Don’t Let a Potential Plumbing Emergency Haunt Your House!
One of the joys of Halloween is decking out the house with all sorts of fun, spooky decorations for a festive atmosphere of chills and thrills. But no matter how scary the Fright Night decorations are, they pale in comparison to the real horrors of a plumbing emergency!
Whether it’s a backed-up sewer line, an overflowing toilet, or a broken-down water heater on a cold October night, plumbing emergencies can be the stuff of nightmares for any homeowner. So to help homeowners enjoy the spooky season without being haunted by the possibility of a plumbing catastrophe, here are a few tips for preventing common plumbing problems!
Keep Drains Clean
One of the best ways to avoid a potential plumbing emergency is to keep the home’s drains clean and free of debris. All of the home’s drains lead to one main drainage pipe called a “lateral line,” which leads to the city sewer main or septic system. Individual drain clogs are bad enough, but if the lateral line becomes clogged, it can cause every drain in the home to back up - yuck!
Preventing such a scenario starts with being mindful of what goes down the drains - the most common contributors to drain clogs are grease, hair, coffee grounds, eggshells, and certain hygiene products that get flushed down the toilet (more on those shortly).
Of course, small amounts of grease, soap scum, and other debris will wind up in the drains and build up over time, so it’s necessary to clean the drains regularly. This will help prevent clogs and reduce nasty odors and indoor air quality concerns from mold and bacteria. Periodic professional drain cleaning is the best way since pros have the tools to thoroughly clean the drains as far down as the sewer line.
Many homeowners may be tempted to use liquid drain cleaners, but these contain harsh chemicals that can damage the plumbing and release toxic fumes - so it’s best to avoid these. Homeowners can instead use non-toxic household substances (such as baking soda and vinegar) to help keep the drains clean between professional drain cleaning visits.
Prevent Toilet Clogs
Toilet clogs are nearly as common - and just as unpleasant - as ordinary drain clogs. The number one cause of clogged toilets is inappropriate materials being flushed. This includes paper towels, sanitary napkins, feminine hygiene products, makeup remover wipes, pet litter, and the occasional toy or action figure. The only things that one should ever flush are toilet paper and human waste - even “flushable” baby wipes don’t properly disintegrate and cause blockages.
Unflushable materials don’t just get stuck in the toilet plumbing itself but can also get lodged in the sewer line and cause large-scale clogs. Fortunately, preventing these clogs is usually as simple as not flushing the wrong items. However, many older toilets may be more prone to clogs than today’s more efficient models, so a toilet upgrade may be in order if clogs are a recurring issue.
Stay On Top of Water Heater Maintenance
One plumbing emergency that often gets overlooked is a water heater breakdown. It may not be as big of a deal in the heat of summer, but as autumn brings colder weather, getting stuck without hot water can make things uncomfortable. On top of that, having to shell out for a new water heater unexpectedly can be horrific in its own right.
The primary cause of water heater problems is a lack of maintenance. Without regular maintenance, mineral sediment can build up inside the tank and compromise the tank lining. More than that, the anode rod can deplete and expose the tank to corrosion, gas burners can get clogged with grime, safety devices can fail, and the unit can become less efficient. In short, nothing good can come from neglecting water heater maintenance.
Having the water heater serviced annually by a professional will not only help prevent unexpected breakdowns, but also extend the lifespan of the unit, improve energy efficiency, and keep the home safe from the truly scary dangers of a malfunctioning water heater, such as fires, scalding water, and carbon monoxide or gas leaks.
About A&A Plumbing
The family-owned and operated A&A Plumbing has been San Antonio’s go-to plumber since 2007. As a testament to their outstanding customer service, personal attention, clean and courteous technicians, and expert workmanship, they have been awarded Service Titan’s “Titan of the Year” finalist award and HomeAdvisor’s “Top Rated Business” title. They offer competitive up-front pricing, financing, and a money-saving membership plan, so call A&A today for plumbing maintenance and drain cleaning services in San Antonio, TX!