Most people don’t think about home plumbing maintenance until something goes wrong. Staying on top of some basic home plumbing maintenance can keep you from calling for emergency services and help you maximize the life of your plumbing. Each of these cleaning and maintenance projects is easy, quick, and don’t require many tools or hard labor.
Clean Your Drains
Drain clogs don’t occur at the same time. Gunk and grime build inside your drain pipes over time and eventually lead to the untimely clog. Keeping on top of that gunk build-up goes a long way in preventing future clogs. It’s good practice to periodically clean out your sink, shower, and tub drains even when they don’t seem clogged. All you need is some white vinegar, baking soda, and hot water.
Start by pouring about ½ cup of baking soda down a drain. Follow it with ½ cup of white vinegar and then let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. While you’re waiting, repeat the process on all of your other drains. Next, boil one cup of water per drain. After 15 minutes, pour one cup of hot water down each drain. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar will break up the gunk in your drains, and the hot water will flush it away.
Clean Your Traps
The “trap” is the curved pipe beneath every sink that connects the drainpipe to the sewer pipe. Depending on the shape of their curves, traps are called “p-traps,” “s-traps,” or “u-traps.” The curve is designed to retain some of the water you flush down the drain. This water creates an air seal that prevents sewer gases from rising back up through the drain.
Traps are relatively easy to remove and clean. First, find the trap under your sink. It’s curved, made of either metal or PVC, and connected to each pipe via two slip nuts. Place a bucket beneath the trap. Detach it by loosening the slip nuts, either by hand or using a wrench. Pour everything in the trap out into the bucket. Make sure nothing is caught inside the trap, then scrub it out. When you’re done cleaning, replace the trap by re-tightening the slip nuts. Run the sink to make sure everything is working correctly.
Clean Your Showerheads
If your shower isn’t flowing as well as you remember, a simple cleaning may restore the flow. Over time, scale build-up, minerals, and other gunk will clog your shower head nozzles. This happens more frequently if you have hard water.
There are a couple of ways to approach cleaning your showerhead. First, try dipping an old toothbrush in a cleaning solution and scrubbing the nozzles. If that doesn’t work, try mixing ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of hot water into a plastic bag. Tie the bag around the showerhead, so the nozzles are submerged.
Do you Need Help with a Plumbing Project?
Top of the Line Plumbing provides plumbing services to Duval County, St. Johns County, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, and the surrounding areas. There isn’t a plumbing job too big or too small for our team to handle. From repairs and repiping to hydro jetting and water filtration, Top of the Line has the experts to get the job done.