There are a number of frustrating plumbing problems that homeowners are likely to encounter throughout the years. This is especially true for those with busy households and lots of people and needs to accommodate. Fortunately, the plumbing tips that follow make it easy for consumers to keep their plumbing systems running efficiently while controlling their ownership costs. By doing this, you will save money by not having to hire a Portland Plumber.
Prevention will always be the most effective and affordable way to preserve the integrity of your home plumbing system. Thus, it is well-worth the effort that it takes to set up firm household rules concerning the use of different plumbing features. This is certainly the case in bathrooms. Commodes should not be subjected to any items or materials that will not easily degrade once they have been flushed down. Even if you have a high-powered commode that is capable of processing large amounts of waste, the connected pipes may not be able to handle large collections of debris that will not break down. The bathroom is where most clogs and overflows occur and these are usually highly preventable.
It is often best to make sure that there is an acceptable way to discard of items that cannot be flushed, particularly those things that are very personal in nature. Having a covered wastebasket for the disposal of feminine hygiene products is the best thing that you can do to keep these out of your plumbing system. When people can get rid of non-flushable items discreetly, they are less likely to secret them away in the toilet. Also, if you are putting out paper towels for people to dry their hands, make sure that everyone knows to toss these in a wastebasket, rather than attempting to flush them down. These heavy-duty paper products can create a major blockage in the plumbing system. It is often best to use hand towels instead as these can be washed and reused and they will not have any impact on your commodes.
This same level of diligence needs to be practiced in all bathing areas. For instance, small children shouldn’t be allowed to take bath with toys that are small enough to travel down drains and become lodged here. You should also check larger toys for small parts that can be detached. Hair accessories and the tops to toiletry items can also create clogs and thus, you should have a shelf in the shower or nearby where these things can be placed. One of the most effective ways to prevent major plumbing problems is to invest in drain covers. You can purchase these at the hardware store or your local Plumber. A drain cover will catch accumulations of hair and other organic debris, before these travel down into the pipes.
When showers start to drain slow, try putting a bit of baking soda and white vinegar in these areas. You can mix equal parts of these products directly in the drain in order to create a foaming drain cleaner that will break down soap scum and trapped hair in these areas. Best of all, this solution is not corrosive. Unlike store-bought drain cleaners, it will not eat through your pipes or pose any significant threat to the user.
You can also make your shower head run more efficiently with this mixture. Simply unscrew the shower head and soak it overnight in white vinegar. This will break down mineral deposits that have resulted from hard water. You can then add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to flush the unit out before rinsing it thoroughly with water and putting it back in place. A push pin can be used to force stubborn mineral deposits out of the perforated holes in the shower head if soaking is not sufficient.
In the kitchen, you want to work diligently to keep your drains clear and smelling fresh. Regularly using your garbage disposal can actually extend its lifetime. Make sure that you always run warm water while using this appliance and that you are not subjected it to too much food at any one time. If it every stops working, turn the unit off entirely. Reach down and see if your can find and remove the obstruction. Once your hand is out of the disposal area and away from the sharp interior blades, plug the unit back in and turn it on. If this doesn’t work, reach beneath the unit and depress the red, reset button and try again.
To keep your kitchen drains smelling fresh, try putting a small amount of lemon or orange peel through your garbage disposal. You can also run warm water while the unit is running and drop in several drops of a scented, essential oil. Although putting oil down your drains is not recommended, peppermint oil, orange oil and other essential oils will not clog your pipes. A very nominal amount of these can actually help break up accumulations of organic debris that make the sink drain slowly. They can also discourage the development of drain gnats and foul odors in these areas.
Homeowners who own older homes have to take care to ensure that the clay pipes at the property exterior are not becoming clogged. These types of pipes are frequently permeated and entered by weeds and tree roots. Thus, efforts to pull up weeds in your backyard can help you avoid a number of costly overflows. You can even try flushing a small amount of weed killer down your toilet in order to kill off any weeds that have already encroached your pipes. Due to the negative impact that weed killers can have on local water supplies, however, this is only a very short-term solution and one that you should only use when circumstances are dire.
Once weeds have encroached clay pipes, you want to be extra careful to avoid flushing anything that can get caught up on these, thereby leading to a blockage. It is important to avoid flushing baby wipes, even if these are designed to be flushed. These products do not degrade sufficiently within the plumbing system for passing by the natural obstacles that tree roots and weeds represent. When major problems like these develop, it is important to contact a Portland plumbing professional in order to avoid a whole house backup.