4 Underrated Ways to Take Care of Your Plumbing System
Common plumbing system maintenance advice includes mesh screens on your drains, professional drain cleaning when your drains clog, and periodic professional plumbing inspections. But unless you’ve done quite a bit of research on the subject, you may not realize how many other simple steps you can take to preserve your plumbing.
Here are some of the less frequently discussed methods of helping out your drains and other plumbing system components.
1. Eschew Bar Soap in the Shower
You know that dumping melted grease down the drain can cause a clog when the grease hardens. But did you know that soaps actually contain fats as well? The fats in soap help to create soap scum, which can cause unsightly buildup in your bathroom sink and bathtub. But worse, soap scum can help to clog your drains.
Fortunately, an easy alternative to soap products in the shower exists. Liquid products such as body washes and shower gels are often made with a detergent instead of a soap product; therefore, they don’t contain the same fats and potential for soap scum buildup and clog formation that soap products do.
2. Practice Correct Pet Care
If you have indoor pets, you could damage your plumbing if you’re not savvy about plumbing and pet care. If you ever bathe pets in your tub, be sure to use a mesh screen or other hair catching device to prevent hair buildup in your drains.
Cat waste and cat litter are especially bad for the toilet and for the plumbing, not to mention for your sewer line. You should never flush cat waste down the toilet, with or without litter. And be careful which pet products you use, too. Pet wipes and flea and tick shampoos can cause plumbing or septic problems.
3. Clean Out Grease Trap
Do you have an older plumbing and septic system? If so, you may have a grease trap. In one sense this can be a boon to your septic system and main sewer line, since the trap separates out grease and similar substances so they can’t cause clogs.
On the other hand, if neglected, the grease trap can fill up and then start to cause problems. You may not hear much about grease trap care for residential septic systems, since they’re mostly only on older systems. But if you do have one, be sure to schedule regular cleanings. Talk to your septic contractor about how often to clean the trap.
4. Audit Your Toilet
Although you don’t need to do a whole lot of maintenance for your toilet to keep functioning, you do need to keep an eye on it if you don’t want it to waste water. Toilet tank leaks, where a little water escapes to the bowl from the tank, are more common than you’d expect and may be caused by a flapper problem. You can use a dye tablet to check for this type of leak.
Another toilet issue you should check on is whether the fill valve’s float is at the correct level. If not, the toilet could end up using more water than it needs to on each flush. Or in an extreme case, the toilet could even run continuously. This issue occurs when the fill valve is trying to fill the tank to a level higher than the overflow outlet.
Some of these plumbing maintenance tasks are essential for water saving, and others are essential for correct plumbing function. But either way, you don’t want to neglect them. Mitchell Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help you with plumbing maintenance and repairs, so give us a call today to learn more.