As any seasoned homeowner can attest, few things are more aggravating than plumbing mishaps. In addition to costing a princely sum to repair, serious plumbing problems stand to inconvenience every member of your household. However, despite being difficult and costly to remedy, most plumbing issues are surprisingly easy to avoid. With a little bit of forward-thinking and a willingness to alter certain everyday behaviors, you can preserve your home’s plumbing fixtures and save a small fortune on repair costs.
Invest in Home Insurance
Plumbing problems often involve such big-ticket appliances as dishwashers, washing machines and toilets. Since high-quality home appliances often come with steep price tags, it’s in the best interest of every cost-conscious household to protect these investments for as long as possible. This is where comprehensive home insurance enters the equation. The right home insurance policy will provide tremendous peace of mind and ensure that your big-ticket appliances are fully covered whenever they find themselves in need of repair or replacement. So, if appliance anxiety is a problem you’ve been dealing with for a long time, don’t hesitate to start perusing policies.
Watch What You Flush
The flushing of improper items is a prevalent problem in both individual households and a large number of municipalities. As a general rule of thumb, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down your home’s toilets. While this may seem like a no-brainer, countless households stray from this rule on a consistent basis. Paper towels, tissues and cotton swabs are just a few of the commonly-flushed items that have no business being in toilets. Even wet wipes that purport to be flushable may clog your pipes and lead to sewage backup, so if you absolutely insist on using them, don’t flush any more than one at a time.
Wanting a clean bottom is perfectly understandable, but the aforementioned wipes aren’t your only option on that front. For example, investing in toilets with built-in bidets or bidet attachments for your current toilets can give you the cleanness you seek and help reduce toilet paper use in your household. Many bidet attachments can be purchased for well under $100 and installed in a simple and timely manner. Even if you have minimal experience when it comes to plumbing, you should be able to tackle the installation process with the help of instructional videos and the attachment’s user manual.
Don’t Misuse Your Garbage Disposal
As is the case with toilets, many households habitually misuse garbage disposals. Placing pieces of food that are too large and/or too hard into your disposal is practically asking for trouble. If you’re unclear on what types of food can comfortably go down your disposal, consult the owner’s manual or visit the manufacturer’s website. While very handy, garbage disposals should not be viewed as invincible eating machines. When disposing of a piece of food that’s large or has a hard texture, you’re better off tossing it in the trash than taking a chance with your disposal. A seemingly inconsequential misjudgment can result in a broken or badly damaged disposal and possibly even present a safety hazard.
Avoid Chemical-Heavy Drain Cleaners
You’d be hard-pressed to find a household that doesn’t deal with the occasional clogged drain. When faced with this issue, many of us won’t hesitate to reach for a chemical-laden drain cleaner. Although these products can be quite effective, the plethora of harsh chemicals they contain can eat away at pipes, causing them to erode over time and giving way to more serious issues than a clogged drain. However, these products are far from your only option. Not only are chemical-free drain cleaners commercially available, there are also a number of natural DIY solutions for stopped-up drains.
No household relishes dealing with plumbing problems. Depending on the size and scope of a plumbing mishap, you may find yourself faced with exorbitant repair bills and a very unhappy family. Still, as thoroughly inconvenient as plumbing issues can be, the vast majority of them can be avoided with the bare minimum of effort. While there’s no end-all solution for plumbing woes, a little bit of knowhow and cooperation from the members of your household will prove effective at keeping these problems at bay.