The summertime can come with some plumbing problems, especially when it comes to things you should and shouldn't do. Appliances such as garbage disposals, sinks and toilets are all susceptible to issues the more they’re in use. So if you plan to have family and friends over to celebrate throughout the summer, keep these do's and don'ts in mind!
What Plumbing Tips Do I Need to Know?
Kitchen Plumbing Do’s and Don’ts
In your kitchen, there are certain things you should do and shouldn’t do in order to keep your sink and garbage disposal in great working condition. For example:
DO keep an eye out for clogs. If you notice that you may have a slight clog, some easy natural remedies may be the cure. One solution is to pour ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. After waiting a few minutes, flush your garbage disposal with hot water. If that doesn't work, you could also use this method.
DON’T put clog causing items down your drain to begin with! This includes potato peels, starchy foods, coffee grinds and grease. All of which can expand in your drains and cause some serious clogs. Also, avoid putting bones in your garbage disposal — they don’t break down the way other foods will.
DON’T use chemical drain cleaners. These drain cleaners actually do more harm than good. They can corrode your pipes and wreak havoc on your plumbing. Instead, stick with the natural remedies as mentioned above!
DO freshen up your garbage disposal. Sometimes your garbage disposal can get a bit smelly. If this is the case, put lemon or other citrus peels down the garbage disposal and grind them up. Another solution could be to put a handful of ice cubes in your garbage disposal and a handful of kosher salt. Turn on the garbage disposal for about 10 minutes. Both of these methods should help get rid of any bad scents.
Bathroom Plumbing Do’s and Don’ts
Don't just stop at the kitchen! Implement the below do's and don't to your bathroom and if your home has more than one bathroom, apply these to all of them!
DO use trash cans. The only thing that should go in your toilet is waste and toilet paper. Everything else, such as tissues, cotton balls, feminine products, “flushable” wipes (that are actually not flushable), etc., should be thrown in the trash to prevent clogs. With a trash can in each bathroom, it can help prevent your guests from disposing of anything harmful in the toilet as well.
DON’T ignore toilet clogs. Perhaps a few too many non-flushable items made their way into your toilet, causing a clog. Don’t ignore it! if your toilet clogs frequently even after you plunge it (or if you're plunging your toilet too frequently), you may have a bigger problem on your hands. Call a professional to address this situation as soon as possible.
DO keep an eye out for leaks. Leaks are persistent and won't just go away on their own, no matter how much you want them to. They will only get worse with time, causing a larger problem at the end of the day. You should check leaks under your sink, around the stem of your sink as well as in and around your toilet. Here are some quick tips for checking for leaks:
Toilet leaks: Use a few drops of food coloring in the tank of the toilet. When you go back after about 30 minutes, check to see if there is food coloring in the bowl of the toilet. If so, you have a leak.
Sink leaks: Sometimes sink leaks can be very subtle. In order to catch a leak try this trick: put a dry paper towel in a dry sink under the faucet. Wait a few minutes and come back. If there's water on the paper towel then you have a leak.