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Introduction • Your home’s plumbing system is one of life’s little

necessities. If you’ve doubted how much you really use your home’s fresh water and sewer lines, just try going one afternoon without water. • It’s important to keep your pipes in top condition, and that

means learning about those surprising things that can ruin the pipes in your home. • Here’s a list of actions to avoid if you want to prevent

calling a plumber and going without water for an afternoon.

Sending Grease Down the Kitchen Drain • It’s so tempting to send grease down the kitchen sink. It

seems harmless to let that grease go down the drain and say good-bye to it. • The problem is that grease will not mix with water, and it

will stick to the interior of your pipe at some point down the line. • Over time, it can lead to a serious clog and a visit from the

professionals to unclog it.

Tossing Trash in the Toilet • It’s amazing what can be flushed down the toilet, but only

biodegradable items should be flushed. • If it’s not made specifically to go in the commode, take

two seconds and put it in the trash can. • Keep in mind that all the drain lines in your house

eventually lead to one drain pipe, and if you clog that then your entire house is going to be without water while you wait to have it fixed.

Generous Use of Drain Cleaners • Drain cleaners don’t just dissolve hair and other clogs.

Used in copious amounts, drain cleaners can actually start corroding your pipes and eventually lead to leaks. • When using any drain cleaner, make sure that it is made

for your specific plumbing materials, and use it only in the quantity recommended. • Ideally, chemicals should be avoided completely with

plungers and wire snakes being the tools of choice to safely clear clogs.

Leaving the Hose Connected in Winter • Winter arrives with freezing temperatures that can blow

supply lines apart. Unfortunately, people often forget to disconnect their hoses in the winter. • It’s important to shut down the water heading out to the

faucet and take the hose completely off to avoid freezing of the faucet or the line itself.

Hanging a Picture • Something as simple as hanging a picture can lead to a

leak if you tap one of the pipes in your walls. • Builders are supposed to leave a certain amount of space

between the walls and pipes, but it’s still possible to hit them if you are using very long screws.

Hanging a Picture • If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the water hitting the drywall and

realize what has happened. If not, you’ll have serious water damage and high bills as the leak goes unchecked. • When moving into a new house, get a copy of the

blueprints and look for areas where pipes are hidden in the walls. • If this isn’t an option, then use a stud finder to ensure that

you are always screwing into studs, or use small picture hangars that won’t go beyond the sheetrock to damage any hidden pipes.

Conclusion • These five mistakes are things that many homeowners

are guilty of. • They’re little bad habits that seem harmless, and you may

have gotten away with them hundreds of times before. • However, it only has to go wrong once for you to be left

calling a plumber and hoping the bill's not too high. Protect your home’s plumbing and avoid costly repairs by changing these habits now.

Things you never thought would damage your pipes  

Thos. R. Birnie & Sons Ltd. provides professional plumbing services in Toronto and the GTA. To learn more, visit their website http://www.5s...

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