Express Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

There are a lot of little “pearls of wisdom” or “old wives tales” that float around regarding your home plumbing. While some of these may be helpful, some can actually affect your plumbing system negatively. Before you take your old uncle’s advice, make sure you’re verifying that it will not harm your pipes or fixtures. The following will help you weed out some bad advice. We’ll also give you some safer alternatives!

There’s some faulty advice out there about garbage disposals. The first is that if you run water down the drain while using it, the waste will always go down smoothly. This is not true if the clog has already occurred. We’ve all ended up with our hand down the disposal trying to dislodge something. Try instead to have a four to one ratio of water to waste in the sink before running the disposal. This will help the waste go down a lot more smoothly.

Speaking of garbage disposal, have you ever heard that running lemons through your disposal will help keep odors at bay? While you may make your disposal temporarily lemony fresh, the citric acid could be harmful and corrosive over time. Instead, just throw a few ice cubes down there! While it may be noisy, the ice will polish the junk off of the blades.

Have you ever bought those in-tank cleaners that supposedly keep your toilet clean sans scrubbing? You can cut these out of your budget. While most of these WILL bleach the buildup, they don’t always make it go away. Eventually, the buildup can ruin your toilet. What you can do instead is pour a little vinegar down the overflow tube. Not only do most people have vinegar on hand in their pantry, but it can also remove that smelly buildup without the facing price of specialty products.

An “out of sight, out of mind” mentality about your plumbing can cause big-time problems if you aren’t careful. We all do it, but we should really be more proactive about our system’s health if we’d like to save money in the long run. For example, just because stuff is still going down the drain does not mean everything is maintained well. Food, hair and paper products can all be causing blockages. To avoid this, try to fill basins with water before letting them drain. Also, it is not a bad idea to use mesh drain stoppers to prevent large food particles and hair from clogging your pipes.

Most people have a water pressure regulator on their home system. However, they aren’t foolproof. You should not always trust that they are working perfectly. Check your pressure yourself. There are simply signs that your pressure regulator is not working. These include leaks and continuously running toilets. Pay attention to what your system is telling you!

Do you forgo the traditional cleaning products and just wipe down your fixtures with regular soap and water? Some people this is just as good, seeing as it cleans their hands. This is where they are wrong. Water and soap can cause corrosion on faucets and fixtures. This will cause them to peel and bubble. You can avoid this by taking a second to wipe the fixtures off after each use. Use cleaners that are safe for fixtures. This will help make sure that warranties on your fixtures are not voided by soap rotting the finish.

While thinking of warranties, have you ever heard that it’s smart to get a cheaper, lower-quality product just because it has a lifetime guarantee? This is incorrect. When you buy a cheap product, you don’t get the latest and greatest replacement. You get the equivalent of your product. These junky products will break often, and you will spend more time and money in the long run continuously replacing them!

While they may not be out of sight, it is common for most plumbing fixtures to be out of people’s minds. They tend to assume that fixtures are low maintenance because they are metal and sturdy. Don’t let them sit for long periods of time. Simply turning on your appliances and fixtures once in and while can save you big bucks and a lot of headaches!

No matter how confident you are in your home repair abilities, user manuals are your friends. You may know which parts generally go to what, but maybe that fancy new water heater has some tricks you don’t know about yet. They contain important information on how to install and use your fixture properly. They also probably contain the do’s and don’ts to keep your warranty intact!

Last, but certainly not least, don’t assume that just because a plumber is licensed doesn’t mean he knows everything. A plumber is constantly learning. Especially as new fixtures and systems come on the market. Check up on a company’s reviews and ratings before selecting the right one for you. Here at Express Plumbing Heating & Air, we are committed to excellent customer service and keeping our technicians informed and expertly trained. Call us today for all your plumbing needs!

Brad Jordan

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