Top 10 Ways Homeowners Ruin Their Plumbing
A humorous look at people and their plumbing
Posted 06:34 April 09, 2017
Last Updated 08:46 November 17, 2017
The career field of plumbing is always booming. People will always need plumbers because people will always need working plumbing. People can do some crazy things to their plumbing and we here at All Trades have seen it all. Here's our top ten list of ways that homeowners ruin their home plumbing.
#10 Drain Cleaner
When used in moderation, with the right kind of clog, on the right kind of pipes, drain cleaner works fine and is perfectly safe. However, many homeowners seem to think more is better and will often dump and entire bottle into a clogged drain. Too much drain cleaner can corrode and weaken pipes. In some cases it can make a clog worse.
#9 Cutting Into a Wall
Some Homeowners love to improve and modify their home. But when you cut into a wall without checking for plumbing pipes first you're just asking for trouble. In addition to flooding a room and causing water damage, cutting into a water pipe with electrical tools is dangerous. Don't risk electrocution. Be safe. Find out where your pipes are before you cut into a wall.
#8 Sink Drain Stoppers
They're there to catch food particles before they get into your drain pipes and clog them. Don't remove them because they're irritating. They're supposed to be irritating.
#7 Outdoor Water Hoses
Before winter a good homeowner will remove all their exterior water hoses. Being lazy and leaving them connected can lead to a frozen sillcock (the outdoor faucet) and the water pipe it is connected to. In extreme cases the faucet and/or water pipe will burst.
Your hose will probably be ruined too.
#6 Pouring Grease Down Any Drain
This usually happens in the kitchen, but it applies to any drain. Pouring grease down a drain is a very bad idea. When the grease cools it congeals and coats the inside of your pipes. You will eventually develop a heavy duty clog and your drain will stop draining. There's an old wives' tale that if you run scalding hot water down the drain at the same time you pour the grease, it'll be fine. Many of our customers believed in this tale until they called us after clogging their drain.
#5 Different Pipes
This is for DIY plumbers. You cannot join together two metal pipes of different compositions. When copper and steel metals touch, an electrochemical process called galvanic corrosion occurs. Eventually the joint will break.
#4 Garbage Disposals
A food disposer (garbage disposal) is a motor that spins a wheel with two or three cutting blades. It's not designed to eliminate anything you put into it. Certain foods are particularly hard on a garbage disposal. Vegetable peels (potato, carrots, cucumber, etc), rice, flour, or any other food that doesn't cut up well will leave your garbage disposal clogged and in-operational.
#3 Septic Systems and Chemicals
Most homeowners learn the additional care that goes along with a private septic system. If you just bought a home with one, you need to be aware of a few caveats. Your septic system works by using natural bacteria to break up, eat, and dispose of waste. Pouring chlorine bleach, drain cleaner, and even stronger anti-bacterial soaps down the drain can kill the bacteria your septic system requires. Next it's only a matter of time before your septic system backs up and you have the grand daddy of all plumbing messes.
#2 Vent Pipes
Plumbing vent pipes are for… venting. They are not convenient tunnels to run your phone, cable or satellite TV lines through. If you cut into a vent pipe inside your home, you're opening your home up to sewer gasses.
#1 The Toilet
The toilet is not a trashcan. The toilet is not a magical device that gets rid of anything you put into it. Just because you get it to flush and disappear, doesn't mean it's really gone. Most toilets have a 3 inch drain pipe that connects to your main sewer line (the line for your entire house). Flushing something you shouldn't could end up clogging up your entire house.
Those of us with young children know this story well.
All Trades services Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most areas of Clark County, Nevada. We have decades of experience in plumbing repair, drain cleaning, leak detection, hot water heaters, water softeners, and new plumbing installations. If you have a plumbing headache you're dealing with, we can help you. Contact us today.