In our 50 years of experience, we’ve seen a variety of plumbing problems from a simple leak to a complete disaster. But did you know that the majority of plumbing problems are caused by you, the homeowner?! Most often extensive plumbing repairs are the result of careless use and poor maintenance techniques. Here are the most common plumbing mistakes homeowners (like you!) make and how you can avoid them:
- Ignoring signs of plumbing failure:A homeowner may see and acknowledge the signs of a plumbing problem, but put them off until later, or ignore the issue altogether. When you don’t take immediate action to keep your pipes running effectively, you create conditions in which these issues and minor symptoms can snowball into full-blown plumbing disasters.
When you notice frequent drain clogging, insufficient water flow and pressure, leaks and irregular water concentrations, act. Too often, major plumbing problems are the result of homeowners letting smaller, minor problems slip by; these indicators will often worsen over time, and require extensive plumbing repairs later on if left untended to.
- Poor and irregular plumbing maintenance: You shouldn’t wait for the warning signs of plumbing failure to maintain your pipes; a regular, once a month self-inspection could help prevent a variety of future plumbing problems. The key to plumbing self-inspections is prevention. With a regular inspection schedule, you can stay ahead of any plumbing issues and resolve them proactively, before they develop into disasters.
Additionally, we recommend having a professional plumbing inspection at least once per year. Trained specialists will have a stronger eye for plumbing issues you may not even be aware of, so having that input could save you money in the long run, should they catch an undetectable warning sign early. The experts at Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. provides yearly water treatment, pressure system and water heater inspections to help you detect problems. Contact us today to set up your annual visit!
- Excessive use of chemicals: Another common plumbing mistake we see all the time is the gratuitous use of chemical cleaning products (Drain-O) to dislodge clogged drains. These products, while an emergency solution for minor clogging and grime buildup, can actually harm your pipes after extensive use, as the chemical reactions that make these products work can eat away at inner pipe walls, and are even dangerous upon contact in some conditions.
Instead, we recommend less harmful home remedy solutions, such as simple vinegar and baking soda solutions, or even a hot water flush. Simply filling you tub and sinks with hot water approx. once a month and then releasing the drain to let the natural water pressure clean your drain will work great at preventing drain clogs. Chemical cleaners can be counterproductive when run through your plumbing systems; instead, opt for equally effective, much safer alternatives.
- Careless drain use behaviors: Many plumbing problems also come from poor treatment of pipes, drains, garbage disposals and sewer systems. Often, homeowners run whatever they want through their plumbing, thinking their pipes and disposal systems can take it; however, this is a grave mistake, and very commonly leads to severe pipe damage and buildup later on.
Know what can and cannot cycle through your garbage disposal and sewer systems. For instance, avoid running fibrous, stringy foods, plastic wrappers, animal bones and excess fat/grease in your in-sink garbage disposal. These agents can damage your disposal’s blades, and very often cause significant buildups within home pipe systems. Also be careful what you put down your toilet and sinks. Things like baby wipes, household cleaning wipes, kids toys and kleenex should not be flushed down the toilet, but rather disposed of in the garbage.
- Attempting DIY repairs, unprepared: Another extremely common (and extremely risky) plumbing mistake we come across occurs when homeowners attempt DIY plumbing repairs without the right tools, techniques or system know-how to effectively resolve their plumbing issues. Frankly, it’s better to seek a specialist’s opinion than to get in over your head with difficult DIY repairs.
However, if you do attempt DIY repairs to fix issues with your home plumbing, it’s important that you have the right tools on hand and also make sure you know fully what part of your plumbing system is causing a problem, and how best to fix that problem. With something as sensitive as plumbing, you don’t want to go in “blind” and make matters worse. It is not uncommon for Hunter Plumbing to receive emergency service calls from angry wives whose husbands have tried to fix a plumbing issue themselves and, in fact, made it worse.
- Not getting help when you need it: The above point, of course, leads us to one of the biggest plumbing mistakes you can make: not getting professional help when it’s necessary. Yes, calling your local plumbing specialist and having an expert inspection and renovation will cost you money… but it will be cheaper than ignoring the problem, or attempting DIY repairs.
If you find yourself in over your head with pipe damages or failed DIY repairs, contact the professionals at Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc.! Not getting the help you need when you need it, or putting off calling an expert until later, are some of the worst mistakes you can make with issues in your home plumbing. Don’t make these careless plumbing mistakes; take care of your drains and pipes, and call a professional when necessary.
Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. provides specialized sewer system repairs, waterline & water service upgrades, drain cleaning, backflow installations & certifications, lead pipe replacement, re-piping and emergency plumbing services to Princeton, Woodstock, Brantford, Burford, Paris and surrounding areas. We use the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem, and provide fast 24/7 emergency service! Contact us today!