Let's face it - we know you don't like to call the plumber, even when you have to. In most cases, a call to the plumber involves a disaster, inconvenience and a lot of money. Most people don't call the plumber until they have tried everything else to fix the problem at hand. Sometimes, they leave a problem until it becomes a disaster - or worse, their DIY skills lead to huge plumbing emergencies. For that reason, it is always best to call a professional plumber for any repairs. The good news is that there's a lot you can do to take care of your plumbing system, and thereby reduce the amount of plumbing callouts.
It's a fact that regular inspections, maintenance, and upkeep can help prevent plumbing issues, and thereby save you money in the long term. Let's look at ways in which you can extend the life of your plumbing system:
1. Keep your drains clean
One of the most common reasons why people call a plumber, is due to clogged drains. One of the most damaging issues, but also one of the simplest to prevent, it is important to understand what can and what cannot be flushed down the toilet. Invest in drain grates that help catch hair and debris for your shower, and prevent all of the following from entering your toilet:
- paper towels
- baby / facial wipes
- sanitary towels
- household cleaners
2. Do regular leak inspections
Small leaks can add to your water bill and cause water damage. Do regular plumbing inspections to make sure you don't have leaky faucets, sinks and running toilets. If you do, have them fixed as soon as possible to prevent future problems.
3. Learn how to fix small problems
You don't always have to call the plumber. Some smaller issues are easy enough to fix if you have a bit of savvy and basic DIY skills. You only need a few tools to handle small plumbing emergencies, so stock up your toolkit with:
- a drain snake
- a pipe wrench
- a plumber
4. Throw out the chemical cleaners
Ignore the infomercials that sing the praises of magical clog-clearing products, because the chemicals cause more damage than anything else. If you have frequent clogs, a drain snake is much more efficient. If you must, buy a biological drain cleaner that eats away at the the hair, oils and other debris without damaging your pipes. Of course, there will be an upfront investment, but it will pay for itself in saved plumbing costs.
5. Maintain your septic tank
A septic tank should be pumped out once every three to five years. In between pumps, you should take care of the tank in order to prevent any issues that may occur in the fragile system. Once again, take care about what you flush.
Finally, educate yourself on what to do when there is an emergency. Know where the main shut off valve is, and ensure that you have light nearby. Knowing when to call a plumber is another important aspect of preventing costly, inconvenient plumbing issues.