As a homeowner, it isn't always easy to know which problems you are causing and which ones you inherited along with the house. On your Saturday mornings, you might find yourself going through your place and repairing issues one at a time. However, if you make the wrong decisions regarding your plumbing system, you might create more problems than you solve. Here are two things your plumber wishes you would stop doing and why:
1: Cranking Up The Water Pressure
Are you tired of watching water trickle out of your kitchen faucet? If you are looking to bump up the power a little, you might be tempted to head out to your main water line and adjust the water pressure. After all, wouldn't it be nice to spray off those dishes with a little more gusto? Unfortunately, changing your water pressure can have dire consequences on your home's plumbing system.
Indoor residential water pressure should never be above 80 pounds per square inch. However, the main water line that supplies water to your home might allow you to change it to as high as 150 psi—almost twice the pressure it should be. Although it might seem like a small adjustment, increasing water pressure can actually cause your pipes to rattle around and break. This occurrence, referred to as "water hammer," can also create annoying noises inside of your walls. High water pressure can also exacerbate plumbing leaks. The higher the pressure, the more water will spurt out of damaged joints and corroded pipes.
To protect your plumbing, don't try to adjust your own incoming water pressure. If you feel like your water moves too slowly, hire a professional plumber to test your pressure levels and adjust the line for you. If your water pressure is too high, experts can even install regulators to protect your plumbing system.
2: Using Chemical Drain Cleaner Too Liberally
When that sink or bathtub stops draining like it should, what is your first instinct? If you are like most homeowners, you probably fish around underneath your kitchen sink for that go-to bottle of chemical drain cleaner. Unfortunately, using drain cleaner too liberally might not do anything but irritate your plumber. Here are a few reasons why using chemical drain cleaner isn't always a good idea:
- Physical Clogs: Believe it or not, chemical drain cleaner is completely powerless against foreign objects like dropped hair bands, bobby pins, and small plastic children's toys. Drain cleaner works by combining ingredients like solid hydroxide and aluminum turnings to generate heat—which boils standing water and breaks apart organic clogs. However, if your blockage contains objects that won't melt apart, your clog might be around to stay.
- Pipe Damage: Unfortunately, if chemical drain cleaner doesn't take care of that clog, it can sit in your pipes and corrode the surrounding materials. In fact, chemical drain cleaner can soften PVC pipes and damage plumbing made from older materials.
- Caustic Environment: To make matters worse, sitting chemical drain cleaner can create a caustic environment for any professional that you call in. Instead of being able to work quickly to resolve the issue, your plumber might have to suit up in protective gear to avoid being burned.
The next time you encounter a tough clog, check your drain for debris first. If you notice stuck objects or serious internal pipe damage, don't try to correct the problem on your own. Professional plumbers have equipment to maneuver through tight spaces and unclog even the most difficult blockages—without injuring your pipes.
By working with a professional plumber and making careful choices, you can protect your home from unplanned expenses. Click here to find more information.