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13 Ways to Avoid a Streak of Plumbing Bad Luck

What’s scarier than Friday the 13th? Spending all day dealing with a plumbing problem you could have easily avoided. All too often, homeowners forget that how they care for their plumbing today has major effects on how it will act years from now.

Prevent a problem before it even happens by:

  • Placing a drain strainer over your tub and shower drains. You’ll be amazed at how many fewer clogs you have in the bathroom once hair stops making its way down the drain.
  • Repairing leaky faucets immediately! They may not seem like a priority at first, but leaking faucets waste tons of water — something that’s bad for the environment and your wallet.
  • Keeping your toilet bowls free of soap scum and rust stains by cleaning them weekly with water, vinegar, and baking soda.
  • Preventing a basement flood before it even happens by investing in a sump pump and angling your gutters properly.
  • Knowing when it’s the right time to repair or replace a fixture (hint: If this is the fifth time you’re dealing with the same problem, it’s time to replace it).
  • Never ignoring foul odors coming from your plumbing. More often than not, this is a sign of a sewer line problem.
  • Stepping away from the chemical drain cleaners! Chemical cleaners are not only bad for your plumbing and can erode pipes, but they’re also terrible for the environment. Instead, turn to hydro-scrub jetting!
  • Remembering your plumber’s three Ps — pee, poop, and paper. Feminine hygiene products, cotton balls, and band-aids have no place in your toilet bowl.
  • Knowing where the main water valve is. If a pipe does burst unexpectedly, shutting the water off right away will prevent it from becoming a bigger problem.
  • Paying attention to your hot water heater’s needs. If your heater is more than 10 years old, it may be time to get a new one.
  • Keeping bones, oil, grease, and stringy vegetables out of your garbage disposal.
  • Ditching the color changing toilet bowl tablets. Sure, it may be fun to turn your water bright blue or pink, but those tablets often have chemicals in them that destroy parts of your tank’s system.
  • Not trying “to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem yourself, or hire a handyman (or handywoman) to do plumbing work,” says Jim Jennette, a plumber for 25 years and Mr. Rooter franchise consultant. Because plumbers can find and correct a problem faster than an amateur can, you’ll end up saving money in the long run.


Want more expert tips or think you have a plumbing problem? Contact Mr. Rooter of San Francisco, today!