Six Ways To Minimize The Risk Of A Plumbing Emergency

Posted on: 8 March 2018

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Having an emergency plumber on speed dial can surely come in handy when your basement is flooding or the toilet has just spewed raw sewage all over your bathroom floor. But even better than having a great emergency plumber on hand is never having to call one in the first place! Not all plumbing emergencies are avoidable, but there are some simple steps you can take to decrease your risk of a plumbing catastrophe.

1. Never put grease down the drain.

Of all the clogging culprits, few are as pervasive as grease! Most homeowners know not to dump grease down the drain, but it's so tempting to do it just once in a while when you are in a hurry. Don't! Just one pan of bacon fat is enough to coat the interior walls of your drain pipes, and before you know it, the sticky grease has clung to hair, food particles, and dead skin particles to form a massive clog. Put the grease in the trash, whether it's a tablespoon or a cup.

2. Keep hair traps on all drains.

Hair is the next big concern for your drains. Even if there is no grease going down the drain, there will be soap scum -- and hair and soap scum interact to form some pretty ugly blockages. Keep a plastic or metal strainer over every drain to catch hair. Yes, even your kitchen sink needs one, as you may shed hair when standing over it or accidentally rinse a hairy rag in the sink (if you have pets).

3. Keep a plunger handy.

Often, the beginnings of a clog can be cleared with a plunger, but if you wait and don't plunge the drain when it first slows down, the clog gets bigger. So, invest in a bowl-shaped plunger for your sinks and showers and a second flange-shaped plunger for your toilet. Plunge at the first sign that a drain or toilet is slowing down rather than assuming things will get better on their own. They won't.

4. Check for leaks.

Those giant leaks and gushing pipes you see in people's basements often started off as slow, tiny, trickling leaks that someone did not notice soon enough. So, to prevent a big emergency plumbing leak, get into the habit of looking over your exposed pipes every few months. Make it a part of your regular routine, like checking smoke detector batteries and changing your HVAC filter. If you spot a tiny leak, have your plumber come fix it before it gets any larger.

5. Know where your water main is located.

If you do develop a bigger leak in the basement, knowing how to turn off the water main can quickly stop if from becoming an all-out emergency. The water main is the pipe that brings all of the water into your home. If you turn it off, you will stop the flow of water through the pipes, thereby minimizing water damage. Locate your water main, and then show everyone else in the home where it is so they can all turn it off if they discover a leak.

6. Install a water softener.

Water softeners are more than a luxury. They also help prevent a lot of plumbing problems. These devices remove the dissolved minerals from your water, so the minerals don't end up depositing in your pipes. This way, you don't wake up one day to a clogged fresh water line or a shower head that is completely blocked by minerals. Water softeners are easy for your plumber to install, and they require very little maintenance aside from periodic filter changes.

For more information, contact companies like VINES PLUMBING & WATER RESTORATION.