10 Things Your Plumber Wants You To Know

water damage minneapolis, water damage cleanup minneapolisIf you read my last blog, you know I recently experienced the disaster of water damage in my basement due to a clogged drain. I had a fantastic plumber come out and clean it and he also gave me a very helpful education on what all plumbers wish all homeowners knew!  My last water damage (I have had 4 total now in my home!) could have been prevented if I had known then what I know now!

This information is too valuable not to share!

1. Water heaters need love too.

The water heater is something a lot of homeowners tend to forget about. They’re tucked away somewhere in a closet or your basement and you don’t see them on a lot, but that doesn’t make them unimportant. It’s key to remember to flush the tank in your water heater at least once a year to avoid build-ups of rust and oxidation. When it comes to plumbing, preventative measures like this can save a lot of money and stress down the line.

2. Don’t put oil or grease down the drain.

This one I did learn from my mom! She always said “never pour cooking oil, bacon grease, or anything remotely similar to either down your drain. Ever!”  My plumber told me that oils and greases being poured down drains by homeowners are one of the leading cause of cumbersome clogs. Here’s what you can do instead of dumping them down the drain: pour used cooking oil or grease in a disposable plastic or foil container, freeze them, then throw them out with the garbage. Take my word for it, this is so much easier than having to pay to get your pipes fixed. OR deal with water damage due to clogged pipes!

3. Waiting until the last second to call for help doesn’t help – at all.

The longer you let a problem linger, the worse that problem is bound to get. You’ll save more money catching an issue early than waiting to get help until it’s become a full-fledged plumbing emergency or water damage emergency.

4. Garbage disposals aren’t trash cans.

Most homeowners don’t know the exact purpose of their garbage disposal and treat them as an easy, out of sight way to toss whatever they want. Garbage disposals are meant for small amounts of scrap, but cannot handle an entire lasagna, or challenging food like celery or potato peels. When you do find yourself needing the use of your garbage disposal, make sure to rinse everything down with lots of cold water to help avoid clogs.

5. You can’t ignore water around the base of your toilet.

Got water around your toilet? As a mom of 3 boys, I am sure I would accuse one of them first!!! In all seriousness though, water around the base of your toilet is a typical sign of the failure of the wax ring seal. Ignoring this problem can lead to rot, mold, and expensive repair. If you see unsightly puddles, call a professional before too much damage is done.

6. It’s best to avoid chemicals.

Many commercial chemical cleaners eat away at a lot more than gunk build-up. Dumping chemicals down your drain can end up eating away at, and ultimately irreparably harming, many varieties of pipes and drains. When my drain backed up causing my water damage in my basement, my first thought was to dump a drain cleaner down the drain. At least I did the smart thing first and called my plumber who advised me to definitely NOT do that!

7. It’s important to know where your shut-off valves are.

Imagine this scenario: your home is unrelentingly flooding and you’re not sure why. You’re scrambling around with soaked pajama pants wrapped around your ankles, crying out in despair, just wanting the water to stop, and… you don’t know where your water shut off valves are. Familiarize yourself with your home’s plumbing system before problems occur so you can respond quickly if and when they do. In many of my blogs, I have mentioned the importance of everyone living in the home to know where the main water shut off valve is! I just helped a frantic homeowner on the phone the other day locate hers (she had water everywhere and no idea where it was coming from). She said her husband usually handles everything in the furnace room and she had no idea. Calling all wives!!!! I am here to tell you that water damage will not plan itself around your husband’s schedule! Know where the main shut off is and better yet, have it marked. ***If you would like ‘main water shut off’ valve tag mailed to you, email me at lisa@24restore and I will get one to you! 

8. Staying up to date is a huge help when it comes to problem prevention.

A frequent issue plumbers face is homeowners suffering from burst hoses and rusty build-up on fixtures. These are problems that can easily be avoided by keeping your fixtures and hoses up to date, replacing them on a schedule before they become a problem.

9. It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to be an expert fixer-upper if you own your own home. It’s important to be aware of the limits of your abilities, especially when it comes to something as important as plumbing, because when you’re halfway through a plumbing fix, and it’s too hard for you to complete it’s already too late. Okay, I am definitely guilty of this one! I joke all the time that because of youtube I am now a professional plumber, auto body specialist, grill and smoker master (…well pretty much a professional chef all around for that matter), a natural lotion and soap manufacturer and one heck of an incredible knitter! The list goes on, but you get the idea! For many things, especially those that could cause water or fire damage, get over your independent self and call a professional!

10. A little knowledge goes a long way.

Just reading a list of tips like this puts you leaps and bounds ahead of your average homeowner. Knowing enough about your home plumbing to be able to find and address problems and find the right people to help you with them when they arise is something to be proud of. Go you!

Knowing how to best take care of your home plumbing is a great step in helping to avoid and unlikely water damage.

 If the disaster of water damage does happen in your home or business, call 24Restore anytime. We are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.  We are the only call you will have to make. Even If a plumber is needed, we will also arrange that.

 

~ the people ~ the equipment ~ the expertise ~