10 Things That Are Ruining Your Home’s Plumbing

Plumbing isn’t something we usually notice until there’s an issue. And once that happens, it can create some serious stress in our lives. The biggest issue when it comes to plumbing is ourselves. We put the wrong things in the garbage disposal, or do bad do–it-yourself jobs in order to get a cheap, quick fix. Most of the time, we’re doing more damage than we’re fixing. There are steps you can take today to start reducing the wear and tear on your pipes, and keep them working longer. Here’s 10 of them.

10 Things That Are Ruining Your Home's Plumbing

1. Liquid Drain Cleaners

Often a seemingly quick fix, liquid drain cleaners aren’t all that great in clearing pipes. What’s more, they actually can damage and crack pipes due to the heat they generate in the pipes. It’s best to steer clear of these.

2. Foreign Objects Flushed Down the Toilet

Flushing objects like baby wipes, paper towels, and feminie hygiene products is a recipe for disaster for your toilet. You’ll be calling a plumber in no time, doing these things. The only thing that should be flushed down your toilet is toilet paper. 

3. DIY Plumbing Gone Wrong

As expensive as professional plumbing is, the cost could be much worse, depending on the damage done from DIY jobs. Inexperience can equal huge mistakes when it comes to plumbing, including things like joining two different pipes, or forgetting to turn off the water before starting. A better idea is to get bids from several plumbers, and see which one works for you. 

4. Grease Down the Drain

If you’re left with a pan full of grease after cooking dinner, don’t pour it down the drain. Grease can coat the sides of the pipes, and over time, build up enough to create a large clog, either in your home, or even in municipality-owned pipes. 

5. Drop-in Toilet Fresheners

While they might make your toilet bowl look nice and smell better, drop-in toilet cleaners can do a lot of damage to the parts inside the tank. The chlorine in the fresheners can break down, and corrode the gaskets and washers in the tank. Cleaning the toilet with a scrub brush is a much better solution. 

6. Not Replacing Washing Machine Hoses

After five years or so, the hoses on your washing machine have to be replaced. This can be hard to tell, as they may not show any signs of wear and tear, and then just burst. If you haven’t replaced them in some time, it might be a good time to do it, and save yourself some trouble down the road. 

7. Freezing Pipes

If temperatures fall below freezing where you live, it’s important to take precautions so your pipes don’t freeze. Water freezing in your pipes can cause them to expand and burst. One way to deal with this is to make sure your pipes are insulated. You may also want to consider heat tape or water leak alarms for sections of pipes running through exterior walls, your garage, or unheated sections of your home. 

8. Leaving Hoses Connected Year Round

When it comes time to put away your summer furniture and your grill, make sure your garden hose gets disconnected and put away, as well. Leaving it connected for the winter can cause cracks in the hose and the pipes, leading to problems down the road. You may want to consider putting an insulation cap on your outdoor spigot, depending on how cold it usually gets in your area. 

9. Keeping an Older Hot Water Tank

If your hot water tank is older than the average (8-12 years for a traditional tank, up to 20 years for a tankless model), you could be a risk for leaks and higher energy prices. There are signs that your tank needs to be replaced, such as knocking sounds and drops in temperature. If it’s past the expiration date, it may be time for a new one. 

10. Potato Skins in the Garbage Disposal

If you’re peeling potatoes, it may be tempting to just throw them down the sink, and into the garbage disposal. Don’t do it. Potato skins in the garbage disposal can create a thick, starchy mess, which can easily clog pipes. Instead, consider using a compost pile, and throwing the skins there. 

Plumbing experts in the Schererville, IN, area

If you have questions about a plumbing issue that has come up in your home, or any other plumbing questions for that matter, feel free to reach out to Reichelt Plumbing. Schedule an appointment today at (219) 322-4906.


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