Plumbing damage occurs naturally as the system wears down with use over time. But normal wear and tear on pipes is normally a slow process that takes years and years. A lot of the time we see damage to plumbing systems, it’s avoidable and completely accidental misuse of the pipes as the primary culprit. This type of damage often goes beyond a simple, easy-to-implement repair and can cost a homeowner a ton of money to get fixed. It only makes sense for the intrepid homeowner to be aware of these common plumbing pitfalls so they can take steps to avoid them.
We want to preface this by saying we LOVE the DIY spirit. That kind of go-getter attitude is indicative of a homeowner that’s invested in the care and maintenance of their property. That said, however, modern plumbing systems are made up of some pretty sophisticated pieces of hardware, and unless you’re specially trained and licensed to work with them, you could cause more damage than you’re trying to fix. Sometimes, it’s more safe to call a professional with the expertise and tools to get it fixed fast and right.
Chemical-Based Drain Cleaners
A lot of people are shocked to hear this one the first time. Chemical drain cleaners like Drano and similar products actually do more harm than good. They do their job in the short-term, yes, but over longer stretches of time the harsh chemicals that eat away at hair clogs and other clogging debris also start to eat away at your pipes. This inevitably causes corrosion and leaks, which themselves cause their own slew of problems. These products should be used extremely sparingly, if at all. The best way to remove clogs in your drains is to either enlist a plumber, or use a natural drain clogging solution. For a lot of lesser blockages, a simple cocktail of baking soda and vinegar will do the job.
Chemicals in Septic Tanks
Spinning off rom the previous point about chemicals eating away your pipes, improperly disposed of chemicals can do a lot of damage to your septic tank, if your home is on a septic system. Should bleach, paint, acid, or any other number of common household chemicals end up in your septic tank you’ll find in a few weeks you’ll be dealing with some truly foul flooding in your yard as the contents of your tank seep out, into the soil, and upward. The easiest solution to this issue is fairly simple: don’t put these types of materials in your plumbing to begin with. Your town/local municipalities will have varying disposal guidelines for these materials that should be followed.
A very-commonly known plumbing miscreant, grease is notorious for clogging pipes. It goes down easy enough, but hardens over time. It’s a lot like how plaque buildup slowly clogs an artery over time. Eventually the space for water flow gets smaller and smaller, and eventually it’s blocked completely and you’ve got a real problem on your hands. Just don’t do it.
Old Hoses in your Washing Machine/Dishwasher
The hoses in your water-using appliances aren’t something that are usually top-of-mind for most people, but they can cause a lot of damage to your plumbing and home if you let them go to rot. At just five years, they have a surprisingly short shelf life, much less than the average life of either of the appliances they’re found in. If they’re not changed on-time, they can begin to rot and degrade, leading to leaks and the issues associated with them. Simply keeping a calendar reminder is enough to keep this from happening.