A plumber, it turns out, is a lot like a doctor or auto mechanic: you hope to never need their help – but when you do, you want an expert.
And just like with a doctor, an ounce of prevention all year long can go a long way to keeping your plumbing healthy. From clogged drains to burst pipes, here are a few of our favourite smart tips to keep home or office visits from your plumber – as well as costs – to a minimum:
- Watch what you flush: Only bodily waste and toilet paper should ever go down the toilet. Solid waste, including diapers, feminine hygiene products or paper towels are a no-no and are regular culprits for clogging drains. Have a garbage bin in each bathroom to avoid the temptation of tossing the wrong things into your toilet.
- Strain your drain: Put a strainer in your kitchen sink to catch large chunks of food and other debris. Some of the most common culprits are items such as pasta, rice, coffee grinds and grease.
- The heat is on: Once the temperature begins to drop in the fall and all through winter, keep your heat running on low when you’re away from home. This protects pipes, especially any exposed ones under sinks or in older properties, from freezing over and bursting the next time water flows through them. Remember, burst pipes are way more costly than leaving your heating on low.
- Inspect hoses: Your washing machine hoses may crack and grow brittle over time. Check them every six months for leaks, which can increase your utility bill and lead to issues with mold.
- Flood prevention: Make sure you and everyone in your home know where the main water shutoff valve is so they can cut off the supply in an emergency to prevent flooding and serious property damage. The valve should be clearly labeled and easily accessible. The water supply should also be shut off during extended vacations or renovations.
Remembering these tips will keep your plumbing system functioning properly and help you avoid needless emergencies and repairs.
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