When dealing with your plumbing, certain questions probably cross your mind more frequently than others. Read on to get answers to 6 common plumbing questions.
First, one common misconception about garbage disposals is that you should use hot water when running the disposal. This can actually lead to problems, since hot water softens or melts fats and greases. They can then harden further down in the pipes at inconvenient locations, causing blockages. It is better to run cold water in the first place and flush fats and greases down in chunks.
Almost all food waste can be put into disposals, but try to avoid shells, husks, and high-fiber foods that can get stuck. Never put non-food garbage in the disposal.
Broken water lines can cause standing water, excessively high water bills, running water sounds, and even low water pressure. Regular inspections by a plumber can help identify major problems.
In addition to water line problems, water pressure can be affected by valve problems, deposit buildups, and other blockages. Check with your neighbors to see if their water pressure has been affected, and check for major blockages that could be lowering the pressure in your home.
Soft water has lower concentrations of certain ions that cause deposits and buildup (particularly calcium and magnesium). Soft water therefore protects pipes, prevents buildup, makes water-using appliances more efficient, keeps your fixtures nice, and keeps your system running more smoothly.
If your toilet is clogged, a plunger or bucket of hot water might be able to get things running. You should also check that the water level is high enough and that the rubber flapper and chain are both in good working order.
Oil and soap residue from beauty and food products are the most common culprits for clogged drains, so being careful about what you put in your sinks and showers is always a good idea. Chemical drain cleaners can be a good first step to unclogging drains.