Home Plumbing

5 Things That Can Damage Your Home Plumbing

Your home’s plumbing is like the body’s nervous system. You can’t see it, but when there’s a problem with it, you’ll know.

Keeping your home’s plumbing healthy and functioning prevents all kinds of disasters.

Unfortunately, many homeowners damage their plumbing unintentionally. They either attempt a DIY plumbing repair themselves, use harsh chemicals in the drains, or make other poor plumbing decisions.

Curious about what could be damaging your home’s plumbing? Keep reading for the top five causes of home plumbing disasters.

1. Harsh Chemicals

Just because a chemical’s packaging says it’s intended for the drain doesn’t mean you should use it. Many of those chemicals that claim to destroy whatever is clogging your pipes can also destroy the plumbing.

Most homeowners run into clogged pipes from time to time. Perhaps your kids flushed something they shouldn’t have.

The fastest solution is to buy one of those off-the-shelf drain cleaning products and pour it down.

Unfortunately, those harsh chemicals can eat away at the materials in your plumbing and wreak more havoc than a clog. So, what should you do instead?

Try a gentler clog-removing mixture instead of the intense chemical ones. You could pour dish detergent mixed with boiling water down the drain. Or, a baking soda and hot water combo followed by vinegar.

When these natural DIY methods don’t work, it’s best to call a professional. They can remove the clog while ensuring your pipes are safe.

2. DIY Repairs

DIY renovation shows make home repairs seem simple and easy. They empower the average Joe to pick up a wrench and repair his or her plumbing themselves.

This is one of the top causes of plumbing disasters.

There are some plumbing problems that are suitable for an amateur to attempt to fix. For example, a clogged toilet or leaking shower head.

However, almost every other problem with your plumbing should be handled by a professional. The average homeowner doesn’t have the expertise and experience to carry out repairs effectively.

Often, they end up damaging the plumbing even more and then calling a professional.

It’s smart to build a strong relationship with a plumber in your area. Preferably someone who provides regular maintenance services so you never experience a plumbing emergency.

3. Using Poor Insulation

San Antonio has beautiful weather most of the time. However, it also averages about 16 days of freezing temperatures per year.

If your home’s pipes aren’t well insulated, you could experience some serious plumbing problems.

It’s easy to forget about insulation around plumbing because you don’t see the pipes every day. When the weather is usually mild, you don’t have to worry about freezing pipes.

However, during those 16 days when the weather drops, you need to worry. Pipes that aren’t well insulated can freeze and then burst.

Fixing burst pipes is more costly than replacing some old insulation. Prior to the colder months, have a plumber check your insulation. They’ll tell you if you’re missing insulation or if it needs replacing.

4. Flushing Things You Shouldn’t

It’s not just children that are notorious for flushing things down the toilet that they shouldn’t. Many adults aren’t aware of which items can get flushed and which can’t.

In fact, some products that claim to be flushable on their packaging still shouldn’t be flushed.

So, how can you tell what can and can’t get thrown in the toilet? Teach your children and fellow adults the following rule: the only things that go in the toilet are toilet paper and human waste.

Here are things that should never go in the toilet:

  • Baby wipes and wet wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton balls, Q-tips, and dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Children’s toys

These items, and many others, can get lodged in the plumbing of your house or further down the sewage line. Often, a DIY clog removal method won’t be strong enough and you’ll need to call the plumber.

To prevent your little ones from flushing something they shouldn’t, consider making a sign to put beside the toilet. It could be a friendly reminder that dinosaur figurines don’t take baths in the toilet bowl.

It’s also important to note that whatever gets flushed can contaminate your city’s groundwater. That’s why it’s never recommended to flush medications or cigarette butts down the toilet.

5. Tree and Shrub Roots

This major cause of plumbing problems is often out of the homeowner’s control. If you have trees or shrubs on your property, their roots could affect your pipes.

Roots are drawn to sources of water for hydration. Sometimes that water comes from the rain soaking into the soil. Other times, they find water from a leaky plumbing pipe underground.

The roots will start to grow into the plumbing pipes to absorb all the water. However, this damages the pipes and causes more water to leak.

Not only could this run up your water bill, but it can affect the quality of your water. It’s especially common in older buildings and houses with large trees.

What’s the solution to roots damaging your plumbing? Having a professional plumber and tree-remover dislodge the roots from your pipes and replanting the tree elsewhere.

What’s Causing Your Home Plumbing Disaster?

These are just five of the possible causes of home plumbing damage. Often, it boils down to the homeowner trying DIY repairs or the substances being poured and flushed down the drains.

You can prevent plumbing problems by avoiding these five factors and being proactive. The moment you notice a problem with your plumbing, call a professional.

If you’re located in San Antonio, Texas, and need an experienced plumber, contact us. We have the expertise, experience, and dedication to solve all types of home plumbing problems.

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