To reduce repair costs, here are some basic plumbing self-help tips.

  1. Be cautious with what you put in your garbage disposal.  Some foods like potato skins will not grind up very easily. Do not put grease down the garbage disposal.
  2. Run water when using the disposal and keep it running for a few seconds after turning it off.
  3. Don’t operate the dishwasher if you think there is a problem. It drains into the disposal which can lead to bigger problems.
  4. Check your washing machine hoses from time to time for leaks and loose connections. Stainless steel hoses are a nice affordable upgrade from rubber.
  5. Always use a screen or filter over lavatory and tub drains to snag hair and other objects that otherwise can cause your drains to clog. Hair doesn’t disappear when it goes down a drain; try to avoid putting it there!
  6. To help a blocked toilet from getting worse, keep a plunger around at all times. Biodegradable wipes and feminine products will cause your sewer main to back up over time. Dispose of these products in the correct manner.
  7. Occasionally check the plumbing below your kitchen and bathroom sinks for any leaks.
  8. Attaching an aerator (the small screen at the end of a faucet) will help reduce water consumption by as much as 50% with no loss of pressure. If your pressure should drop, it could be as simple as removing the aerator and cleaning it.
  9. Every once in a while, drain your water heater at the valve on the very bottom of the water heater for a few seconds. This will increase your water heater lifespan.
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