Homeownership is a big goal for many people, but once that goal has been attained, that doesn’t mean we rest easy, the game is over, or everything will be happily-ever-after now. Life goes on, and, in a house, that means sometimes things go wrong.
If something happens with your plumbing, this can not only be expensive to fix; it can fundamentally change your life. Having to leave the house to use the bathroom? No drinking water available? If you want to avoid plumbing emergencies like this, there are a few ways to keep them at bay.
Drips & Leaks from Fixtures
Fortunately, this particular problem doesn’t usually present a major threat to either health or home. But, it can still make you crazy with the non-stop “drip.”
It also costs you money, since that water is “used” as far as the utility company is concerned, so they’ll bill you for it. Leak prevention at its simplest is just making sure taps are tightly turned to “off.”
If you’re still getting a leak after that, the next most likely culprit is one or two parts within the fixture known as the washer or the O-ring. These can get naturally worn out by time, but are very cheap and easy to replace, so get a wrench, and you can do this yourself.
Drains That Are Blocked
If you fill up your sink, then pull the plug when you’re done, and the water just isn’t emptying out, you’ve got a blocked drain.
This happens when matter gets caught in the pipe and then catches more and more matter, creating a build-up.
If it’s the kitchen sink, the matter might be food. If it’s in your bathroom, such as the tub or the sink there, it could be hair.
In the majority of blocked drain cases, your sink will “warn” you this is going to happen. Once the build-up begins, a partial blockage will create a “slow drain,” where you notice the water is emptying out slower than it used to.
Drain cleaning products can be used at this point, but be very careful not to overdo it! Drain cleaners are full of corrosive chemicals, so too much in a pipe can break a very old pipe, and can even warp or melt modern plastic pipes!
The Overflowing Toilet
This is a blocked drain specific to the toilet, but with real health risks, since human waste contains contagions.
If your toilet backs-up on you, and waste is spilling out onto the floor, this usually means someone has been ignoring the purpose of a toilet.
Toilets are meant to only reliably eliminate human waste and toilet paper, which is designed to disintegrate when it makes contact with water. Even paper towels or cigarettes can jam up a drainage pipe, so don’t flush these other objects!
A pipe bursting only happens for a few very specific reasons. Metal fatigue can occur with very old pipes, such as cast iron drainage pipes that are closing in on 100 years of age.
Replace these with modern PVC pipes to prevent this. But water pipes can burst if they are exposed to winter temperatures so low the water inside freezes.
Water turning to ice expands, which ruptures the pipe itself, so insulate vulnerable pipes to prevent this from happening.
Everyone that lives in Livonia, MI can enjoy reliable plumbing. All you have to do is be mindful of potential issues coming up, and deal with them before they become serious.