Three Surefire Ways To Ruin Your Plumbing

Posted on: 22 October 2014

The plumbing of any 21st century home plays a significant role in keeping the waste water moving and the clean water coming in. Plumbing fixtures require a certain amount of maintenance to ensure proper function and to minimize plumbing emergencies. There are certain things you can do to trigger the need for an emergency visit from the plumber. Following are 3 surefire ways you can ruin the plumbing in your home.

Turn Off the Heat in Your Vacation Home

If your vacation home is located in the colder areas of the country, such as New England, you can run the risk of a lost home or a water-damaged property very easily with this single tip: turn off the heat when you leave for the winter. The water in the pipes of an unheated home will freeze over time, causing the pipes to split.

During the spring thaw, the frozen water in the pipes will melt. The water will then be liberated to ooze (or more likely, spray) out of the cracked pipe(s). This water will seep through the walls of your home to flood the lower levels of your home (i.e., your ground floor or your basement). If you ever felt the need to effectively ruin your vacation home, turning off the heat or lowering it to 35 degrees or below is one of the best ways to achieve this end.

Abuse Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are designed to handle soft items, such as the small food particles suspended in a pan of dirty dishwater. Chicken bones, banana peels, and fruit pits are a big no-no if you want to preserve the life of your garbage disposal. However, if you if you really want to clog your drain or damage your disposal,

  • Never place citrus peels in your disposal. Citrus peels clean the disposal and loosen oil and grease, leading to a decreased chance for a clogged drain.
  • Do not use water when flushing doughy items down the disposal. Water will not allow the dough to gum up the disposal, thereby preventing you from having the sluggish drain you desire.
  • Pour any and all fat and grease down your disposal. This tip is especially significant for animal fats that harden, such as lard and tallow. These fats will slide smoothly down your pipes until they congeal, leading to a solid plug that can take hours to remove. The next time you fry up a large serving of bacon and eggs, pour all that fat down your disposal for the clogged drain of your dreams.

Overload Your Toilet

Plumbers have found various and sundry items stuck in the toilets of their customers including car keys, cell phones, whole potatoes, Q-tips, baby wipes, paper towels, tooth brushes, and cigarette butts. Plumbing companies do not recommend flushing these items down your toilet, but to increase the chances of a toilet plumbing problem, go ahead and add these items to the list.

  • Chewing gum: will gum up your pipes
  • Cat litter: acts like sand in your pipes
  • Hair (and lots of it): is notorious for clogging the bathtub drain. Why not expand and try it with your toilet?

So—When to Call a Plumber

All the tips above are certain to bring a plumber to your home in double-quick time, granting the wish of those who love clogged pipes and backed-up drains. For those of you who are not so gung-ho about clogged pipes, you may still have a plumbing problem from time to time. When you do, contact a trusted plumber, such as Smedley & Associates, Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, for prompt and efficient plumbing services.

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Working with an HVAC Contractor to Care for Your System

As a homeowner, you know how important your HVAC system is for comfort throughout the year. If the air conditioner or heater is not working properly, it can result in higher energy costs as the system struggles to keep your home temperatures in a comfortable range. Working with an HVAC contractor will help you maintain your system for reliable use long term, and possibly help you cut your power bills enough to notice the savings at the end of the year. Check out the pages on this website to learn more about how to find the perfect HVAC contractor to work with and how you can be of assistance to them when it comes to keeping your system in tip-top shape.