure on your pipes which stresses them and shortens their lifespan. Keeping food scraps, hair and other debris out of your sink will help you avoid clogs. Install screens over the drains in your home and clean out the screens every few weeks. Never put oil down the drain since it congeals inside your pipes and causes buildup that’s next to impossible to remove. Pour your grease in a sealable container to put in the garbage. Grease is only liquid when it’s hot, once it cools inside your pipes it coats the sides like a clogged artery.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to problems with your plumbing. Plumbing issues can quickly escalate if not taking care of right away. Remember that plumbers are available to you in more than just crisis situations. They can install devices and make recommendations that help your drain system last longer without repairs.