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In the face of the Covid crisis, many homeowners are unsure of how to handle plumbing issues. Understandably, many customers will be apprehensive about calling a plumbing service but if you have a true emergency it is best that you do. While a small leak may not seem like an emergency, behind that small leak may be a larger problem that is just waiting to share its head.
The problem with shelter at home orders is that your plumbing system doesn’t always pay them head. The good news is that many plumbing services are still open in Mesa, AZ. These services are considered essential since they help homeowners keep their homes safe. Therefore, if you have a plumbing issue there is no reason to despair. While this may not be the month to schedule a routine maintenance visit, it is still safe to call a service if something is wrong with your plumbing system.
However, there are a few things you should be aware of so that you can hopefully avoid calling a plumbing service during this tumultuous time. A few proactive measures can help keep your plumbing system healthy so that your plumbing doesn’t have to be another worry to add to the list. Here are just a few good plumbing habits you should sharpen up.
Only Flush Toilet Paper
Everyone is running on low on toilet paper right now, and while there is no good way to address the problem besides patiently waiting for the stores to restock, you should never flush wet wipes, napkins, paper towels, or anything else down the toilet. The only thing meant to be flushed down a toilet is toilet paper. If you start trying to use a different paper it will likely result in a clog and a call to your plumbing service.
Toilet paper is made to dissolve when it hits the water, and this is why it can travel safely down your pipes without causing a backup. The best idea if you absolutely need to flush something is facial tissue. Under normal circumstances, a plumber would never recommend it, but if you rip out small amounts and flush frequently it is the best alternative.
Keep in mind that a septic tank and public sewage systems are different. Many septic systems are not equipped to handle anything but toilet paper. Any plumbing service will tell you that they have been out to work on septic systems that backup because of the use of flushable wipes. Regardless of what the packaging says, wipes should never be flushed.
Garbage Disposals Should Be Used Sparingly
One of the largest causes of backups and clogs in the house is located in your kitchen. Garbage disposals are used incorrectly regularly by many of your neighbors in Mesa, AZ and beyond. People simply don’t understand that they can’t toss just anything down a garbage disposal. At the very least it is important to know that only food should go down a garbage disposal. Never flush plastics, bones, grease, pasta, or rice down the drain.
Items that are not food will just clog up the system and you will need a plumbing service to get you out of the mess. Depending on what else is connected to your sink, the water may even route backward into your dishwater as a result of a backup. Then you will have to deal with a smelly mess in your dishwasher that could flow out if too much drains backward. Also, as noted above you should never place pasta or rice down your garbage disposal. While these items may seem small, they absorb water and then quickly grow. In your drain, these items can stick together and slowly grow until they create a clog.
The good news is that you can put most other things down the disposal within good reason. You don’t want to put any large items like a banana peel down the disposal because they are too large for the grinding teeth to handle. As a basic rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t put it in your food processor it probably doesn’t belong in your garbage disposal either.
Keep An Eye on Your Sump Pump
Finally, given its springtime now is a good time to head outside and look at your sump pump. Spring brings with it plenty of rain, and you want to make sure that you aren’t going to wake up to a surprise flood in your basement. At this point, you would end up needing to call an emergency plumbing service. No one wants to be in that position, and especially not a homeowner who thinks their sump pump will protect them.
Start by lifting the cover of the sump pump and take a closer look at the tank to make sure there is no debris inside such as rocks, mud, or gravel. If you notice any debris go ahead and remove it. Next, flush out the entire system to make sure the water flow is correct. You can do this easily by using a hose or a large bucket of water. Once the pump switches on listen carefully to make sure that there are no odd sounds. If you hear anything odd this could be a sign of damaged or worn parts so you will want to call a plumbing service to check it out.
Finally, make sure to check the float and the discharge pipe. The float should always be able to travel freely without any wrapping on the float rod. The discharge pipe should be free from debris where it empties and the water that you used to test the pump should be flowing away from your foundation. If all of these things are good, you are ready for spring. Any problems, call your plumbing service now.
If you need help with any of the above plumbing systems, feel free to give Schroeder Plumbing a call. With almost five decades of experience behind us, we are here to help you through this difficult time. Our plumbing service has taken extremely proactive measures to protect our customers, and we are happy to help you with any plumbing problems that arise.