Some of the most common plumbing issues in homes originate in the pipes.
It’s understandable that as pipes are hidden from plain sight, most homeowners don’t consider taking care of them. Some may not even be aware of leaks in their pipes. This leads them to do things that may damage the pipes beyond repair unknowingly. Even pinhole leaks in pipes can cause a significant problem.
In several cases, homeowners come to know the reason behind the damaged pipes only after checking for hidden leaks in the plumbing or after a leak inspection is done by a plumber. It’s understandable, especially when the leaks occur from underground pipes. That’s why it’s essential to care for your home’s drainage system to avoid plumbing problems or install water leak detectors to tell you if there are leakages, blockages, or a pipe burst.
To make the task a bit easier, here is a list of 5 things you should never do to your pipes. By following them, you’ll be able to keep your plumbing fixtures working correctly and avoid paying for expensive repairs.
5 Things You Should Never Do To Your Pipes
1. Pouring Bleach Down The Drain
Using bleach as a home drain cleaning solutions is one of the top factors behind corroded pipes. Plumbers always advise not to pour bleach or harsh chemical-based cleaners down the clogged drains as they can severely weaken your pipes. Many homeowners choose to use bleach as it’s believed to clean out any blockage that might exist in a pipe.
However, the truth is quite different, as the bleach can react with substances in the pipes, leading to severe clogs and drainage problems. The reaction may also release harmful fumes, which flow into your bathroom or kitchen through the drains and pose a health risk.
If you suspect clogs in an overground or underground pipe, the best option is to get it checked by a plumber as early as possible instead of using regularly pouring bleach.
2. Forcefully Thawing Frozen Pipes
In some areas, exposed pipes freeze during the winter as temperatures drop. This can often cause plumbing issues, leading many people to manually thaw the frozen pipes with a propane torch.
We strictly recommend not doing this as it can result in broken pipes or a burst pipe due to the sudden expansion caused by the heat. Some pipes may even contain combustible materials that can catch fire from the heat of the propane tank. And as most broken pipes are irreparable, you’ll pay a lot to fix the plumbing installations. During winter, you can avoid frozen and burst pipes by draining them.
3. Discarding Oil, Grease, Or Fats Down The Drain
It can be as simple as pouring oils or grease down the drain if you’re unsure what damages plumbing pipes. Even though it seems harmless, grease tends to settle in the pipes causing build-ups that ultimately turn into blockages. Additionally, unlike organic substances, grease can’t be washed away using baking soda or household cleaners and hardens into tough clogs.
Another common practice is washing grease and oils down the drain using hot water. While this may seem like a nifty trick, it clogs a pipe even more as the grease solidifies on the walls of the pipes when in a liquid or semi-liquid state.
You should be extra careful about emptying things down the drain when living on a shared property like in an apartment building. Always follow the proper guidelines for discarding oil and grease so that it doesn’t end up in the pipes or the sewers.
4. Disposing of Food Waste Down The Drain
Similar to the above point, it’s recommended never to discard food scraps into your blocked drains as they can lead to clogs. While the food particles may look tiny, they tend to accumulate over time by sticking to the walls of the pipes. This can compromise the efficiency of your drain pipes and increase pressure inside the pipes, eventually causing them to crack.
Some households have kitchen sinks with garbage disposal blades. However, there are food items that you cannot throw into them, such as meat and bones, as they can easily damage the blades. Likewise, it’s advised not to discard starchy or slimy food from pipes as they tend to clog the drain pipes.
It’s always better to throw food scraps in a designated trash can that you can clean out regularly. We would also like to add that you should never flush things like paper or tissues down the toilet.
5. Ignoring Tell-Tale Signs Of Pipe Damage
One of the worst things you can do as a homeowner is to ignore the signs of a damaged pipe just because it still looks minor. Even in case of small leaks or minor cracks, it’s recommended to get it checked by a plumber to prevent future leaks.
It’s essential to regularly maintain the plumbing fixtures through a fully licensed local plumber. This can help to catch a plumbing problem at the very beginning when pipe repair is still a possibility. Also, it isn’t hard to guess that fixing a water leak or minor break is way easier and cheaper than installing new pipes.
Thorough inspections aid in detecting problems in underground pipes as well as hidden water pipes. Broken pipes occur for various reasons, like invading tree roots or temperature fluctuations, so it might be hard for you to figure out what might have caused the damage.
Ignoring more glaring issues like visible clogs in drains or low water flow can pose health risks and cause severe damage if they aren’t fixed in time.
Keep Your Pipes In Good Condition
We hope the above points will help you take care of the plumbing system easily, especially if you’re a new homeowner.
We want to add that it’s best to call a professional plumbing service when you cannot figure out what’s wrong with the pipes. Experienced local plumbers are always equipped to fix leaking pipes, water pressure issues, and sewage and water supply problems.
Remember that the time needed to finish a repair job may vary based on the extent of the damage. But advanced equipment can repair most minor issues on your plumbing system in a few hours. So, consult with the plumber to choose the best solution possible.
Here at Fixed Fast Plumbing, our highly-trained plumbers are fully equipped with the latest equipment to help keep your pipes in good condition. We’ve got high-pressure jet blasters to clear stubborn blockages and tree roots and a CCTV drain camera to detect hidden leaks. We also provide pipe relining services for a damaged pipe that will only cost a fraction of what you usually would pay for the traditional way of repairing pipes. So, don’t hesitate to contact us now and request a free quote.