New Homeowner Tips For Avoiding Pipe Damage
Moving into your first home can be a real learning experience. It brings with it many things you probably never had to think about before, including taking care of the plumbing system. One thing many first-time homeowners learn the hard way is that the things you do inside can have a significant effect on your plumbing system outside. Before you find yourself in need of drain repair because of damage you inadvertently caused, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Always Collect Your Grease
You might not think anything of it when you first start draining meats and pouring grease down your sink drains. After all, there aren't going to be any immediately apparent issues. However, over time, doing this can create a real disaster in your drain pipes.
Grease produced from cooking meats, such as ground beef and bacon, as well as melted butter and similar cooking grease products, will melt to a liquid form when heated. That's what you put down your drain. Unfortunately, when that grease cools, it returns to its solid state. As it runs down your pipes, it will gradually cool, lining the inside of the pipe with a layer of that solid grease.
The more you pour these things down your drains, the thicker that layer will become. You might think that running hot water down behind it will prevent this, but all that does is move the accumulation further down your pipes, because the hot water cools as it runs through your pipes as well.
Collect your grease in a heat-safe container instead. Whether you opt to collect it in aluminum cans or in a reusable container that you can continue to cook from, either way is okay. The goal is to avoid having any grease go down your drains, because you'll have a mess on your hands over time.
Cover Your Drains
One of the biggest problems that homeowners encounter with their plumbing is clogs created due to particles and hair going down the drain. You can avoid this risk entirely by putting drain catchers or screens over your drains.
These traps will catch all of the particles and hair so that they aren't washed down your drain to create clogs further down the line. It's important to place them over every drain in your house, too. You never know what could end up washed down a bathroom sink or the utility sink in the basement. Clean the screens on a regular basis by knocking any particles into the trash. That keeps them from ever ending up in your plumbing system.
Be Smart About Your Disposal
Having a garbage disposal can be a real convenience, but it can also lead to a lot of headaches. In fact, if your home is on a septic system, you shouldn't use a garbage disposal at all. Things going down the disposal and into your septic tank can actually disrupt the bacterial balance that's required in your septic tank to break down waste.
If you're on a city sewer system, you can use a disposal, but you'll want to do so carefully. Always run plenty of water when you use it, and make sure that you don't put anything down the disposal that shouldn't go. Things like egg shells, coffee grounds, and bones should never go down the disposal.
Keep The Drain Pipes Clean
Finally, the best way to avoid potential problems with your drain pipes is by keeping them clean. Call a plumber or a drain-cleaning company at least once a year to flush out your lines and inspect them for any potential problems. When you first move into the house, you should call them right away. This is a great way to identify any issues that may not have been apparent during the home inspection process.
To learn more, contact a company like Complete Plumbing.