Just like you have your car serviced or go to the doctor for a check-up, maintaining the health of your household plumbing is equally as important. Looking after the invisible aspects of your home is an often overlooked priority but the ‘out of sight out of mind’ mindset does you no favours when it comes to your plumbing. According to AAMI insurance, 18.2% of their home and contents insurance claims are a result of water leakage which is the second-highest cause of damage.
If you have a large water leaking incident in your home and your insurance provider recognises a pre-existing issue that caused the leak, you may not be covered. This means forking out thousands of dollars in repairs knowing all it took was some good plumbing maintenance.
Plumbing maintenance can be relatively inexpensive and even free if you use eco-friendly practices and keep on the lookout for potential problems. There are a few simple things you can do every day to take care of your pipes and ensure the safety of your space.
Notice bad odours
If there is something funky coming from your drains, chances are you have a build-up of something in your pipes. This may be able to be rectified with drain cleaner or a plunger, but if it is recurring, there may be something stuck in there that won’t budge so easily. The more you let the problem persist, the more debris will build on top of it until it becomes more than a quick fix.
Blockages can mean that dirty water sits in your sink with no way to drain, making washing clothes or dishes a difficult task. Your sink will be indisposed as you won’t be able to add water to it which, naturally, is a huge inconvenience.
Listen for unusual sounds
If when flushing your toilet or draining your sink you hear a banging, gurgling or loud suction noise that is unlike normal plumbing sounds, you might need further assistance. This usually indicates that the water is struggling to surpass a build-up of something in your pipes. It may not be a complete clog but chances are it will become one if left unattended.
Banging pipes can also indicate that your pipe or plumbing strap has come loose and is causing the pipes to shake when water passed through. The banging noise may be the pipe hitting the inside of your walls which can cause further damage and potentially burst the pipe.
Regularly clean your drains
Your drains collect a lot of nasty debris. Between skin cells, hair, dirt, makeup residue, soap and food you can imagine the kind of grime that lives below your sink. Your drain grill will catch a lot of hair and soap so it’s important to clean that very often. However, your drain pipes are not so easy to clean as they can’t be seen from the surface level.
There are many ways to effectively wash your drains, whether it be home remedies or store-bought cleaners. It’s important to incorporate drain cleaning into your cleaning routine to avoid clogs and clear grease and fatty deposits that stick to the pipes. Some easy home remedies that you can safely pour into your drain are;
- Vinegar and baking soda – microwave 1 cup of vinegar for 2 minutes and sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda in and around your drain before pouring the vinegar in.
- Bleach – safely pour your household bleach down your drain.
- Mix warm water and dishwashing detergent and pour it into the sink to break down food particles.
Test your flusher
When you flush your toilet, the water level should immediately decrease to push the waste down the toilet bowl. A common sign of toilet blockages is the water level is rising before slowly draining or waste coming back up and sitting in the bowl. Toilet paper is a frequent culprit of toilet blocks and is generally easy to remove with a plunger. Another sign of toilet clogs is a dripping, rain-like sound coming from your toilet tank.
Tip: To avoid clogging your toilet, practice conservative toilet paper use. The more paper you flush, the more likely you are to have bundles of it building up in your pipes.
Keep foreign objects out of your drains
There are certain objects that simply don’t belong in your drains no matter how small or biodegradable they are. Earbuds, wet wipes, sanitary products, makeup pads, cotton swabs, band-aids; these are just some of the things that some people consider flushable. Most of these items are made from synthetic materials that don’t break down when they’re washed down the drain. They end up getting lodged in your pipes and can cause a lot of water and waste to back up.
If the item doesn’t block the pipe straight away, that doesn’t mean it isn’t lodged in there. It will likely be collecting other debris like hair and waste until it does become blocked up. It is unlikely you will be able to unblock your toilet or sink with a plunger or by any other method if you have flushed one of these items. You will need to call out one of our plumbers to open up your pipes and pull it out.
Call the experts
Chiswick Plumbing is the best Sydney plumbers and are experts in unblocking stubborn clogs and repairing broken pipes. Most of our processes are noninvasive (depending on the job) and we also offer a pipe relining service for customers who have cracked pipes but aren’t able to pay for a brand new one. If you are experiencing anything we have mentioned in this blog, please contact us immediately and we will have one of our friendly plumbers come out to you. We are 24/7 emergency plumbers and also offer general plumbing maintenance services for your home including home plumbing fixture inspections.