Michael Runk Blog

5 Pipe Maintenance Tips for Your Plumbing System

February 16, 2016

drain

There are many types of home maintenance we have to keep in mind, but pipes rarely make it to the priority list. Maybe it’s because they are always out of sight and out of mind. Or maybe because they look so tough—what could possibly happen to them? Meanwhile, pipes could definitely use some TLC every now and then. Follow these pipe maintenance tips from our Maryland plumbers to keep your pipes healthy and avoid plumbing disasters!

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When you have a clogged drain, your initial impulse may be to run to the store and pick up that drain cleaner you saw in a commercial. They said it’s guaranteed to work, but what’s the catch? Many drain cleaners you see on TV are typically packed with a variety of chemicals. They also often come with a bunch of warning labels that you should read carefully. These chemicals may harm your plumbing, especially if you have cast iron pipes, as well as do damage to your septic system.

But the most important downside of using drain cleaners is the fact that they don’t completely solve your problem. They may clear enough space to improve the drainage, but they rarely dislodge and remove the clog itself. You may be better off hiring a plumber to do the job right and safely.

Turn Down the Pressure

It is nice to have high pressure when you shower, but will a few psi drop really be that noticeable? It won’t affect your quality of life that much, but it will help prolong the life of your pipes. High water pressure puts a lot of stress on the plumbing joints and the inside of the pipes. If you are not sure where or how to measure and reduce the pressure, feel free to give us a call!

Protect the Drains

The best thing you can do for your pipes is to control what gets inside them. Make sure all of the drains in your home have strainers to catch hair, food, dirt and other debris. Empty these strainers regularly to reduce a chance that something may squeeze through. When it comes to kitchen drains, don’t pour cooking oil or fat down the drain. Also be careful about what you put in your garbage disposal. Remember that it wasn’t designed to process trash—it’s just here to help you protect the pipes from clogging.

Treat the Water

The water itself has a huge impact on the health of your pipes. Water that is too acidic may slowly eat away at the pipes from the inside. Water high in mineral content, on the other hand, may cause mineral deposits and slowly narrow the pipes. Thankfully, there are plenty of water treatment systems available on the market today. They can be installed at the point of use, e.g. under your sink, or at the point of entry, i.e. treating the water for the whole house. You would need to get your water tested first to determine its hardness, pH and other present and potential issues.

Watch the Sewer

Sewer backup is probably one of the worst plumbing issues to deal with. But you can avoid this problem by taking a few prevention steps. If you have a septic tank, make sure it is getting emptied on schedule. If your sewer connects to a municipal line, get your main sewage pipe cleaned every few years. This will remove tree roots and other potential clogs that have started forming.

Looking for a reliable plumber to help you with all these tasks? Feel free to give Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating a call for plumbing maintenance or emergency service.

 


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