Three Habits That Would Make Your Plumber Cringe

Posted on: 13 January 2015

Many homeowners are pretty attentive when it comes to taking care of the parts of their home that are in plain view. Pipes, however, are out of sight, and therefore as the saying goes, they're often out of mind, too. Bad habits can wreak havoc on your plumbing, leading to clogs and, in severe cases, leaks that may flood your home. Here's a look at three bad habits you should avoid in order to avoid plumbing problems and gain a glowing report, rather than a scowl, from your plumber.

Bad Habit #1: Rinsing food scraps down the drain.

Scrape those plates off into the garbage before rinsing them or washing them in the sink! Food scraps that go down your drain can cause clogs to slowly form over time. If you have a septic system, this habit is even worse, since the food scraps will collect in the bottom of the tank and contribute to overflows.

Bad Habit #2: Relying on chemical drain cleaners to bust through clogs.

Most plumbers agree that when it comes to clearing out clogs, chemical drain cleaners are one of the worst methods to try. The chemicals in the cleaners can soften PVC pipes, leading to leaks. They also cause premature wear in metal pipes and may decrease the life expectancy of the pipes.

Instead of reaching for the drain cleaner, try unclogging the drain with a plunger. They work on sinks, too! You can also reach down into the drain with a pipe snake and try to fish out the offending material. If these methods don't work, call a plumber like Rakeman Plumbing. The quick clog-busting appointment will cost a lot less than repairing pipes that have been damaged by chemical cleaners.

Bad Habit #3: Flushing wipes and feminine hygiene products down the toilet.

No matter what the box says, feminine hygiene products really should not be flushed, especially if you have a septic system. Personal wipes, facial tissue, and paper towels should also not be flushed. They may resemble toilet paper, but they do not break down in the same way and may lead to clogs. Keep a covered trash can in the bathroom and use it for these items. Empty it daily if you're worried about odors.

You rely on your plumbing every day in order to wash your hands, clean your dishes, shower and flush away your waste. Treat your pipes like a plumber would, and they'll last much longer.