You probably don’t think a lot about the sewer pipes inside your home that eliminate your waste on demand. But giving your plumbing a little regular maintenance can prolong its life, prevent leaks, and avoid costly repairs. Here’s how to care for the pipes in your house.
Clogs aren’t just nuisances.
Backed-up water puts added pressure on your sewer lines, stressing them and shortening their lives. Avoid what goes down your household drains. Keeping food out of kitchen drains, hair out of bathroom drains, and anything but sewage and toilet paper out of toilets are the rules to live by.
Install screens over drains in showers and tubs, and pull out what hair you can every few weeks to prevent buildups. Scrape food into the trash before doing dishes—even if you have a disposal—and never put liquid grease down the drain; pour it into a sealable container to put in the garbage after it cools.
Reduce the Pressure
High water seems great in the shower or filling a pot, yet it strains your pipes, increasing the likelihood of a leak down the road.
Soften the Water
If your water has a high mineral content, that can shorten your sewer’s life. These minerals, usually magnesium or calcium, build up inside your pipes and restrict the liquid waste flow, increasing the pressure again. They can also eat at and corrode pipe joints and fittings.
Other Ways To Care
- Learn where your home’s main water shut off valve is—so if there’s ever a leak, you can turn off the water to the entire house.
- Remove hoses from outdoor spigots in winter to prevent frozen water from cracking the pipes and causing a flood.
- Do not hang things from the pipes in the basement. Doing so can loosen joints and fasteners.
- Fix problems quickly. Small leaks can make pipes corrode more quickly, and cause significant water damage and toxic mold.