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Factors That May Strain Your Plumbing and How to Help It Handle the Load

Friday, October 9, 2015 - 10:10am

Your plumbing is designed to handle daily use. However, many factors can affect the load on your plumbing, increasing its risk for leaks and other performance issues that affect your daily comfort. Understanding these factors, and the steps you can take to lighten that load, will help you protect your plumbing and your Portland home from wasted water and potential water damage.

Increased Usage

Higher usage is one of the most common causes of strain on a plumbing system. While hosting guests for a day isn’t likely to affect your plumbing’s performance, several days of increased usage can take its toll on your system. Additionally, any major or consistent changes in the way you use your plumbing increase the risk of problems. The most common plumbing problems associated with increased usage are slow drains, clogs, and reduced water pressure. You can prevent these issues by avoiding the use of multiple fixtures or appliances at the same time, as well as carefully monitoring the use of your home’s drains. Never flush trash down a toilet or sink, as this will lead to clog buildup and wastewater backups. Using an enzymatic drain maintenance product, such as BioChoice ES, can help to remove any organic buildup that occurs, help to prevent clogs from forming.

Mineral Buildup

Over time, dissolved minerals inside your water can build up along the walls of your plumbing pipes. This process slowly reduces the amount of volume available in the pipes for the transportation of water, which makes it harder for your plumbing to both deliver water and drain it away. Mineral buildup can affect any pipes in your home; often, it will affect all the pipes simultaneously, as it is a factor associated with age and use of the entire system. The most common symptoms of mineral buildup are dirty or metallic-tasting water and low water pressure throughout your home. In many cases, buildup can be removed by a professional plumber using hydro jetting, which clears out the pipes by blasting away any buildup with high-pressure water jets. However, if the buildup has caused widespread corrosion of your pipes, you may want to consider replacing your plumbing pipes with new ones to prevent future problems. If your home is particularly susceptible to buildup due to hard water, adding a water softening system can improve your plumbing’s performance and increase its longevity as well. Your Portland plumber can recommend the best solutions for your unique situation.

Unaddressed Leaks

Plumbing leaks cause problems that extend beyond wasted water and the physical damage resulting from standing water. One or more leaks also put added strain on your plumbing system, bleeding away water and reducing pressure before it can reach your fixtures. Multiple leaks will often cause a drop in water pressure, which can affect the performance of your faucets and appliances, including toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines. When these appliances can’t pull the water they need for proper function, it causes premature wear and often energy and water waste. If you notice any signs of water leaks, it’s important to address it properly and contact your Portland plumber for evaluation and repair. Don’t let a single leak persist, as it can slowly cause excess wear that reduces the performance and total lifetime of your plumbing system.

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