Plumbing is one of those things most homeowners dread. It can be costly when something breaks or isn’t working properly, not just with the cost or repairing the problem, but also due to the damage of water leaks or gas leaks.
Fortunately, most of these are available, if you know what to look for and take the right actions at the right time. Here are three tips and hacks to help you save money and avoid plumbing frustration.
#1 Say NO To Drano
When you experience a slow moving or clogged drain, most people generally reach for a bottle of consumer drain opener. While these chemicals are marketed very well, most professional plumbers will tell you these can do more damage than they do good. This is because these chemicals are very caustic, and while simply passing through the pipe may not cause any damage, when there is a blockage, the chemical sits, working on that block, but also continuing to provide heat and reaction to the pipe where it’s sitting.
Try a natural option for unclogging your pipe that will not cause the same damage as the acid in the drain openers: vinegar and baking soda. Yup, that stuff you used to make volcanoes from when you were a kid can also be used to help clear drains.
#2 Check Washing Machine Hoses
Most homeowners forget that the hoses to appliances will eventually wear out. Checking the hoses that run to these appliances, especially to your washing machine, at least one or two times per year, can save you a fortune being you can avoid not only a visit from a plumber to identify problem, but also the water damage likely to ensure from what normally starts as a slow unnoticed leak.
#3 Be Careful How You Use The Garbage Disposal
Many people are extremely excited when they get access to a garbage disposal. The thought is it takes out some of the hassle of the kitchen sink, because they can just grind and flush whatever goes down the drain. While this is good in theory, it can cause very substantial plumbing problems.
For instance, putting foods and liquids down the drain that are very greasy or oils can cause substantial blockages further down the pipe, resulting in major backups that are expensive to solve and fix.
Putting fibrous and stringy food like celery down the disposal can put too much strain on the motor and cause it to burn out. This is in part because the fibers get caught around the bladed spindle and add more resistance than it was intended to handle.
BONUS: How To Find a Professional When Needed
While many problems can be avoided and solved by the observant homeowner, there are some problems that still require a professional plumber to fix properly. To find a qualified plumber in your area, check sites like Angie’s List or Yelp, where you can read about the experiences of others before hiring someone to work with. This is a great way to save money when hiring a plumber and ensuring your have a positive and professional experience.