We all know many trades have some insider secrets they’d rather not share. Industry experts and DomiDocs offer these tips your plumber won’t tell you.
Being Flushable Really Isn’t a Thing
Even if those wipes, feminine hygiene products, or floss say they’re flushable, these products can easily cause blockages by getting lodged within the trap of today’s low-flow water-efficient toilets. So never flush items like cotton balls or paper towels.
Never Clog Your Pipes & Garbage Disposal With These
The ‘don’t do this list’ continues: if you want your drains and garbage disposal to last, avoid putting these down the drain:
- coffee grounds (they clump up)
- beans, eggshells, pasta, and rice (will grind down but becomes a pasty clog)
- bones (can break apart but could stay in your drain forever)
- grease (pour it into a glass jar and then dispose of it in your garbage)
- leftover bread dough
- marshmallows (gums up)
- non-food items like cigarette butts, elastics, hair and twist ties; including medication (expired or old medication needs to be disposed of properly at your nearest pharmacy) and paint (all paint needs to be taken to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal)
- pits from peaches or avocados, or any types of seeds including unpopped popcorn kernels
- shells from crab, clam, oyster, and lobster
- fibrous vegetables such as asparagus, banana peels, celery, corn husks, edamame pods, kale, lettuce, onion skins, potato, and rhubarb
- hard vegetables such as artichokes, bell pepper stems, carrots, corn cobs, and melon rinds
Clean But Don’t Damage Your Pipes
Using a harsh drain cleaner can erode your pipes. Instead, it’s recommended to first use a plunger to loosen any clogs. If that doesn’t work, try using a plumber’s snake. Proactively keep your drains clog-free by running the hot water for a few minutes followed by adding three tablespoons of washing soda (sodium carbonate or Na2CO3; not baking soda). Let sit for 15 minutes before running the hot water again. If you do this weekly or monthly, you’ll help keep your drains clog-free.
Take Care of Your Hot Water Heater
The average cost of water damage caused by an internally leaking water heater is $3,642. You can help avoid a similar scenario by monthly inspecting your heater for signs of leakage. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your hot water heater at an optimal 120°F, which can result in a 4 to 22% savings annually. Annually, you’ll need to manually drain your hot water heater to remove any sediment that’s been building up.
Protect Your Outdoor Pipes
Every fall you’ll need to disconnect, drain, wrap up, and store any hoses; if you don’t, any remaining water has the potential to freeze and expand causing breaks or damage in the hose. Turn off the interior water valve leading to your outdoor faucets and wrap them up with foam tubes or another type of insulation.
Getting An Estimate is Free.
It’s important to remember that estimates are also free. If you’re not sure who to call, consult the trusted service directory in DomiDocs. Plumbers also need to be licensed so they’re well versed in the local regulations and building codes, which also means they carry insurance and have completed ‘x’ number of work hours to become professionally licensed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: do they charge for travel time? Is there any additional cost if they need to do extra work such as cutting into a wall? Do they offer a guarantee on labor or parts? And remember, even if the plumber does cut into that wall, it’s not their job to repair it.
Keep On Top of Routine Maintenance.
If you’re proactive and follow the scheduled calendar reminders in the DomiDocs maintenance feature, it’ll pay off in the long run. Regularly checking for leaks and fixing running toilets or drips are generally easy DIY fixes. If left unattended, you could be inviting water damage which can lead to expensive mildew and mold problems.
Know Where Your Water Shut-Off Valves Are.
It’s imperative to know where your home’s individual and main water shut-off valves are located to minimize immediate and potential long-term damage in case of a burst pipe. According to Peter Kim, Assistant Vice President of Philadelphia Insurance Companies, “Our average loss related to frozen pipes is $27,000, but our most expensive claim was 1.7 million,” stated Kim.
DomiDocs makes it easy to be organized as a homeowner. You can store all of your vital homeowner documents and if you need to do a repair, you can access previous receipts and notes, as well as the service provider directory for one-click scheduling in the user-friendly online platform.
Author: Connie Motz