Although a house fire is far more dramatic, a flood can cause a bigger problem for your household. If a pipe bursts open, the gushing water will soak the floor and the furniture in a matter of seconds, causing extensive damage to the entire edifice. And do you where it is most likely that such a scenario might unfold? Yes, your guess was good, in the bathroom where most of the pipes are located in. This is the main reason why you should maintain bathroom drains and pipes well, so you will always be one step ahead of a disastrous deluge.
Unclog the pipes regularly
Contrary to popular belief, a clogged pipe isn’t necessary a pipe that completely blocks the flow of water. A pipe can get clogged only to a certain percentage and a complete blockage occurs only when you fail to take action. Dirt, debris, and muck can easily get lodged inside the pipes, creating a larger or smaller obstacle. This results in slower water drainage and a nasty smell coming from your bathroom sink and/or the bathtub.
In order to prevent issues such as dirty water rushing back up the drain, you should clear pipes regularly. There are industrial drainpipe cleaners on the market but you might want to go with a homemade natural cleaner. A fifty-fifty mixture of white vinegar and baking soda should be enough to dissolve the biggest of clogs. You can add some lemon juice to the solution in order for the drains to smell nice after unclogging them.
Don’t overuse the tap
The reason why we are recommending the use of a natural cleaner is not only saving money but the protection of the environment as well. Another way in which you can reduce water usage and help protect your plumbing is by reducing the time the water tap is on. Activities such a brushing your teeth and having a shower don’t require a constant stream of water running for tens of minutes.
Economize on the usage of water because the larger the amount of water that runs through the tap, its lifespan shortens. You are probably already adhering to this principle when it comes to washing the dishes so why not try it out in the bathroom. There are multiple taps (the washbasin, the washing machine connection, the shower, etc.) in the bathroom, so the danger of a tap or a valve failing is several times higher than in the rest of the house. Even the towel rail has a valve.
Discover and fix leaks
As a homeowner, you need to understand the tremendous strength of water under pressure. Much like a torrent, it will expand the smallest of holes and finds its way onto your precious furniture. That’s why there is no such thing as a “small leak” because all leaks are potential causes for a major bathroom disaster.
The length of piping in a typical bathroom is staggering and anywhere along tens of meters of piping a problem might occur. A tiny crack due to metal fatigue can open in a pipe built into the bathtub, as well inside the showerhead. If you notice puddles on the floor regular, then hire leak detection services to detect the root of the problem. Once you pinpoint (quite literally) the problem area, you can bath it up or replace a badly damaged drainpipe. The key is not to tolerate a leak not even for a day and immediately try to determine its origin.
A hairy situation
Do you wish to know what item poses the biggest danger to clogged drains in the bathroom? It is human hair that has the potential to completely clog the drain at several spots along the shower drainpipe. In order to counter this common problem, the best solution is one of those inexpensive drain covers made from plastic. They might not look as much but they will make cleaning the shower drain a whole lot easier because they prevent hair from getting inside the pipes in the first place.
Know where the main shutoff valve is located
If the house you own is decades old, then the number of plumbing issues is going to multiply. More often than not, disaster will strike in spite of excellent maintenance. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously proclaimed in the eponymous tragedy: “The readiness is all!” Oddly enough, the same principle implies in plumbing as well.
You should ask the super, the previous owners or a licensed plumber where the main shutoff valve is. The valves inside your bathroom are rusted and fragile so there is a high probability of them breaking if you apply too much force to shut them off. It is at times like these that homeowners try to panic because they don’t know how to stop the water gushing from a burst pipe.
If you head to the basement or into the street where the emergency valve is mainly located, you will shut down the inflow of water in a matter of seconds. In this case, being knowledgeable about your in-house plumbing can significantly reduce water damage.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. This century-old adage should be the leitmotif of bathroom drains maintenance. By taking good care of taps, pipes, and bathroom drains, you are effectively avoiding a disaster from happening.