homeowner removing p trap under sink

4 Common Plumbing Problems and How to Avoid Them

As homes age, plumbing problems can start to arise more frequently. However, there are certain issues that are avoidable if you take the right precautions.

Below, we’ll provide you with tips for avoiding these 4 plumbing headaches in your home:

  • Clogged pipes
  • Tree roots in your sewer line
  • Clogged faucets and showerheads
  • Hard water mineral deposits

1. Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes are probably the most common plumbing problem, largely because drain and waste pipes aren’t that wide, and also because many people don’t realize what should and should not enter their plumbing systems. In general, the only things that should go down your drains are toilet paper, “number one,” “number two,” and food remnants that have been ground up by your garbage disposal.

Some of the worst clog-causing items and materials we clear out of people’s plumbing systems include:

  • Human and pet hair
  • Grease
  • Wet wipes (including “flushable” wipes)
  • Cotton balls and Q-tips
  • Makeup pads
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Dental floss
  • Paper towels and napkins

It’s always a good idea to keep a wastebasket in your bathroom so that you, your family, and guests have a convenient place to toss garbage. To handle the occasional blockage, we always recommend keeping a cup plunger on hand for sink and shower clogs and a flange plunger for toilet clogs.

If clogs and sewage backup become a more frequent problem, you may want to consider professional drain cleaning. During this service, a plumber will feed a high-powered hose through your plumbing system. The hose (or “jetter”) is equipped with multiple water jets powerful enough to blast away years of grease, sediment, tree roots, and more.

2. Tree Roots in Sewer Line

The shade that trees provide can help keep your home cool during summer, but their roots can wreak havoc on your underground plumbing pipes. This is especially true of trees with roots that grow quickly.

When planning your property’s landscaping, avoid planting trees near your home’s sewer line, if you know where it is. If you’re not sure where your home’s sewer line is located, opt for trees with slow-growing roots because they’re less likely to invasively break apart or enter your pipes.

3. Clogged Faucets and Showerheads

Have you noticed the water flowing out of your faucets and showerheads seems weak or inconsistent? It’s very likely that minerals have solidified inside the showerhead or the faucet’s aerator.

Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve with some white vinegar. Soak the aerator or showerhead overnight so that the vinegar has a chance to break down the hardened minerals. The next day, use a toothbrush to scrub away any remaining limescale, and wipe the fixture dry with a clean cloth or rag.

4. Hard Water Mineral Deposits

If your home has especially hard water, soaking your fixtures in vinegar might not be enough to solve your limescale woes. Mineral deposits can start to build up inside your plumbing pipes and water-using appliances, creating water pressure issues, increasing wear-and-tear, and reducing efficiency.

To tackle particularly hard water, you’ll have the most success by installing a water softener for your home. A water softener will remove any excess minerals and metals from your water supply before it reaches your fixtures and appliances. You’ll also enjoy additional benefits with this type of treatment system, such as softer skin and hair and clothes that feel cleaner (because they can actually get cleaner with softer water).

EZ Flow Plumbing, LLC: Your Trusted Gilbert Plumber

As a BBB-accredited business, we take pride in providing our customers with quality solutions to residential and commercial plumbing issues throughout South Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and the entire East Valley. Contact EZ Flow Plumbing, LLC today for reliable service: (480) 351-1820.

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