Much of the advice about maintaining your plumbing system is focused on positive action, things that you should do. But just as important are things that you should not do, actions that you need to avoid. Here are a few.

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  1. Trying to handle a major plumbing problem by yourself.

Yes, there are some minor problems that you might be able to handle yourself. For example, if your toilet is clogged, all it may need is a good session with a plunger. Or perhaps you have a leaky faucet and all it needs is a new washer. Or maybe the toilet tank needs a new flapper. These are all things that you probably can do yourself.

But there may be other problems you are tempted to tackle, things  such as leaks or other more serious clogs, or installing fixtures. If you are not absolutely sure what to do, and have no experience doing it, you are better off calling a professional plumber.

The danger here is that you could make a small problem into a big one if you don’t know what you are doing, and something that originally may have cost only a small amount of money ends up with a hefty price tag.

  1. Putting things where they don’t belong.

Don’t try to put things down the toilet or garbage disposal that don’t belong there. For example, avoid flushing things such as feminine hygiene products, cleaning wipes, toilet scrubbers, cat litter, and the like down the toilet. These things don’t break down that fast and could end up clogging the toilet.

The same thing goes for the garbage disposal. Don’t put grease or tougher foods such as celery into it. Also, don’t try to stuff too much at once into the disposal. Add a little bit at a time while running cold water into it.

  1. Not having a leak protection system.

This will cost you a few hundred dollars, but it is worth it because a leak, even a small one, can cost you as much in wasted water. A leak protection system has an alarm and also an automatic shut off mechanism that will close your main water valve in the event of a leak in your water heater, dishwasher, sinks, and other appliances/places.

  1. Fiddling with the hot water heater.

This is something best left to a professional. Do not attempt to drain the heater or test the temperature or pressure on your own. You could actually end up getting sprayed with very hot water.

If you feel that a plumbing situation in your home calls for someone with more plumbing acumen than you have, contact Plumbing Dynamics 214-929-3431 to set up an appointment.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/