8 Common Home Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid

The professional plumbers at Firkus Plumbing get called to homes for a wide variety of plumbing problems.  We’ve seen just about anything you can imagine when it comes to a home’s plumbing system, but we do see some problems more often than others.  Here is a list of the 8 most common plumbing problems we see, and more importantly, how to avoid them!

  1. Using the wrong tool to fix a clog. There are any number of plumbing tricks you can use to try to unclog a drain. It’s important to use the right tool for the job. For example, you never want to use a drain snake to try to unclog a toilet for fear of damaging the toilet bowl.  You should always try a simple plunger first.  A plunger will usually clear most simple clogs, if not, and you need to use an auger, make sure you are using a toilet auger. A toilet auger is designed specifically for the toilet.  Many homeowners don’t realize that using some chemicals to clear a clog can corrode and damage the inside of your plumbing.  To be on the safe side, if you can’t clear your clog using a plunger, the clog is persistent, or multiple drains are backing up at the same time, call in the professionals.
  2. Overloading the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are built and designed to be fed small amounts at a time. Overfilling your garbage disposal it can easily cause it to jam or be overworked.
  3. Sending the wrong items down the garbage disposal. A common mistake many homeowners make is using their garbage disposal for the wrong things. Garbage disposals are designed to handle small food scraps.  Fibrous or stringy foods like potato peels and celery, or even rice and pasta can be problematic. They can clog up the blades of the garbage disposal and lead to a jam.
  4. Pouring grease down drains.This is by far, the number 1 cause of kitchen drain clogs we see at Firkus Plumbing.  Especially in colder weather, grease solidifies in your pipes and traps, quickly leading to severe clogs. Avoid this costly mistake by disposing of grease and fats in a jar or can, and throw them out in the garbage.
  5. Flushing garbage down the toilet. Believe it or not, somehomeowners treat their toilets like garbage cans. Flushing items like facials scrub cloths, cotton balls or swabs, paper towels and hygiene products is never a good idea. Toilets are designed to flush human waste, nothing else.  Flushing other items can quickly lead to a clog.
  6. Leaving hair in shower drain traps. Your shower most likely has a drain trap that is designed to catch soap scum and hair that would otherwise build up in your drain and lead to a clog. The drain traps need to be cleaned regularly, failing to do so can be a huge mistake. Hair blocking the drain means water will not drain properly, leaving you with standing water and ultimately, a clogged drain.
  7. Putting excess weight on fixtures. We all want to have things handy and at our fingertips in the shower. Putting shower caddies or hanging other items on showerheads or handles can be a mistake if there is too much weight on them.  Excess weight on plumbing fixtures can damage them.  Avoid putting weight on them at all if possible by using pole shelves or caddies secured by suction cups.
  8. Ignoring small plumbing leaks. Unfortunately, plumbing leaks don’t fix themselves, the just get worse with time. Ignoring a leak means more potential damage and more water wasted. Don’t procrastinate!  Calling the professionals at Firkus Plumbing as soon as you notice a problem will minimize the damage ultimately meaning a smaller repair bill.

Avoiding these common mistakes combined with preventative maintenance will keep your homes plumbing system in good operating condition.  Call the professionals at Firkus Plumbing to schedule a plumbing maintenance call today. 541-382-7710.  We’ve been the Central Oregon Plumber of Choice since 1971!

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