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Top 6 Things Cause Plumbing Damage

Family Plumber Donelson

We are getting ready for all the celebrations that winter brings, and we hope you are too. The 2017 new year is upon us. As our gift to you, we would like to give you the Top Six Ways you will cause damage to your plumbing system.

6 Most Likely Things to Cause Plumbing Damage

  1. Frozen Pipes. It’s getting cold outside, and so naturally your thoughts are going to frozen pipes, right? OK, so maybe not, but having frozen pipes is probably the number one cause of plumbing problems during the winter. If you have pipes located in an outside wall, or uninsulated garage or basement, make sure you are taking proper precautions to prevent them from getting frozen – especially letting faucets drip slowly and opening cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around pipes under your sink. For more information, check out my blog from December 2014 on Preventing Frozen Pipes.
  2. Grease. During the holidays, we tend to cook more often. And too many times, we pour grease directly into our plumbing system. Most of the time, grease will get flushed out with the hot water. But grease poured into cold pipes (like in winter) can build up into a nasty clog. A better idea is to pour excess grease into a tin can, or plastic bowl until you get about a quart. Then mix it with birdseed, spread it in a baking sheet, and put it out to feed the birds. Those birds need all the grease they can get!
  3. Trash. The only thing to put through your pipes is liquid. And the only thing to put into a garbage disposal is soft food. Put vegetable scraps into a compost bin, and leftover meat scraps in the garbage (making sure it is well-wrapped to keep down the smells). Also, check out Compost Nashville. They will provide you with a five gallon bucket for all your food scrap, and replace it weekly with a clean bucket.  Make sure you know what can be safely flushed down the toilet (only poop and toilet paper), and have covers over any drains that might get paper, plastic, or other trash down in them.
  4. Hair. If you have hair, then there is hair in your drains. Many hard-to-remove clogs consist of mostly hair. To get rid of it, see my blog on Hair in the Drain.
  5. Liquid Drain Cleaners. You might think you are saving yourself a plumbing bill by using a liquid drain cleaner, but truth be told, these chemicals do way more harm than good. Yes, they will eat up the clog and get your drain flowing freely again, but repeated use corrodes your pipes and will cause even more expensive plumbing calls. See #2, 3, and 4 above to prevent the clog in the first place for the best results.
  6. Tree Roots. The most expensive plumbing repairs come about when tree roots looking for water come upon old clay pipes underground. Avoid planting trees or bushes close to your plumbing line, and replace your landscaping every few years to keep your pipes clear.

Of course, even though we love to see you, we hope that you have a stress-free holiday with no emergency calls. From our house to yours: Happy Holidays and Happy 2017!