8 Simple Plumbing Tips Anyone Can Use
Do the words ‘plumbing tips’ take you to thoughts of plumbing mechanics: Things like what kind of control valve is best for the toilet, what to do about toilet overflows and how to dismantle and reassemble a sink trap? And that’s not to mention the physical contortions you must go through to do them. All of those are good things to know if you are an adventurous do-it-yourselfer, but, for many, tasks such as those are rather intimidating. It might be best to leave those to professional plumber, especially if there is any doubt of a successful outcome. Here are eight simple tips that anyone can use with a minimal investment of time and little to no technical know-how.
1. Put ice cubes in the garbage disposal to sharpen the blades between uses. Adding an occasional citrus peel can also help with any residual odors.
2. Remove sediment with a toothbrush and vinegar from shower heads and faucets. You can also schedule these to occur with number 6 below.
3. Keep an eye out for trouble and repair problems early. To a large degree, this plumbing tip is just paying attention to subtle changes such as lower water pressure, taking longer times for hot water recovery or a “singing” toilet.
4. Prevent pipes from freezing in cold weather with proper maintenance and insulation. The older your home, the more likely your overall insulation is less than today’s recommended ratings or values.
5. Regularly inspect your hot water heater for performance issues and inefficiencies.
6. Clean sink and shower drains every couple of months. This is easy to forget but, just as changing your smoke alarm batteries with the time changes, you can use a regular activity or event as a reminder. When choosing an activity, consider one that occurs in the same general time frame. It could be somewhat related such as every time you replace the soap or shampoo or even unrelated such as when you change out the filters for your HVAC system.
7. Repair leaky faucets to avoid further damage to the fixtures and faucets. Besides the obvious that it saves water, you’ll rid yourself of the psychological torture of listening to the constant dripping.
8. Prevent grease from going down the drain. Wipe congealed grease from pots and pans with a paper towel. Clearing a clogged drain can become quite costly. To help with trashcan odors that may result from leftover oils and grease, cover lightly with fresh cat litter (cheap clay-based is fine).

Keeping a bag of cat litter handy can also be useful for any spills in the garage or on the driveway.
These simple tips can be performed anytime and, though not all result in a cost savings, they all contribute to your enjoyment of a problem-free home.

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