Home plumbing repair can be a stressful process all homeowners will face at some point. However, knowing how to recognize and fix basic plumbing issues can save money and unnecessary frustration. Here are some common plumbing issues that can turn into an emergency at a moment’s notice and some tips on avoiding them!

1.  Clogged Drains

One of the more common and most frustrating pf plumbing issues is a clogged drain. Drains can usually be cleared easily and inexpensively, but taking some simple precautions will help you avoid stop-ups. 

  • Do Not Pour Grease Down the Drain: If you pour grease down the drain in your sink, it will harden your pipes. Instead, as you finish cooking, let the grease harden and scoop out as much as you can into the trash. This will avoid pipe damage in your kitchen! You can also pour hot boiling water down the drain once a week. This will clear excess scum and build-up. 
  • Minimize Garbage Disposal Use: Not everything can go into the disposal! Proper disposal of kitchen waste will keep sink drain clogs to a minimum. Bigger chunks of food or peels from potatoes/fruits would be best thrown in the garbage instead of down the disposal.
  • The Hair Monster: For bathroom sinks and showers, hair and build-up are major causes of clogged drains and bathtubs. Use a drain screen to catch debris and hair. Clean the screen regularly. Avoid using chemical pipe cleaners, such as Draino. Those tend to erode your pipes over time. 

2.  Running or Overflowing Toilet

  • Too Much Toilet Paper!  If you have a child under ten years old, you know exactly what this means!  The toilet paper flows off the roll so easily that people tend to use too much of it. This will inevitably lead to problems flushing the toilet and clogged toilet bowls. 
  • Flushable Wipes/Feminine Products: Be wary of the term flushable wipe. More often than not, these types of wipes and paper products do not break down in the septic system and will cause clogging and overflow of your toilet and bathroom. All items such as feminine products, baby wipes, and paper items should be thrown in the trash.

Opposite of an overflowing toilet is one that continues to run. A running toilet could be a sign of a leak. You can avoid this plumbing issue by regularly checking your fill valve and the water level in your tank to ensure that all components function properly and in the correct positions.

 3.  Leaky Faucets 

Leaks occur in many different places in your plumbing system and should be addressed immediately to avoid water damage. A periodic inspection of areas near toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers, water heaters, or washing machines will reveal any issues that may arise from leaky pipes or faucets. Is there some discoloration on your flooring or carpet in these areas? Buckling in the floorboards or drywall pockets and cracks? These could be signs of a leak and should be addressed immediately. Check and re-do aged caulking around bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks that might be allowing water to seep into the surrounding structure. 

4.  Water Heater

Regular maintenance on your water heater will decrease your chances of plumbing issues in the future. A thorough inspection of your water heater each year is recommended, particularly before the colder months. Water heaters do have a certain life span and will not last forever. With the help of a professional, draining and cleaning your water heater annually will help avoid significant incidents such as flooding or water temperature loss. 

5.  Exposed Pipes and Rubber Hoses

Some washing machines, dishwashers, or refrigerators are installed with black/rubber hoses that can burst. To avoid a tsunami of water flooding your laundry area, use stainless braided hoses. Inspect inside sink cabinets for soggy wood or peeling/discolored paint that could indicate a leak from pipes or hoses. Replacing hoses and seals on a consistent basis will help maintain your appliances and flooring/cabinets’ integrity. 

These tips and tricks are maintenance items you can perform yourself. You can also hire a professional to handle them.  Either way, these are worthwhile things to invest your time or money into. By taking these preventative measures, you greatly reduce the risk of encountering costly surprises down the road! 

If you experience plumbing issues or water damage to your home, visit the experts at RP Idaho for a free estimate request!