The Best Plumbing Practices for Any Home

When you’re a homeowner, you’ll do anything in your power to not only take care of your most significant investment but to make sure every square inch of it is functioning properly at all times. From the light switch in the kitchen to the motor on the garage door, the goal is to keep your home running like a well-oiled machine, but what about improving your plumbing habits? Sure, everything seems to be working, but there could be a hidden problem ready to strike when you least expect it.

To avoid a potential plumbing nightmare, here are some ways you can help protect your plumbing and sharpen your day-to-day practices at the same time:

It Starts With Your Cleaning Supplies

If You’re Using Chemical Cleaners, You Might Want to Stop...

Since the mass production of home cleaning products, there are a series of cleaners and “potions” that promise to help clean every square inch of your living space with the utmost of ease. While it might seem fantastic to have sparkling countertops and the smell of vibrant faux-citrus lingering throughout your home, it’s not something that any homeowner should look forward to — why is that?

When it comes to chemical cleaners, these products are filled to the brim with harmful additives that will not only deteriorate your indoor air quality, but also take a toll on your plumbing fixtures over time. If you're looking to keep your home clean in the safest way possible, green cleaning products are the best alternative.

Green Cleaning Products Are the Way to Go

Unlike harmful chemical cleaning agents, green cleaners are the best alternative to help sanitize your home and help it sparkle in the process. Unlike their chemical cousins, green cleaners are gentle on surfaces and plumbing fixtures — they won’t strip away or deteriorate. Another great thing about green cleaning products? They’ll help keep your indoor air quality in a good place.

More times than anyone would like to admit, chemical cleaning agents have harmful additives that are invisible to the human eye and go airborne when a bottle is sprayed. That being said, those “ingredients” can linger and cause some disarray — something that no homeowner wants present in their home. On the topic of chemical cleaners, there’s another harmful chemical product that’s used a little too often. What could that be? Chemical drain cleaner — and here’s why you should stop using it immediately.

Followed by Your Plumbing Supplies

What are Chemical Drain Cleaners?

Why are chemical drain cleaners a popular item in most homes across the country? Simple: they promise to clear various debris out of your plumbing pipes, helping water drain more smoothly (and quickly). Now, while this sounds like a cheap, fast dream come true, it’s one of the worst products anyone could use — why is that?

Why are They Bad for My Plumbing?

First and foremost, there are many negative attributes when it comes to using a chemical drain cleaner. The first is that this “cleaning” product is a hazard to your health. Just like a chemical household cleaner (but even worse), a chemical drain cleaner has highly toxic fumes that can cause eye, nose, and respiratory irritation. These chemical drain cleaners are also extremely lethal to ingest and can be dangerous if a child or pet comes in contact with them.

Another thing that most homeowners don’t take into consideration? How their plumbing pipes fare when a chemical cleaner is used regularly. Even if you only use a chemical drain cleaner a few times a year, it can cause pipe corrosion. Over time, the enamel coating will wear down, destroying your pipes. This, of course, can lead to leaks and even a burst pipe — something that every homeowner fears.

If you’re looking to keep your pipes (and health) in tip-top shape, then we strongly advise opting for professional drain cleaning services, enzyme-based drain cleaners, or DIY, natural alternatives.

Then, on to Your Plumbing Practices

What Do You Flush Down Your Toilet?

No, we’d care not to talk about “the obvious” and toilet paper, but about everything else in between. While it might seem as if your toilet can take on just about anything — spoiler alert: it can’t. Now, if you’re currently asking yourself, “what can’t I flush down the toilet?” right now, we’re here to provide some helpful insight.

Flushable Wipes Aren't Really Flushable

Let’s cut to the chase: it’s true, flushable wipes aren’t exactly flushable. While they might bear the name, you should do the complete opposite when getting rid of them. These “flushable” pieces of tightly woven fibers take quite some work to flush down the toilet successfully, even if they disintegrate. When in doubt, throw them out.

Anything That Should Be Tossed in the Trash

Whether you’ve opened up a brand new bottle of mouthwash or rubbing alcohol, there’s usually some sort of plastic wrapping that should be tossed in a nearby garbage can; flushing garbage is something that should never happen. The reason? It can have a hard time breaking down and even get stuck in the pipe, causing a potential clog — another headache that could have been easily avoided.

If You Take Baths, Do You Use Bath Bombs? Well, You Might Want to Rethink That Idea…

In recent bathing trends, bath bombs have come into the spotlight. These disintegrating bath orbs come in an array of different colors and scents and promise to give you a luxurious
bathing experience. And, of course, when there’s a series of benefits, there are also a series of negative elements, too.

Since bath bombs have a variety of glitters, oils, and flower petals inside of them, those materials won’t disintegrate in your bath and will get trapped in the drain. When that happens, there’s a chance that they can cling to the walls of the pipe and cause a blockage. And since it may be hard to part ways with bath bombs (how could you not love them?), there are a few ways to protect your plumbing:

  • Place the bath bomb in a mesh/nylon pull string bag, which will catch any “debris” when the ball disintegrates.
  • Look for bath bombs that aren’t composed of glitters or flower petals.
  • Get a drain cover for your bathtub to help prevent loose pieces from coming in contact with your drain.
  • Schedule regular drain cleanings with a professional plumber to help break up anything that resides in your pipes and helps water flow smoothly.

Take Shorter Showers

On average, how long would you say your showers last? For some homeowners, that can be anywhere over 5 minutes — which may seem harmless, but can actually use much more water than you think. Typically, a showerhead produces a flow rate of approximately 2.1 gallons per minute. And when that's the case, a shower session that exceeds 5 minutes can use as much as 10 gallons of water; startling, to say the least. In order to cut back on your water waste, aim to take showers that are much shorter in duration; this will help save on the amount of water that you use.

Finally, Ways You Can Help Maintain Your Plumbing’s Health

How Can I Help Maintain the Plumbing in My Home?

When it comes to preserving your plumbing's “health,” there are many different avenues you can take to get the job done (and save yourself from a headache in the process). One of the best ways? Scout out leaks in your home.

Have Leaky Faucets Repaired as Soon as Possible

If you have a leaky faucet in your home, that constant dripping will waste much more water than you think! Usually, leaks are caused by a worn-out O-ring (the piece at the spout that eliminates water from leaking out). Another reason is that you might need to have the valve seal replaced.

No matter what might be causing the leak, if the faucet goes unrepaired, it could waste up to 1,400+ drips of water a day — approximately 34 gallons in one year; alarming, to say the least. Therefore, the minute you discover a leak, have it repaired right away to save water (and money) in the long run!

Look Into Low-Flow Fixtures

While on the topic of saving water, it may be wise to look into low-flow fixtures for your home! Even if you feel that your current plumbing fixtures are up to par, just like taking a long shower, using standard plumbing fixtures can waste a ton of water. When you invest in eco-friendly alternatives for your plumbing, you'll instantly reap the benefits of lowering your water consumption.

For example, if you have a low-flow showerhead, it will provide you with a great showering experience, without having to sacrifice quality! Another alternative to look into is a dual flush toilet. Unlike a standard "throne," this one will give you the option to control the power of your flush — it's that simple (and beneficial)!

Have Your Plumbing Inspected Annually

Do you know how well your plumbing pipes are holding up? Sure, the water might be flowing without a problem, but there’s a chance that the pipes need to be replaced or repaired. The solution? Regardless if you feel that everything is exceptional, you should have a professional plumber inspect your home’s plumbing.

They’ll be able to check for any leaks, see if fixtures are working up to par, and see if there’s any room for improvement. If a plumber senses something isn’t right, they’ll share reasonable suggestions on how to help get your home’s plumbing up to shape; it’s that simple and will help provide you with the peace of mind you’ve always longed for.

When You Encounter A Plumbing Problem, We’re the Company to Contact!

Look no further than Manchester’s Proactive Comfort. For expert service and repairs, give us a call at (603) 239-2346 to schedule your appointment. We also serve customers throughout Hooksett, Nashua, and Hillsborough County!