Most people don't really give the plumbing system of their home a second thought, but when a problem arises it can quickly become an emergency that occupies you until it's repaired. Some very basic day-to-day practices could help you to avoid an unnecessary plumbing problem, so read on to learn more about the four things not to do to your home's plumbing system.
1. Don't block your plumbing vents. Most people don't even know that their home has plumbing vents, but all homes do and they serve a vital purpose. These vents run from your underground plumbing pipes to your roof and help vent noxious sewer gases. Air pressure is used to push the gases that can enter your home through your toilet back into the sewer pipes. Keep in mind that if the thought of sewer gases is not enough to gross you out, the gases can come from other homes in your neighborhood as well, since the pipes all run into a central, city sewer-carrying pipe. Blocked vents can occur when the conduit is used for non-plumbing purposes, such as cable or satellite television cable. Make sure these pipes and vents stay unobstructed to keep the stinky gases out of your home.
2. Don't put food products down your kitchen drain. Most homes have garbage disposals, but disposals cannot handle certain types of foods or sizes. Small pieces of food can still get through most disposals, lodging in your pipe under your sink. Be sure to run your disposal for long enough to properly masticate the food particles. Another issue in kitchen sinks is what to do with that used cooking oil. Many people try to prevent clogs by running hot water while pouring the oil down the drain, but this is seldom a sufficient fix. The oil will eventually cool and solidify, causing a messy back-up under your sink. Instead, keep the original oil container and put the oil back into it where it can be disposed of in your trash.
3. Don't do-it-yourself when it comes to bad clogs. Professional plumbers hate trying to remove clogs that have over-the-counter drain cleaner in them. The clog is now not only nasty but potentially dangerous as well. Be sure to tell your plumber about what you have used so that they can be better prepared and protected when they begin to work on the clog. Additionally, those drain cleaners can cause corrosion in your pipes, leading to leaks.
4. Don't flush it down the drain. Did you know that the first plumbing joint under your toilet is only a few inches in diameter? Keep clogs to a minimum by flushing nothing but small quantities of toilet paper down your toilet drain, and place everything else in your trash. When in doubt, don't flush it.
If your pipes are not working properly, contact a drain blockage clearing service for assistance.