How To Prevent Expensive Plumbing Repairs

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Your home's plumbing is a basic yet crucial system that provides you with clean water while also flushing out wastewater. Unfortunately, most homeowners neglect their plumbing until a pipe bursts or when water comes out discolored or bearing a foul odor. At this point, extensive damage has been incurred and expensive plumbing repairs are the only way out. Avoid paying big by preventing expensive plumbing repairs with these eight tips:

Avoid Touching Any Exposed Pipes

Some parts of your plumbing are exposed by way of your laundry room, basement, or an uncovered space on the ceiling. Some homeowners seem to think it's harmless to use these exposed pipes for something other than their intended function, i.e. hanging clothes on the pipe. This extra weight can gradually loosen the joints and bolts and cause the pipe to leak faster and more frequently.

Identify High-Risk Areas of Your Home

Your bathroom is perhaps the most at-risk space in your home, followed by your kitchen. Avoid flushing anything that your toilet cannot easily pass, such as plastic materials, heavy chemicals, etcetera. Switch to toilet paper that is labeled as "septic safe" for easier flushing. As for your kitchen, watch what you throw out in your sink or garbage disposal system. While many garbage disposal systems can process food scraps, a more plumbing-friendly solution to getting rid of food scraps is by disposing of them in a waste and compost bucket. This way, you take care of your plumbing while also collecting a compost pile you can use for your garden.

Prep Your Pipes For the Winter

Water pipes are especially vulnerable during wintertime as they tend to freeze. Unfreezing these waterways can cost $200 or more, depending on the extent of frostbite damage sustained by your plumbing system. If your plumber concludes that a water main line replacement is necessary, you're looking at anywhere between $500 to $3,000 in plumbing services. Prep your plumbing through proper insulation, sealing any cracks and openings, and using heat tape for pipes.

Check Your Faucets

A leaky faucet may be a telltale sign of extensive and costly plumbing damage. Left unchecked, this water leak can lead to mineral deposit buildup in your household's water heater. This, in turn, leads to clogging that lowers the water pressure level. If you notice anything abnormal with your faucet, it's best to have a professional plumber perform a thorough inspection of your home's plumbing and, if needed, flush your water heater routinely.

Use Drain Covers

These strainers help keep hair and food out of your kitchen and bathtub drains that can otherwise enter the pipes. Drain strainers cost little but can avoid expensive water pipe repairs by controlling what gets into the pipes and what gets blocked. A drain strainer is also a cheaper and more environmental-friendly alternative to drain chemical clog removers.

Consider Trenchless Repair

Trenchless pipe repair involves carrying out the necessary plumbing work without digging an open trench. Open trenches typically require more manpower, time, and equipment, which ultimately increases repair costs. With trenchless repairs, you end up with labor that causes less overall structural damage, has a faster completion time, and saves you more money.

Clean Your Drains Regularly

Over time your sink’s pipes can become clogged. This can lead to an expensive repair if not regularly maintained. It is recommended that you clean your drains at least once a year. This is especially important in the bathroom as over time toothpaste can build up residue and ruin your sink’s pipes. To remove this residue you can use a combination of a drain snake, draino, and accordion plunger.

Consider Touchless Upgrades

Replacing your old and dated fixtures can significantly lower future plumbing costs. For example, a touchless faucet reduces the risk of germ transmission and costs less to repair and replace since there are fewer parts involved, i.e. no handles, cartridges, or rubber washers. And while it initially costs money to upgrade to these touchless options, the upgrades pay for themselves over time through water conservation and reduced water bills.

Invest In A Backflow Prevention System

Backflow prevention systems are instruments tacked onto a pipe that effectively limits water flow to a single direction. This prevents the backflow of wastewater into your home's main water supply while still allowing water from the city's public supply to flow into your home pipes. You can learn more about how a BPS works and its benefits when you consult your local plumber.

In many cases, expensive plumbing repairs can be prevented by making simple behavioral modifications, such as avoiding the use of strong and toxic chemicals that can corrode pipes and installing newer and more efficient fixtures that can better regulate water flow.

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