Some Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Maintaining your home's plumbing can help to prevent clogs, leaks and major damage to the pipes and their connectors. This can also ensure that water runs freely through those pipes so that you don't lose water pressure in the shower and elsewhere. Unfortunately, many homeowners don't think about actually maintaining their home's plumbing, and so they only address clogs and leaks as they happen. To keep your home's plumbing in good repair, note a few simple plumbing maintenance tips, and discuss these with a plumber who offers maintenance plumbing services as necessary.

Clean the garbage disposal

The blades of a garbage disposal can hold food scraps, grease and other debris, so they will get dull and slow down. In turn, food is not chopped as fine as it should be when you put it down the kitchen sink, and this can cause clogs. To clean and sharpen the blades, run cold water over the disposal and add ice cubes, one at a time. You can also sprinkle some baking soda into the disposal, without the water running, and then add some white vinegar. The foaming action of these two materials mixed together will clean food scraps and the kitchen drain itself.

Clean faucet aerators and shower heads

The faucets in your home's sinks will usually have an aerator at the end; this is a small piece that adds air to the stream of water. This piece can collect minerals from hard water, and so can the showerhead in the tub. Every few months or as often as needed, remove these pieces from their connectors and soak them in white vinegar to soften those minerals so they can be buffed away. This will keep the water running freely from these fixtures so you don't lose water pressure and so that there is not added water pressure in the pipes.

Clear bathtub drains

It's good to remove the trap to the bathtub drain and pull out any hair and other debris that is caught in the top of that drain; this will keep it from making its way into the pipes and then causing clogs. You can also help clear any debris that is deeper in the pipe by sprinkling in some baking soda and then adding vinegar and letting this mixture bubble for several minutes before turning on the hot water. You might also squirt a generous supply of dish soap into the drain and then run the hot water, as this will also bubble up and help push along any debris in that pipe.