4 Ways to Keep the Plumber Away

by Gina Blitstein · 1 comment

Maintaining a home is expensive. Plumbing repairs can be especially costly so your best bet is to practice sound preventative maintenance on those “watery” areas. Specifically, what can we do around our homes to avoid the need to call the plumber? Here are four ways to keep plumbing costs down:

1. Prevent clogged drains

The most common plumbing repair is a clogged drain. While some clogs are unavoidable, most can be avoided by following this advice where the drains around your home are concerned:

  • Toilets: Make sure everyone in the household understands that only bodily waste and toilet paper should be flushed. Avoid flushing anything else, even if it claims to be flushable.
  • Kitchen sink: Don’t put grease down your kitchen sink. Dispose of large amounts of grease by pouring it into a can and throwing it away in your trash. Should you experience a grease clog, pour some hot vinegar down your drain and let it sit in there for 20 minutes; then pour boiling water down after it. In many cases, this treatment will clear the grease clog.
  • Garbage disposal: Remember — your garbage disposal’s job is to eliminate waste that could potentially clog your drain. Don’t make it’s job more difficult by putting materials that will certainly cause a clog, including anything fibrous, greasy or non-biodegradable down it. Keep your disposal drain clear by running cold water for 15 seconds before you turn it on, continuously while it runs and for 15 seconds after you turn it off.
  • Shower: The big culprit here is hair. Purchase a screen (available at any store that sells plumbing supplies) that fits over the drain to catch hair before it gets into your pipes.
  • Laundry hose: Lint from your laundry will go into your washing machine drain and cause a clog. You can purchase screens (at most stores that sell laundry detergent) that fit the end of the hose that drains the water from the washer. Simply attach the screen with the enclosed plastic tie and replace the screen when it’s full of lint.

2. Purchase fixtures yourself

Some plumbers may offer to sell you fixtures (from faucets to toilets) but they will be less expensive if you buy them yourself at a home store. You want to pay your plumber for professional services only.

Do consult with your plumber, however, before you purchase such items to get recommendations for brands and features. For example, a plumber may recommend you purchase a faucet with a ceramic valve because it will last longer. Your plumber will also be aware of which brands offer high quality, which save water, which are easy to work with and install and which have good warranties. This information will help you make the wisest choice when confronted with that aisle full of fixtures.

3. Be vigilant

You can substantially reduce the likelihood of needing the services of a plumber if you make a habit of keeping your eyes and ears peeled around your home. Even if you don’t want to tackle the repairs yourself, make a list of every slow drain or drip you notice. Then, when you do call the plumber, the time he spends (and you pay for) can be spent actually attending to your problems rather than finding them.

4. Find a trusted plumber

When you choose an experienced plumber, his experience will translate into savings for you. Like in plumbing supplies, if you shop exclusively by price, you’ll only get what you pay for.

The first rule of keeping plumbing costs down is be smart.
The second rule is choose smart.

Remember them both and you’ll keep your plumbing costs under control.

Bonus Tip:

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Raymond July 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Yeah, be sure and heed # 2. Buy the fixtures yourself after asking your plumber for free advise so you can cut him out of the profits from the sale of the fixtures. That’s a brillant suggestion!! How do you expect your ” trusted ” plumber to stay in business when you pull stunts like that, cheapskate? Besides, when that Home Depot fixture doesn’t work, who’s going to come out and fix it for free??? Not Home Depot. Not your plumber. You’re on your own, buster. Come on, get real. Let the poor guy make a living!!

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