How often do you think about the plumbing in your home? If you are like most in the Tucson area, you don’t—until you’re standing in the middle of a plumbing disaster. The good news is that most bad plumbing stories are avoidable, and there are things you can do to minimize the damage of those few that are unavoidable. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at five disastrous plumbing situations and how they could affect your home:
Situation 1: Your House Is Flooding
The exact reason why your house is flooding isn’t important in this case—maybe it’s a case of bad plumbing, or maybe it’s a DIY plumbing project gone wrong. As long as the source of the flooding is your plumbing system, you are looking at a bad situation. Fear not, though, as it’s a situation from which you can minimize the damage.
So, what do you do if you find yourself in the middle of a flood due to a plumbing emergency? The first step is to shut off the water.
If you don’t know where your main water valve is, stop reading and find it now. Once you’re familiar with it, show everyone in your family where it is and how to turn it off.
Situation 2: You Believe Product Packaging
There are numerous products on the market that claim to be flushable on the packaging—certain wipes and feminine products, for example—but these products are at the heart of the most common plumbing mistakes homeowners make. The packaging says you can flush it, often including information about the item being biodegradable, even with details about how it breaks down. So, you flush it, and all goes well—until it doesn’t.
This is a situation where the “dirty” aspect of plumbing disasters comes into play. Despite the packaging claims, these items aren’t flushable. They don’t fully make their way out of the plumbing system, they don’t break down quickly, and they form large masses inside of pipes. Eventually, they create a massive clog, which could back up your toilet or even your entire sewer or septic system, and cause some major issues with dirt, smell, and plenty of other unhygienic factors.
We’re guessing that you would prefer to avoid cleaning up a bathroom full of backed up sewage. To minimize your chances of dealing with such a disaster, avoid flushing anything down the toilet except two things: bodily waste and toilet paper. Make certain to use a reasonable amount of toilet paper—not too much—to avoid clogs. If you’ve been flushing other items, contact a plumber to get them removed from your system before experiencing your own plumbing mishap.
Situation 3: You Give Your Pipes Multiple Jobs
We get it: everyone loves an item that has multiple purposes. Unfortunately, your pipes aren’t one of these items. A common plumbing mistake that homeowners make is using their exposed pipes for things like hanging clothes to dry or for keeping seasonal decorations up and out of the way. This is a great way to cause severe problems with your plumbing in Tucson.
Pipes are designed to support the weight of themselves and the water going through them—or waste in the case of drain pipes. Any additional weight on the pipes creates the risk that they might disconnect at the joints or break. Should this happen, you’ll be dealing with whatever is inside those pipes being all over your floor, walls, and even ceiling.
Don’t hang anything from your pipes! If you’ve hung items from your pipes in the past, contact a plumber to come out and inspect them. If there’s any cause for concern, they can fix the issue before it ends in disastrous consequences.
Situation 4: You Clean Your Pipes
Wait, isn’t keeping pipes clean and clear a good thing? Yes—if the person doing the cleaning is an experienced plumber using the right tools for the job. DIY plumbing jobs usually involve a single tool—chemical drain cleaner.
As it turns out, chemical drain cleaners are pretty much never the right tool for the job. These chemical cleaners have the potential to damage your plumbing system due to their pressurized foaming action and the corrosive qualities of the ingredients in them. At best, their use will shave years off the life of your pipes. At worst, they can cause pipes to fail and lead to flooding in your home.
This bad plumbing decision is an easy one to get around. If you want to try cleaning your pipes yourself, use baking soda and vinegar. If that doesn’t work, call in a professional to take care of the problem quickly and safely.
Situation 5: You Skip Routine Maintenance
We understand why homeowners skip routine plumbing maintenance. No matter who you are, you’re working with a budget, and spending money on a plumbing service when nothing is obviously wrong can seem like a waste of money. However, we can assure you it isn’t.
Most disastrous plumbing situations aren’t obvious to homeowners. Instead, there are small signs that only professionals specialized in plumbing in Tucson will notice. During a routine maintenance visit, professional plumbers will fully inspect the system and correct any issues they find.
Because plumbing problems can develop relatively quickly, it’s a good idea to have these maintenance visits once or twice a year. When compared to the cost of major plumbing repairs and associated damage to the home, it’s the cheaper and smarter route to take.
For assistance with leaks, floods, or plumbing repairs gone wrong, contact us at Ram Plumbing. We’re ready to help all homeowners and businesses in the Tucson area with their plumbing needs.