Our experts at Simpson Plumbing want to pass onto our loyal customers some plumbing tips and tricks to help keep various home appliances working better for longer. Follow our advice and you’ll be saving yourself grief and money that would otherwise be spent on costly repairs.

Water Heaters

water heater tips & tricks

  1. Keep the area around it clear. You should give your water heater room to breathe for several reasons. First of all, anything near or touching the water heater is a potential fire hazard, since the water heater gets very hot. Second, if your water heater springs a leak, you need to be able to visually see it and not have the water hidden behind old boxes. Lastly, your water heater needs oxygen in order to function, since it is gas powered. Anything too close to your water heater can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks or worse.
  2. Drain the tank annually. We say annually, but it should be done at least once a year or more frequently. Sediment and rust build up inside your water heater, reducing its efficiency. Attach garden hose to the drain valve and drain off a few gallons (or the entire tank) into the gutter.
  3. Keep it at the right temperature. Your water heater should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter and you’ll have scalding water, which is a health hazard, and you’ll also be putting unnecessary stress on your water heater. The hotter the temperature, the more your unit has to work to keep it there.
  4. Insulate the pipes. This is an easy DIY project that can save you money. Purchasing foam insulation for your water heater pipes helps keep a stable temperature, which means your water heater has to work less and will wear out more slowly.
  5. Invest in preventative maintenance. It’s never too late to enroll in a preventative maintenance plan for your water heater. Our techs will perform routine checkups to ensure that your water heater is running smoothly for as long as possible.

Drains

drains tips & tricks

  1. Clean out your shower drain. Get in the habit of lifting up the shower drain cover and removing any hair or soap buildup by hand. If you can catch them before they make their way further down the drain, then you’re avoiding a nasty clog in the future.
  2. Avoid over the counter drain cleaners. These toxic chemicals are sold with the promise of removing drain clogs – but they are also very abrasive and hard on the rubber gaskets and other aspects of your pipes. Avoid using these whenever possible.
  3. Don’t flush foreign objects. Napkins, sanitary products, toys, and other objects should never be flushed down the toilet drain. These items do not biodegrade and will simply form a blockage in your sewer line.
  4. Keep a plunger nearby. A plunger is a good way to remedy bathroom or kitchen clogs without using harsh chemicals. Keep one handy for emergency situations.
  5. Check your water pressure. While a good amount of water pressure is nice, too much can be a big problem. More water pressure means more wear and tear on your pipes, and a greater risk for leaks and cracks. Water pressure that is beyond the 40 to 85 psi range should be dealt with by a professional plumber.

Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposal maintenance tips and tricks

  1. Don’t flush oils or grease down the disposal. Oil and grease can liquefy in the disposal only to solidify later on and case a nasty blockage in your pipes. Put grease in a separate plastic container and dispose of it in the garbage once it has solidified.
  2. Don’t grind up starchy or fibrous food waste. Potatoes, corn husks, banana peels, and other fibrous foods can easily gunk up your disposal blade and cause damage. Instead of flushing them, put them in a compost heap or food waste bin.
  3. Run cold water when using the disposal. Cold water prevents oils and fats from liquefying and later causing blockages. It also causes less harm on the gaskets within the garbage disposal itself. Make sure to always run water before using the disposal, during, and after it’s been shut off.
  4. Clean your disposal. Consider either flushing baking soda and vinegar to remove odors from your disposal, or else dropping in an entire lemon and letting the disposal chop it up. This leaves your disposal smelling squeaky clean.
  5. Don’t let metal silverware near the disposal blade. Hard objects can quickly wreak havoc on your disposal, damaging the blade or else jamming it up entirely.

Remember to always leave the tough stuff to the professionals! Call our experienced plumbing team at Simpson Plumbing today to schedule an inspection or repair today.