During these uncertain times, with people cooped up at home around the country, water usage in homes has increased dramatically. The heightened use may lead to clogging and an increase in overall water usage, but there are things that a homeowner can do to ensure pipes do not get clogged up and the water bill stays manageable.
Using the toilet
This is one of the most common places to experience clogging, as what goes down when flushing occurs is not always flush-able. If it is not human waste or toilet paper, it should not be going into the water, as it will most likely cause a back-up in your pipes. Now, some of the time the clogging comes because of too much being flushed at once, and to ensure that this does not happen, double flushing is recommended. While this does not necessarily save water, it saves a lot of money for unneeded future repairs, but of course if uncontrollable damage occurs, a Fairfax plumbing service can do a full assessment of the situation.
Putting both waste and toilet paper into a toilet may overload the pipe, thus flush once for the waste and then again for the toilet paper. Make sure that the paper is not bunched up too heavily, as this will then cause a clog due to only the outer edge of the paper being dissolved and not the inner section.
Sink and Shower Drain
Two common places to experience build up, but not thought of as large contributors, but the hair, oils, dirt, and other waste that goes into these drains creates heavy blockage over time. Running hot water for a moment following washing is an easy way to ensure what goes into the drain continuously moves through the pipe. For bathroom sink and shower drains, investing in a porous screen or drain-gate aids in the overall reduction in hair build up that comes because of shaving, scrubbing and washing hair. Without it, the hair will become bunched up and will eventually clog the drain.
Saving water in the bathroom is as simple as taking shorter showers, shutting off the water while washing, or not running the water while one is brushing their teeth. Setting a timer for showers is a good and easy method of staying regulated, or even putting on music and showering for the duration of a certain number of songs is fun, but also reduces overall water waste.
Kitchen sinks are prone to blockages caused by food waste, grease and oil, and other things. If disposing of food, run the garbage disposal with water until it sounds as though it is clear of the waste. Large quantities of food should not be added to the disposal unit, instead throwing away large amounts directly into the trash is recommended. If a home has a garden included in its landscape, composting produce, coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable and fruit skin is an easy way to save water with not having to use the disposal as often, creates nutrient rich soil, and is environmentally friendly in every way possible.
To ensure that a buildup does not occur, partaking in a weekly drain cleaning should be done. This can be completed by using things that one most likely has around the home, such as baking soda and vinegar, Pour baking soda down any drain and follow it with very hot water to clean the inner surface of the pipes and to rid the drain of any unpleasant odors. The vinegar methods call for pouring some down into any drain and allowing it to sit for the duration of roughly thirty minutes, and then following it with very hot water to flush out the gunk and vinegar. A heavy-duty cleaning can be done using the vinegar method and then using the baking soda to finish off the cleaning.
Reducing water waste and limiting clogging in the home is easy, once certain practices are done regularly. If the problem continues to emerge, plumbing companies have an extremely reliable and affordable team of experienced members that will fix the issue, whatever the problem is.
In summary, a family should flush only toilet paper and human waste, ensuring the toilet paper is not overly bunched, and doing multiple flushes to limit the buildup caused by overloading. For shower drains and bathroom sink drains, adding a drain gate of some sort will limit hair bunches that will clog, and any large dirt particles that may also build over time. For kitchen sinks, disposing of large quantities of food directly into the trash ensures the disposal unit does not become clogged, and when running the garbage disposal, having a constant flow of water will create a smooth flow through the pipes. Any drain can be easily cleaned with baking soda and vinegar and is an inexpensive way to save you money.