Maintenance tips to avoid a plumbing disaster
A plumbing disaster is one of the worst things that can happen to a Chicago home. Problems like frozen pipes and clogged drains can be expensive to fix, and lead to further damage if not immediately addressed. Fortunately, there are proactive measures that can be taken by Chicago homeowners to reduce the chances of a plumbing disaster.
- Frozen pipes. Pipes can freeze and even burst if a homeowner fails to keep water flowing through during the winter. Remove hoses from hose bibs before the freezing weather hits and close the shut-off valve leading to the outside faucet. Open the outside faucets to release residual water and close them before freezing temperatures. Inside, leave cabinet doors open during cold weather so the heat from the house can circulate to the pipes. A blow dryer or heat gun can be used to thaw pipes, but never use a blow torch.
- Sump pumps. They typically have a low lifespan, so it’s always best to service or replace them on a regular basis rather than waking up after a storm to find the basement under water.
- Garbage disposal. Running the water for 30 seconds after use ensures all food debris is flushed down the drain. You should also avoid putting meat and other fatty products down the drain as they contribute to clogs.
- Sewage lines. It’s beneficial to flush some copper sulfate or other approved herbicide down the toilet to prevent root growth — especially at times of drought when plants try to make their way toward water sources. Growing roots can cause cracks that lead to pipe failure.
Proper maintenance can help decrease the chances of a plumbing disaster, but if one occurs, it’s best to hire a plumber. Visit Angie’s List for consumer reviews on highly rated plumbers in the Chicago area.