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5 Common Mistakes That Can Kill Your Plumbing Systems

Plumbing systems can be very sensitive. It may not seem like it from the outside, but your plumbing system is made up of a many different, very sensitive components and it can be very easy to damage one of these components and cause the entire plumbing system to fail.

Also, because home plumbing systems tend to be very interconnected, damaging one part of your plumbing system can lead to damage elsewhere. For example, you can dump food down your drain, and it may eventually form into a clog in another part of your home’s plumbing system.

Despite the fact that plumbing systems can be very sensitive, many people do not treat them with the sort of care that plumbing systems need. Most of us do things every day that could very easily damage their plumbing systems.

In this post, we are going to talk about some of the things that people do that could potentially cause major damage to their plumbing system.

1. Overuse of drain cleaning solution

Very often when people get clogs they choose to use chemical drain cleaners to get rid of the clogs (mainly because the only alternatives are to make your own drain cleaner or to physically dig the clog out).

Now, these chemical drain cleaners can cause damage to your plumbing system, and particularly your pies, over time. Using these chemical drain cleaners every once in a while is perfectly fine as the chemicals within the cleaner are not harsh enough to cause any real damage in the short-term.

But, when chemical drain cleaners are used constantly and for long periods of time, the chemicals in the drain cleaner can start building up. This buildup can cause start causing noticeable amounts of corrosion to your pipes. Now, is the damage enough to cause your pipes to leak? Not right away. But, eventually, your pipes will corrode enough to where leaks will start occurring.

The best way to avoid this is to avoid using chemical cleaners.  Using them once in a while is alright, but consistently using them for every clog is going to damage your pipes. Thankfully, you can make an easy substitute at home by mixing water and baking soda, which is tough enough to deal with any clog.

For other alternatives, check out our comparison of 4 methods for clearing clogged drains.

2. Putting things down your drain

Drains are extremely vulnerable to clogging. Unfortunately, despite the fact that people know not to throw stuff down their drain, they continue to do it anyway, which leads to clogged drains.

Hair, pieces of food, grease, etc., all of this stuff and more is thrown down drains, even though it is not supposed to be. All though this stuff seems like it washes down the drain easily, it is actually getting caught deep inside the pipes, where it forms clogs.

You should never put anything besides soap and water down your drains. Even though other things like grease and hair may seem like they go through the drains just fine, they are not water soluble and thus it is very likely that they will start to build up in your drains and cause clogs.

3. Flushing material besides toilet paper

A lot of people treat their toilets as secondary trashcans. They flush things like paper towel, women’s hygiene products, dust, hair, and other stuff down their toilets instead of just throwing it down their garbage can. The main problem with this is that none of these things are water soluble.

See, toilet paper is okay to flush down a toilet because it is extremely thin and the water of the toilet breaks it up. Toilet paper is designed this way so that there is no chance that it will clog up the toilet. However, people flush other stuff down their toilet that the water will not break up.

The toilet pipe is rather small, so anything that is not water soluble has a high chance of getting stuck in the pipe and causing a clog. Plenty of sewage systems out there actually get damaged by people flushing the wrong things down their toilet. So, just as a general rule of thumb, do not flush anything that is not human waste or toilet paper down the toilet.

4. Doing DIY plumbing work

If you have ever read some of our earlier post, such as this one, then you know that we tend to frown on DIY work. Now, that post is about electrical work, but it also applies to plumbing work as well. Sure, there are some plumbing jobs that people can do on their own, such as dealing with clogs. But, there are also plenty of jobs that no one should ever attempt on their own.

For example, a lot of DIYs make the mistake of attempting to replace their own pipes. The process is simple enough to do on your own, especially if you use a guide online, but there is also a large chance that you will make a mistake. If you put two pipes that are made out of different metals together, then you risk creating a chemical reaction that will lead to the pipes corroding. Complicated jobs should always be left to the professionals.

5. Mistreating their faucets

Faucets, much like the rest of the plumbing system, are made up of delicate and intricate parts. It may not look like it from the outside, but the inside of a faucet is full of little, easily breakable parts. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know this.

For example, a lot of people aggressively turn their faucet on and off. Doing this can cause serious damage to the internal part of the faucet, which can then cause the faucet to start leaking. Lots of people deal with leaky faucets on a daily basis and wonder why. Well, the reason is that people do not understand how easy it is to cause damage to a faucet.

If you want more information on why faucets leak, see our previous post on the matter.