No one could live without proper plumbing, but many homeowners often cause serious damage to their pipes without any idea what they're doing. Using our household staples like the toilet and shower are self-explanatory, but there are many subtle actions you'd think twice about that can wreak serious havoc on your plumbing.
You don't have to be a pro to know the basics about how to protect your pipes. Exploring the most common problems and bad plumbing habits will help you prevent issues in the future.
The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make With Your Plumbing
Not Adding Freeze Protection
Although our homes are usually heated thoroughly throughout the winter, our pipes need some extra care to prevent serious damage. You may be none the wiser when it comes to exposed outdoor pipes, but when they freeze over, you can face thousands of dollars in damages and repairs.
Pipe insulation is an affordable way to prevent freezing, leaks and bursts. You can buy pipe insulation kits and put them on yourself for relatively cheap. You can even use a refashioned pool noodle in a pinch.
Going the DIY Route
No one wants to spend money on repairs, but professional plumbers have their job for a reason. If you try to install or repair plumbing on your own, you're likely to cause unintentional damage without adequate experience under your belt. Plumbing is never a simple piece. Everything is interconnected, and a simple mishap can create a host of problems throughout an entire plumbing system.
You should only tackle problems you're 100-percent certain you can do properly. Online video tutorials are great, but they can't replace the years of experience and knowledge that a professional plumber brings to the table.
Ignoring Warning Signs
Sinks that don't drain, toilets that struggle to flush and changes in water pressure and temperature indicate a deeper issue. Temporary fixes like over-the-counter drain cleaners can erode pipes and aren't able to truly remove debris and blockages.
If you notice a sudden plunge in water pressure or your faucets take longer to heat up than they used to, it's likely that there's a deeper blockage somewhere in the pipes. Problems may persist for months or even years, but eventually, leaks and breaks are bound to occur.
Owners who let problems side or figure it's "just the house getting old" wind up facing hundreds of dollars in expensive repairs or overhauls when a minor service call would have been able to resolve the issue.
Not Knowing What Types of Pipes You Have
Different pipes have different lifespans, and each kind requires special care. Copper and PVC are the most common types of plumbing found in Canadian homes today with a lifespan between 50 to 70 years. In recent years, new constructions feature Pex plumbing, which is less susceptible to breaks, leaks and corrosion than metal pipes.
Knowing what type of plumbing is in your home makes it easier to purchase the right products and reduce the risk of accidental damages. The year your home was built may provide some insight into its plumbing, but the best way to find out is to take a look or have a professional come by and provide a definitive answer.
Too much toilet paper and feminine hygiene products can get lodged in your plumbing and lead to difficulty flushing later. Too much build-up in your pipes will cause them to rupture, which is something no one wants to happen. Loading your garbage disposal with non-compatible foods or kitchen waste or rinsing hair down the bathroom sink can create some serious blockages over time.
Most of the debris that gets caught in pipes clings to the sides, hardening as cold water rushes over it. The use of chemical drain cleaners usually only exacerbates the problem by weakening your pipe's interior and making it more susceptible to leaks.
Don’t Leave Your Plumbing Up to ChanceYour friendly neighborhood plumbers at Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical are always available to lend a helping hand. We offer fast, reliable service and competitive pricing. No job is too big or too small for our professionals, and we pride ourselves on finding the best, long-term solutions that work the first time around.
Schedule your service by calling us today at (306) 500-1296. We look forward to working with you!