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Homeowner's Guide: Keeping Your Pipes And Drains Healthy

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As a homeowner, it is to be expected that you will have to deal with home maintenance. One of the most important aspects of any home is plumbing. While you can expect some problems with your pipes at different points throughout your home ownership, there are some things you can do to prevent any unnecessary problems with your plumbing.

Use the Garbage Disposal Properly

If you are new to having a kitchen with a garbage disposal, you may be under the false assumption that you can use it to get rid of all of your kitchen waste. This is not always the case. In actuality, you must be selective with what you choose to place in it so that it does not become damaged. These systems are very sensitive and are not able to break down everything you put into them. If you throw certain items down the disposal, such as coffee grinds, grease, and vegetable peels, you can be causing harm to your disposal and your pipes. These items are not easily broken down and can cause large chunks of food waste to sit and rot in your pipes, causing eventual clogs. You can also damage the mechanisms in your disposal. While the occasional bit of food waste is acceptable, not everything can be properly processed. Be sure to follow your manufacturer's instructions.

Make Sure Your Pipes Are Properly Weatherized

Another thing homeowners can do is to make sure the pipes are protected from inclement weather. As the temperatures dip below freezing, water can freeze and cause them from draining properly. Even worse, the pipes can burst as the frozen water expands inside. To keep this from happening, insulate your pipes with simple insulation sold in the hardware store. Cut a piece to fit around the exposed areas of the pipes, such as outside, in the laundry room, and anywhere else where they are not protected. This insulation will help store the heat and keep them from freezing. Take care to do this before winter hits so you will not have any surprises once the temperatures begin to drop.

Take Care When Flushing

One of the major causes of plumbing issues is the bathroom plumbing. These pipes are among the most sensitive and should be cared for properly. The easiest way to care for the toilet plumbing is to only flush toilet paper and human waste. Anything else should be disposed of in the trash can. Flushing items like cotton balls, cotton swabs, and feminine products can cause significant issues for your pipes. All of these things absorb water and cannot break down. They will ultimately back up your plumbing and will require a professional to unclog.

If all of your drains in the home are backed up, you likely have an issue with your entire plumbing system that needs to be addressed by a professional (such as one from Two Men And A Snake).