Man tightening pipe with wrenchLike most homeowners, you probably need the services of a professional plumber from time to time. However, there are several things you can do to head off plumbing problems in advance. Below are 10 tips to help you avoid costly repairs: 

  1. Never Place Garbage in Drains

You should never put vegetable or fruit peelings, bacon grease, coffee grounds, starchy foods like potatoes and rice, or any type of food debris down your kitchen sink. Substances of this kind are virtually guaranteed to clog your pipes. When in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for your disposal to know exactly what the unit can and cannot handle.

  1. Keep a Plunger on Hand

Having a high-quality plunger on hand is one of the best things you can do to avoid clogs in sinks, toilets and drains. Well worth the investment, such plungers can save the day and head off a serious clog in virtually any drain in your home.

  1. Never Ignore Leaks

Although it is tempting to take the approach of “ignore it and it will go away,” you should never turn a blind eye toward leaks. As many as eight gallons of water may be wasted per day due to a leaky faucet, while a leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day. It is much less expensive to call a professional plumber in Laguna Niguel and have the problem resolved.

  1. Beware of Pipe Damage When Doing DIY Projects

If you’re making renovations and subsequently planning to pound nails or drill holes in the floors, walls or ceilings, you must first make sure there are no drainage or supply pipes close to your work area. If there are, it is easy to puncture them accidentally, resulting in a hefty repair bill.

  1. Beware of “Flushable” Items

Never use your toilet bowl as a garbage can. Your system can easily become backed up if you flush items such as baby wipes or feminine products, even if they are advertised as “flushable.” To be on the safe side, flush only toilet paper. 

  1. Unclog Your Sink with a Vacuum 

Use a wet dry vacuum to dislodge clogs caused by objects such as a small child’s toy or a toothbrush. This is because a plunger will work against you with regard to this problem: it will simply push the object deeper into the drain. For this reason, it is much more effective to suck the object out with a vacuum.

  1. Learn How to Use Plumber’s Tape

Also referred to as Teflon tape, plumber’s tape is primarily used to seal pipe threads around fittings and joints, and ultimately prevent leaks until repairs can be made. As a general rule, wrap three layers of plumber’s tape around the pipe to seal it properly. 

  1. Avoid the Urge to Over-Tighten Fittings

Over-tightening fittings and connections is a common mistake made by many homeowners. It eventually leads to stripped screws and broken bolts. Hand-tight is sufficient for virtually any type of plumbing fitting, so avoid putting unnecessary pressure on bolts and screws.

  1. How to Check for Leaks

Even professional plumbers in Laguna Niguel occasionally overlook small leaks. Therefore, after completing any type of plumbing project, run water through the system to check for leaks. 

  1. Locate Shut-Off Valves

Finally, always locate the main shut-off valve for your home. Getting acquainted with sewer line access points is also a good idea. If you need help with finding these locations, professional plumbers can assist you.