Top 10 Plumbing Tips for Your Home

top plumbing tips for homes in kansas city toilet with plunger for toilet issues

Plumbing Dos and Don’ts

We here at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing are frequently called in for home plumbing problems ranging from clogged drains to leaky pipes, many of which are easily preventable by following a few simple plumbing tips. Our top ten plumbing tips cover:

  • What not to put down your drains
  • How to clear clogs
  • Simple and easy maintenance steps

Before we get into specific recommended plumbing tips, let’s first address a question you’re probably wondering:

“Wait, why are you handing out plumbing tips that help me avoid calling you to fix something?Aren’t you losing business?”

Sure, our business is to fix your plumbing problems. But as a family-owned business, our focus is on ensuring that you and your family enjoy a safe, clean, and dependable water supply.  We’ve been operating since 2003, developing customer relationships based on trust and reliability by providing exceptional plumbing services. Helping you avoid problems is part of how we earn that trust.

With that said, here are top 10 plumbing tips for every homeowner to follow:

1. Pay Attention to What’s Going Down the Drain

Don’t pour grease or oil down the kitchen sink. Over time, grease and oil solidify, causing buildup that results in blockages. Dispose of grease and frying oils into an old coffee can or other container, wait for it to solidify, and then put it in your garbage. Also keep in mind that you can reuse cooking oil, minimizing the need to trash and replace it. Some people put used oil in their compost, but this interferes with compost microbial growth, so it’s counterproductive. For similar reasons, don’t put cooking oils into the ground, as this is not considered environmentally responsible. Best-case scenario, to keep used oil out of the landfill, call your local waste management department to see if you can “donate” and recycle the oil for use in biodiesel fuel.

2. Straining That Doesn’t Hurt

You don’t want to strain your muscles, but you do want to keep a strainer over your sink and bathroom drains. Catch food particles in the kitchen and hair in the bathroom before they collect in your pipes and cause clogs.

3. Watch What You Flush

Similarly, avoid flushing items such as wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, or other non-biodegradable materials, as these can all cause blockages and sewer back-ups. Flush only toilet paper and human waste. What about so-called “flushable” wipes? Sorry, there’s no such thing. They make for good advertising, but they’re not good for your drains.

4. Use Your Garbage Disposal Wisely

If you have a garbage disposal, keep in mind that it isn’t designed for just any old sort of garbage. Some food waste, such as from fruits and vegetables, can easily cause clogs. And, it should be needless to say, non-food items such as plastic or metal are prohibited. Garbage disposals are designed to process soft organic matter only. Also, make it a practice to regularly clean your garbage disposal, because even ground-up organic matter that’s allowed to build up can cause clogs.

5. Only Use Natural Drain Cleaners…Worse Case, Plunge

Finally, on the subject of how best to treat your clogged drains, only use natural drain cleaners such as solutions of baking soda and vinegar. Chemical drain cleaners can corrode your pipes over time, resulting in leaks and expensive plumbing repairs. If you have a clog and a homemade solution doesn’t clear it, try using a plunger or a snake to dislodge the clog. If that fails, then it is time to call a professional plumber.

6. Check for Hard Water

Hard water, meaning water with a lot of minerals, can not only give your water a nasty taste and leave residue on your skin and hair, but it can also calcify in your pipes as well as in your appliances. White deposits around plumbing fixtures, higher than normal water bills, slow drains, and cloudy or damaged dishware are all possible signs of hard water. There are a variety of ways to test for hard water, such as boiling water in a pan and seeing if it leaves a white scale, but there are also professional tests to be absolutely sure. There are a number of options to eliminate hard water, including a whole-house water filtration system. Even if you don’t have a hard water issue, a whole-house filtration system reduces other impurities and improves the quality of the water you drink,bathe in, and wash with.

7. Inspect Pipes and Fix Leaks Promptly

Don’t procrastinate. Even the smallest leaks can lead to water damage and mold growth. Small leaks always lead to bigger leaks. And bigger leaks lead to more costly plumbing repairs. Besides, even the smallest leaks contribute to higher water bills.

8. Educate Household Members

Make sure everyone in your household knows what can and cannot be put down drains and toilets and educate them on the importance of proper plumbing practices. All your good efforts will literally go down the drain if other members of your family aren’t following your lead.

9. Perform Regular Maintenance

Flush your water heater regularly to remove sediment buildup. This ensures continued water heater efficiency and extends its lifespan. Change water filters according to manufacturer specifications. Also, schedule regular maintenance checks for your plumbing system to identify and fix potential issues before they become major problems.

10. Call a Professional

We can’t guarantee that by following these plumbing tips you’ll never need to call a plumber. But these plumbing tips will help you avoid calling a professional plumber more than is necessary. If you do encounter a plumbing problem that you can’t fix yourself (and if you aren’t absolutely sure, fixing it yourself sometimes leads to more serious, and more expensive, problems), we’re here to help. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Kansas City offers complete plumbing services to provide prompt and efficient solutions for all your plumbing needs. We are committed to delivering top-quality plumbing repair services with a focus on complete customer satisfaction, with no hidden costs or surprises. Our plumbers are punctual, professional, and equipped with the latest tools and techniques to provide reliable repairs that stand the test of time.