Seven Steps Toward Avoiding Plumbing Emergencies

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Plumbing emergencies always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. The good news is that things like clogged drains and burst pipes can often be avoided simply by adopting a few household habits that will keep your plumbing system in good shape for years to come.

  • Keep your kitchen drain clear. Installing a strainer to catch large items from going down the drain is a cheap and effective way to prevent major problems. Strainers can be purchased at most grocery and hardware stores and shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars, making them an easy and cost-effective preventative measure that everyone should be taking.
  • Never pour grease or cooking oil down your drain – these liquids will solidify, forming a serious blockage in your pipes over time until drainage is all but impossible and you need to call R.S. Andrews to come clear out your system.
  • Flush your kitchen drain with a few gallons of boiling water from time to time – this will melt away and clear out grease and soap that may have gathered in your drainage system.

Just like your kitchen sink, your bathroom is another place where conscientious use of the drainage system can help you avoid plumbing repairs.

  • Never flush anything down the toilet except for toilet paper and waste. Keep a trash basket right next to the toilet if you need a place to throw away feminine products or diapers, as these are the main culprits in most clogged bathroom drains, especially in older houses that may have sewer pipes made of clay.
  • Label your main shutoff valve where the entire water supply for the house can be turned off at once. Make sure everyone in your household knows where the main shutoff valve is, and remember to shut it off when you go out of town to prevent any out-of-control catastrophes while you are gone.
  • Leaving the heat on at a low level when you are out of town in the winter – this can help prevent the nightmare of a frozen and burst pipe that you don’t even know about for days until you get home.
  • Check the hoses on your washing machine – these hoses can become brittle and cracked over time, eventually causing loose or damaged connections to become loose. Making a habit of checking on your washing machine hoses on a yearly basis could save you big when you avoid having to pay for unnecessary plumbing repairs.

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