We tend to think of the piping in a household plumbing system as something that will last for as long as the house does. This isn’t remotely true. Pipes age and chemicals and minerals in the water can age them faster. Older pipe materials, such as cast iron and galvanized steel, are more susceptible to failure than plastics and copper, so if you live in a home built before 1970, you may be facing major pipe problems already. In these situations, extensive repiping is the best solution.
In this post, our focus is what you can do right now to protect the pipes you already have to ensure you won’t need to have repiping done for many years. These tips will help your pipes enjoy longer lives.
How You Can Be Kind to Your Pipes
It’s easier than you think to keep your pipes healthy:
- Never use chemical drain cleaners: There is nothing more rapidly harmful to pipes, and yet done more frequently, than pouring bottles of caustic chemicals down them. It seems obvious, but the manufacturers of these chemical “drain cleaners” have done a fantastic job of deceiving homeowners into thinking their products are actual solutions. The acid in these cleaners can eat through clogs, but they don’t discriminate between clogs and pipe material! They’ll eat it all away. Worse, the chemicals hang around in the drains afterwards and keep chewing away at them. Only use a plunger or drain snake to clear a clog. If those don’t work, call a plumber.
- Maintain safe water pressure: The higher the water pressure in the plumbing, the more it damages the pipes. Water pressure needs to be under 85 psi. If you suspect high pressure, call a plumber to test it. The plumber can install a water pressure regulator to get the pressure down to safe levels.
- Schedule routine drain cleaning: This is a maintenance step people often forget about. If the drains are (mostly) draining, why call for cleaning? There are several reasons to make drain cleaning an annual service to schedule, such as reducing future clogs. It also removes harmful build-up that can damage the pipes, such as soap scum.
- Have leaks fixed promptly: “Minor leak”? No such thing! Any sign of leaking from pipes needs a swift solution from a professional plumber. These leaks wastewater and cause building material damage. They also harm the pipes and wear away at them, and often point toward other pipe problems that need to be dealt with.
- Know what not to flush: Throwing trash into the toilet to flush it is a fast way to wreck drainpipes and the sewer line. Only human waste and toilet paper go in the toilet. Flushing moist wipes is one of worst things you inflict on your drainpipes. Don’t even flush facial tissues, which are absorbent and will easily block drains. The pressure these blockages create will rapidly wear down the pipes—aside from being terrible nuisances.
For your plumbing in Santa Clarita, CA, we’re the professionals to trust for plumbing upkeep and solutions.
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