5 Household Plumbing Tips from the Best Plumbers Around
At EVERYDAYPLUMBER.com we like to share our expertise and offer our Tampa Bay area plumbing customers helpful tips. Tips that can prevent problems from arising or becoming overwhelming. One of the first things we recommend is to make an appointment for a plumber to visit your home to complete a full inspection of you property and diagnose any plumbing repairs you may need. We can point out the potential issues you have. Give you several repair options. Also provide a written estimate.
We look forward to being your local plumber of choice in Sarasota, Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Bradenton. Below are 5 plumbing tips for toilets, kitchen sinks, bathtubs and bath sinks, garbage disposals, and washing machines.
1. Toilet Plumbing Tips
Many clogs are a result of foreign objects that become lodged in your drains or sewer. Packaging on many products can be very misleading. Despite what you might read or hear, the only product that should be flushed down your toilet is toilet paper. Sanitary napkins, tampons, cotton balls, facial cleansing pads, cleaning wipes, cigarette butts, and other products do not break down adequately and should be thrown in a trash can. In the event of an overflow, know how to shut off the water supply to the toilet until a plumber can arrive.
Some toilet clogs are a result of more serious blockages further down the drain line. No amount of plunging or chemical drain cleaners will clear the clog. If you find yourself with a toilet clog that you cannot remedy on your own, be sure to only call a reputable, licensed plumbing company that will guarantee their work and has the on-line reviews to back them up.
2. Kitchen Sink Plumbing Tips
Avoid a kitchen sink clog before it happens. Never pour cooking oil, hamburger grease or other fats down your kitchen drain. As they cool, the grease solidifies and sticks to your pipes. Over time, this can cause a serious blockage that can be difficult to eliminate without calling a qualified plumber. Instead, place grease and cooking oils into a separate receptacle and dispose of them with your solid waste in the garbage. It’s also a good practice to use a strainer in your sink to keep food waste, jewelry and other items from washing down the drain and causing a drain clog.
Regularly flushing your kitchen sink with hot water is a good idea. To do this, put the stopper in the drain and fill the sink with hot water. Pull the stopper so the large volume of water can flow. This can help loosen any grease or food matter stuck inside the drain pipes. Do not use boiling water as this may crack porcelain sinks, affect the joints of PVC pipes, or lead to scalding injury. The addition of a garbage disposal may also help reduce drain clogs by breaking up food waste in to smaller particles that will more easily flow through the drain pipes.
3. Bathtub or Bathroom Sink Drain Tips
Hair and soap residue are the leading causes of slow drains and drain clogs when it comes to the drains in your bathroom. Serious blockages can result if you are negligent with preventative steps to keep these drains clean. In your shower and bath sinks, consider using a strainer to trap hair, soap and other debris before it goes down the drain. Brush your hair prior to taking a shower or bath to remove any loose hair that would end up in the drain while washing.
As with a kitchen sink, periodically putting a 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar in the drain, letting it sit for a few minutes, then flushing with hot water can assist in keeping drains odor free and running freely. If you have a clogged bathtub or sink and store-bought drain cleaners do not help, call a licensed and experienced plumber for help to avoid damage to the drain.
4. Garbage Disposal Plumbing Tips
Avoid putting fatty meats or stringy materials down the disposal. Poultry skins, celery, eggshells, and grease are all items to avoid. Before you put food in the garbage disposal, make sure to turn it on and run cold water while using it. To keep your garbage disposal clean and free from jamming, consider grinding a cupful of ice cubes every so often. Firstly, ice chips will loosen any build up by scouring the inside of the unit. Secondly, they keep the blades clean. Finally, the ice keeps the blades sharp as well.
Another trick, if you have an odor problem from your garbage disposal or drain, is to freeze white vinegar and complete the above process. The vinegar-ice will complete the same processes but will also combat odor causing bacteria.
5. Washing Machine Plumbing Tips
Most washing machines come with rubber connection hoses. These types of hoses can dry out, burst and flood your home, garage or utility room. To keep this from happening, it’s best to replace the hoses with steel braided supply hoses. Sometimes washers can overflow due to a slow or clogged drain or an improperly configured trap or drain hose connection to the drain pipe.
As a precautionary measure, make sure your washing machine is placed in an overflow tray and consider contacting a professional plumber to verify the function of your washer’s shut-off valves, drain configurations, and drain connections.
When combined with regular full point plumbing inspections, preventative measures can help you reduce the chances you’ll be faced with an unexpected plumbing emergency.