Even though you’re not a professional, it’s still important to know how to take care of things around your Minneapolis, MN, home. Maintaining your home is the best way to make sure everything stays in good shape for a long time, especially when it comes to your plumbing. Unfortunately, most people simply don’t know how to take good care of their plumbing system. If don’t want to spend a fortune having a plumber do major repairs to your home, here are some of the best tips for taking care of your plumbing system.
Treat Your Drains Right
One of the most important things you can do if you want to avoid spending money on plumbers is take good care of your drains. Most people don’t think a whole lot about what they put down their drains, but there are tons of everyday objects that can cause huge problems if you try to flush them or put them down the sink.
When it comes to your toilets, you should only be flushing toilet paper and waste down the drain. While there are wipes that are marketed as flushable, they don’t break down well enough in your drainpipe to truly be considered flushable. You should also avoid flushing things like makeup products and cotton swabs.
As far as your kitchen sink goes, you should try to minimize the amount of food you put down the drain. Even if you have a garbage disposal, your kitchen sink drain isn’t designed to handle large amounts of food. Over time, this food will build up and cause a clog. There are some foods in particular that you should always avoid, including coffee grounds, bones, eggshells, fats and greasy foods.
In addition to being careful about what you’re putting down your drains, you also need to use the right type of drain cleaner. Most plumbers advise against using chemical-based drain cleaners such as Drano. Instead, it’s best to use an enzyme-based cleaner that eats away at the clog without corroding your pipes or causing further problems.
Prepare for Winter
For the most part, you don’t have to do a ton of stuff to prepare your plumbing system for the various seasons. However, one of the most important things you can do if you want to avoid an expensive call to your plumber is make sure your pipes are prepared for the winter.
When temperatures start to drop, the water in some pipes in your home may be susceptible to freezing. This is generally a problem with pipes that are located on an outside wall or in a poorly insulated area. When these pipes freeze, the water inside them expands and can break the pipe. When the pipes thaw out again, hundreds of gallons of water will come spewing out, causing tons of damage and costing you a fortune on your water bill.
Preparing your pipes for winter means having a plumber look at your home to locate problem pipes. If a pipe is in a poorly insulated area, they may add some insulation around it. If you’ve got pipes in a garage or some other outdoor area that’s difficult to insulate properly, a plumber can wrap them in heat tape to keep them from freezing during the winter.
Watch Your Water Bill
Since most of the pipes in your home are located inside the walls and ceilings, it can be hard to determine when you’ve got a problem with your plumbing. One of the best things you can do is keep an eye on your water bill to see if it fluctuates. If you suddenly find yourself using a lot more water and you haven’t made any drastic changes, chances are you’ve got a problem.
Most of the time, an expensive water bill can be explained by a leak somewhere in your Minneapolis, MN, home. If you have an unusually high-water bill, you should have a plumber inspect your pipes for leaks and fix any leaks that may be present. In some cases, an increase in your water bill may be caused by a toilet that’s constantly running. Fortunately, that’s a fairly easy problem to fix.
Water Heater Temperature
If you want to get the most out of your water heater, it’s important to set the temperature properly. You can do this using a dial on the outside of the water heater. As tempting as it may be to lower the temperature to reduce stress, that’s not the best idea.
Any good plumber will tell you it’s important to have your water heater set to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit to kill legionella. As long as you set your water heater to 120 degrees or higher, you’re good to go.
Another thing you want to keep an eye out for when it comes to your plumbing is the hardness of your water. Hard water is full of minerals, which tend to accelerate wear and tear on fixtures and appliances in your home. If the water in your home is hard, investing in a water softener could greatly extend the lifespan of things like your water heater and washing machine. Another benefit to softening your water is the fact that things like shower heads and faucets will stay a lot cleaner without all that mineral buildup.
Get Some Help
At the end of the day, taking care of your plumbing system is a lot of work. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. Knowing when to call a plumber is the best thing you can do to keep your plumbing system in great shape.
If you’re looking for help getting a drain unclogged or repiping your home, Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains of Minneapolis, MN, can help. Next time you need a plumber to help you take care of your plumbing system, give us a call at (952) 213-3642.