According to Angie’s List, the average repair bill for your home’s plumbing is $325. For emergencies, expect to add another $150. In order to avoid these costs, here are ten simple things you can do to get the most out of your home’s plumbing.

  1. Give Your Plumbing a Yearly Check-Up

Just like you need an annual check-up at your doctor to maintain your health and stop small problems from becoming large ones, your plumbing needs an annual check-up. This reassures you that an expensive emergency is not on the horizon. Also, have the plumber check to see if any pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing.

  1. Turn It Off

Make sure you know where the main water valve is in your home, because the plumber may need to turn your water off while doing an inspection or a plumbing repair. If there is a leak, turning off the water will prevent water damage. Know how to turn off the water in your toilet, sink, washing machine, and dishwasher.

  1. Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaners

Liquid drain cleaners are highly corrosive. They include ingredients like hydrochloric acid. They are especially bad for PVC or plastic pipes. If you do not know what your pipes are made out of, do not ever use liquid drain cleaners.

  1. Get a Water Pressure Gage

High water pressure can damage your pipes. It should always be in the range of 45 to 80 psi (pounds per square inch.) If the pressure suddenly goes up, calling a plumber right away can prevent major damage.

  1. Get Your Water Checked

Is your water hard or soft? Your water could be high in chemicals that could damage your plumbing from mineral build-up. If you have hard water, or water high in calcium carbonite and magnesium, then you need to install a water softener.

  1. Not Everything Goes Down the Drain

Make sure everyone in your home knows what can be flushed or poured down the sink and what can’t. Clogs are commonly caused by fat, cooking grease, paper towels, tampon applicators, powdered fiber supplements, and coffee grounds. Even those flushable wipes could clog your pipes.

  1. Use the Right Kind of Toilet Paper

Many kinds of toilet paper can cause clogs in pipes and septic systems. It should dissolve quickly in water. Ask your plumber what brand or type of toilet paper is best for your situation. If you aren’t willing to switch, then all used toilet paper needs to go in the trash and not flushed.

  1. Regularly Check for Leaks

Get in the habit of checking for leaks anywhere there are pipes. Puddles of water, low water pressure, stains, bad tasting water, and bad smells are also signs to call a plumber pronto. Places most prone to leaks are under sinks, along washing machine pipes and behind toilets. Incorporate checking for leaks whenever you do house cleaning or the laundry.

  1. Take Smarter Showers

Is there always a line for the shower at your home? Someone needs to shower at night. Others need to wait at least ten minutes from the time the shower turns off before turning it on again. Constant stopping and starting means the water pressure is quickly going up and down. This can damage the pipes.

  1. Don’t Ignore Strange Noises

When you turn on a faucet, do you hear any bangs or rattles? Even if the water is coming out normally, the noises should not be ignored. They mean that there is a blockage somewhere in your pipes.

Be Your Plumbing’s Second-Best Friend

You don’t have to be a plumber in order to follow these ten simple tips. By keeping an eye and ear open for problems, you know when to call your plumbing’s best friend – your plumber. Your plumbing will thank you for working long and reliably for years to come.

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