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What Not to Do to Your Plumbing

June 14, 2019

There are many home improvements you can make to prevent plumbing issues. But what mistakes should you avoid in your day-to-day habits as a homeowner? We’ve outlined what not to do to your plumbing, so you can prevent clogs, leaks, broken pipes, and sewer backups.

Don’t use a liquid drain cleaner

Drain cleaning 101: never use chemical liquid drain cleaner. Why? They’re usually made with a strong acid or base that won’t just break down hair and gunk. The chemicals could damage and warp pipes as well, causing leaks. Not only that, the caustic fumes can damage your lungs if inhaled.

Instead, call your plumber or use a plunger, drain snake, or a cleaning solution with natural bacteria and enzymes.   

Don’t pour coffee grounds or grease down the sink

Coffee grounds get clumped together in wet, heavy mounds and can clog your kitchen drain pipes. Grease doesn’t drain well, either. Food particles may stick to hardened grease and begin to rot, stinking up your kitchen.

Rather than rinsing coffee grounds down the sink, use a paper towel to wipe them off your filter holder and the counter when you spill. Pour used cooking oil or grease into a disposable container or plastic bag and throw it in the trash.

Don’t flush garbage down the toilet

Toilet paper is made to dissolve rapidly; other items are not. Toilets will dispose of waste, but not tissues, wipes, cat litter, or any other type of garbage even if it’s labeled “flushable.” They can get caught in the pipes and clog the drains, so you may be in for much more than a dirty plunger.

Instead, always keep a small trash bin in your bathroom, and when you feel tempted to toss that cotton swab in the porcelain throne, just don’t.

Don’t forget to shut off the water in a plumbing emergency

Scrambling to patch a broken pipe or find a bucket to catch leaking water will only go so far. Your efforts are better spent fixing the source of the problem: the water supply. In the event of burst or leaking pipes, reach for the shutoff valve so your home doesn’t sustain extensive damage.

Know where your valves are before a plumbing emergency strikes so you can turn off the closest water source as soon as possible.

Don’t attempt a DIY repair

There may be hundreds of DIY plumbing guides online and countless products on the market that will help you patch a leaking pipe, but you’re better off leaving it to the professionals. You could cause more damage by forgetting to turn off the water, using the wrong tools, overtightening bolts, and so much more.

Rely on Hanson’s Plumbing & Heating 24/7 emergency plumbing service throughout central Minnesota. We provide drain cleaning, video camera line drain inspection, garbage disposal service, sump pump replacement, and more. Whether you’re remodeling or looking to replace your water heater, we have all the plumbing services you need to get the job done. Contact us to learn more.

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