Imagine this.

You’re finally off from work, something you were looking forward to because you promised the fam you’d cook them a delicious meal. So, you’re in the kitchen, ready to chop, dice, and mince.

But as you wash the ingredients in the kitchen sink, you get a whiff of something foul. Think rotten eggs.

You also hear the sink drain making gurgling noises. Worse, the used water takes forever to drain.

Those are all signs of a clog, a problem easily preventable with plumbing maintenance. The latter can also help prevent other issues, such as toilet blockages and more severe sewer line problems.

We’ve shared preventive maintenance tips for keeping your Porterville home’s indoor and outdoor plumbing pipes healthy, so read on.

Know What’s Safe to Put Down Drains

You should only pour non-corrosive, non-greasy, and non-flammable fluids down your drains. Otherwise, your plumbing system may develop corroded or rusted pipes sooner. Such damage makes pipes more susceptible to clogs, cracks, holes, and leaks.

Water, liquid dish soap, soda, and juices are examples of liquids that are okay to pour down drains.

On the other hand, fats, oil, and grease (FOG) are big no-nos because they can cause severe drain clogs. They may be liquid when hot, but most can gelatinize once they cool down. Due to their molecular structure, animal fats can even solidify at room temperature.

Neither should solids like eggshells, food scraps, and coffee grounds go down drains. Throw them straight in the trash or use them to start a compost pit. Because if they enter drain pipes, they can mix with and worsen existing FOG clogs.

Remember the 3 Ps

In toilet talk, the 3 Ps stand for pee, poop, and (toilet) paper. These are the only things safe to flush to prevent toilets from clogging up repeatedly. Anything else can cause or contribute to blockages, such as:

  • Hair
  • Bits of soap or soap scum
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls and pads
  • Items labeled flushable

Wet wipes are perfect examples of so-called “flushable” items that, unfortunately, aren’t flushable. Researchers found they barely disintegrate, even after being in the water for 24 hours. So, if they enter your drain pipes, they can combine with other debris already in there and cause more severe clogs.

Regularly Test for Plumbing Leaks

Some plumbing leaks, such as those from faucets and shower heads, are easy to spot. Others are less apparent, especially those affecting hidden or buried pipes.

No wonder the average U.S. family wastes around 9,400 gallons of water yearly due to leaks!

So, regularly test for leaks to avoid water waste, higher bills, moisture damage, and mold growth. To check if you have plumbing leaks (including hidden ones), follow these steps:

  • Ask everyone in your family to stop using water for at least two hours
  • Prepare your smartphone or a pen and paper
  • Go to your water meter (in most homes in Porterville, CA, it’s on the sidewalk in front of the house)
  • Take a photo of the meter or write down the reading

After about two hours, re-check the meter. If the reading is the same, congratulations! You likely don’t have leaks.

But if the numbers have gone up, it’s a sign you have plumbing leaks. Please don’t delay locating and fixing them with the help of a reputable plumbing service.

Routinely Test Water Pressure

This test helps identify and address potential problems related to the pressure of your water supply. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Buy a pressure gauge from your local hardware store
  • Hook up the gauge to a hose faucet
  • Turn off all other water-using appliances
  • Turn only the hose faucet on to get a baseline reading

The ideal water pressure is around 60 pounds per square inch (PSI), which gives a reasonable flow rate. Flow rate is the amount of water flowing through pipes and out of your plumbing fixtures.

What if Your Water Pressure Is Too Low?

Low water pressure (less than 40 PSI) often results in a low flow rate. In this case, taps and showerheads will produce too little water, and it’ll take forever to shower, fill cooking pots, or perform cleaning tasks.

Sometimes, low water pressure is an issue with your water supplier. To verify, ask your neighbors if they experience it, too.

If not, you likely have an isolated problem; you may have water leaks, corroded pipes, or a failing pressure regulator. Call your dependable local plumber for help.

What if It’s Too High?

You don’t want high water pressure (over 60 PSI), as it can strain and stress your pipes and fixtures. That can cause early wear, tear, and degradation of plumbing components, causing them to break down and fail sooner.

Like low water pressure, high pressure can also be due to supplier issues or a defective pressure regulator. A highly experienced plumber can help you determine and address the root cause.

Invest in Regular Drain Cleaning and Inspection Services

You may be using your drains and toilets properly, but not everyone in your family may be as careful as you are. Accidents like dropping and flushing items unintentionally down the toilet may also happen.

That’s why it pays to schedule annual professional drain services, including inspections and cleaning. These can help keep your drains running smoothly and prevent clogs from worsening. They also give you a clearer picture of your plumbing system’s condition so you’ll know if any issue needs addressing immediately.

Keep Pipes Healthy With Proper Plumbing Maintenance

Proper plumbing maintenance helps prevent clogs, leaks, and water pressure woes, keeps your pipes healthy, and prolongs their life.

So, if you haven’t had your plumbing system serviced for a long time, now’s the best time to let the pros at Comfort Now do it for you. Our company, founded in 2011, has served customers in Porterville, Tulare, Springville, and nearby areas for over a decade. You can rely on our highly experienced technicians (who all undergo continuous training), 24/7 service, and five different guarantees.

Contact us today to schedule your plumbing service! We look forward to hearing from you and giving you a free system evaluation.