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3 Simple Plumbing Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Winter is coming! While that may evoke images of steaming cups of hot chocolates and snow angels for some, for many homeowners, winter is a time of shoveling, high heating costs, and frozen pipes. Luckily for Phoenix residents, freezing pipes isn't often a huge worry for the extremely mild winter months.

However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be diligent when it comes to your plumbing! Here are three plumbing maintenance tips that protect your pipes, your plumbing, and the integrity of your home, whatever the weather might be.

Protect Your Drains
Whether it's your shower, your kitchen sink, or your toilet, a lot of unwanted things might be found going down your drain. And for the most part, this is bad news. For example, if you carved pumpkins in your sink and thought to wash it down the drain, chances are, those stringy bits of pumpkin goo are still lingering in your pipes, and will likely cause backups down the line. Whenever possible, dispose of items that are difficult to break down in order to avoid costly backups and clogs.

Insulate Your Pipes
Regardless of your locale, pipes are susceptible to cracks, leaks, and bursts from rapidly changing temperatures. If outdoor temperatures fall below 20 degrees, your pipes are susceptible to leaks and bursts. In addition, even the smallest one-millimeter crack can waste up to 250 gallons per day. 250,000 homes across the country experience expensive water damage from similar leaks, so the more insulation, the better.

Don't Ignore Old, Creaky Pipes
While they say a creaky house has "character," it may be indicative of a larger problem regarding your pipes. How old are the pipes in your home? If they are over 40 years old, it may be time for pipe replacement and installation from your local residential plumbing services. While it may seem like a large expense, doing so may save your home a lot of trouble in the long run.

What do you do to practice plumbing maintenance? Share your tips and secrets in the comments below?