We all have prized possessions we go out of our way to take care of. Perhaps we never drink red wine or grape juice on a favorite light-colored couch, or we keep our most precious trinkets in an enclosed cabinet. These are signs that we value these items and want to enjoy them for many years to come.
Few people think to apply this same sense of responsibility to their plumbing. These vital systems remain out of sight and out of mind until catastrophe strikes, often at the most inconvenient times. With a little care and attention, however, a plumbing system can remain problem-free for years of reliable use.
Drains are pieces of the plumbing system that people interact with regularly. Whether it's sluicing away the last of the shaving cream from a razor or dumping a stale drink into the sink, we use our drains constantly throughout the day. This being the case, it is inevitable that we might inadvertently mistreat them.
Some common issues with household drains are caused by:
- Pouring grease down the drain. It's inconvenient to find a container to dump bacon, hamburger, or other greases into, especially in the heat of the moment when the bacon is burning and the grease has to go right that second. However, pouring grease down the drain is a recipe for a guaranteed clogged plumbing system. Always dispose of grease in the garbage once it is safely cooled.
- Putting small food items into the garbage disposal. While the garbage disposal can offer a convenient means for removing food waste, it does little to prevent small food items such as rice, beans, potato peels, and fibrous foods such as broccoli or asparagus from clogging the drain. Make sure to scrape your plates into a garbage can thoroughly before rinsing them.
- Removing pieces of the drain trap. While the thought of collecting waste water to use on outdoor plants may be appealing for eco-friendly reasons, it unfortunately comes with problems that should dissuade homeowners. Local health departments regulate the use of greywater. Furthermore, removing the sink trap or other parts of the system may allow sewer fumes to creep into the home
- Using too much drain cleaner. Judicious, careful use of drain cleaner can solve many clogged drain issues. However, overuse can damage pipes and create more plumbing problems.
Handy individuals are eager to make repairs to their places themselves. These well-intentioned improvements may do more harm than good, however. It is vital to understand the particulars of a project, and to not utilize features in ways they were not meant for. Examples include:
- Accidental damage to pipes in the walls. People who perform their own renovations may not thoroughly check their walls for pipes. This can lead to damage as they cut through the wall and damage the plumbing. Similar damage can be caused by nails and screws as well.
- Accidentally combining together the wrong pipes. Those who do their own plumbing work may not realize the troubles inherent to fusing together pipes of different materials. When metals such as steel and copper touch, they can have a corrosive chemical reaction. Proper dielectric unions must be used to prevent this.
- Utilizing vent pipes for purposes other than venting. While it can be tempting to run cables or other slender objects through vent pipes, this can create issues with venting.
If you are concerned about the health of your plumbing system, or need a plumber to help complete a project, contact Bill Fenwick Plumbing today. Our plumbing experts will be happy to assist you with all your needs!