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More-Best Plumbing Tips from The Home Depot Answer Man

Owning a home can be a wonderful experience and proper maintenance will assure your dream home doesn't turn into a nightmare. Here are a few more tips to help keep your dream home in tip top shape.

Never pour cooking grease down a drain

Cooking grease is one of the worst things you can put down a drain, it is thick and sticks to everything, worst of all it solidifies in the drain and captures food waste and soil clogging the drain line. One of the most common causes of slow kitchen drains is cooking grease. Let your cooking grease solidify and put it in the trash.


Homemade drain cleaner

Many people ask, what is a good drain is cleaner. One of the best I know is homemade, here is the recipe.

1/2 box baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar, mix and pour into drain, with 30-40 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain. The baking soda and vinegar will loosen and dissolve the buildup and the boiling water will keep it dissolved and flush it down the drain.


Install a water pressure regulator

The water pressure at you homes water service inlet can be anywhere from 40 to 150 psi. 40 psi is rather low but 150 psi is excessively high. Water pressure over 80 psi can damage plumbing and cause leaks. Excessively high water pressure can kill your water heater, dishwasher even your washing machine, and cause pin hole leaks in you piping. Have your water pressure check by a professional plumber; if it is over 80 psi have a pressure regulator installed. You will have better water flow and fewer problems.


Do you know where your water shut off is?

Knowing where your water shutoff is vital to minimizing damage if your plumbing springs a leak. On most homes, it is at the main water service entrance to your home, either outside the front of the house or in the basement.  Locate yours and make sure all family members know where it is at and how to use it. If you live in a condominium or townhouse development, consult with your homeowners association for the location of your water shutoff

 Flush your water heater every 6 months

Most water heaters fail because of mineral deposit buildup in the tank. As water is heated the minerals in the water separate from the water and end up on the bottom of the water heater tank, some of these minerals travel to your faucets and plumbing fixtures, clogging them and making their action sluggish and uneven, sometimes even stopping water flow all together.


One way to avoid this build up is to flush your water heater every 6 months. Attach a garden hose to the tank drain, turn the water heater control to vacation, (this keeps the water heater from turning on the burner as you flush the tank) open the drain valve and let 5 -10 gallons of water flow out, place the end of the garden hose on the lawn to avoid wasting the water. When you're done turn the control back to the normal setting. This will flush out the built up mineral deposits and make your water heater work like new. Do this every six months and your water heater will last many years longer.


Never use regular laundry soap in a High Efficiency washer

New high efficiency washers’ use much less water than older machines and use a sensor to select the water level in the machine automatically based on the number of items in the machine. These sensors can be tricked by excess suds, if the washer has too many suds the sensor will think the machine is overloaded and stop the machine. HE detergents contain an anti-foaming agent that minimizes suds, allowing the sensors to detect the load size properly.


Newer HE washers use 8-12 gallons per load vs 20-30 gallons for the older machines. Because these machines use less water you will need less soap, much less soap. One major manufacturer recommends two tablespoons of liquid soap per load; this is all you need, more soap does not improve washing performance, in fact is can actually reduce cleaning due to the fact is does not all rinse away. If the detergent is not completely rinsed away, it will remain in the fabric of your clothing along with the soil making you clothes feel stiff and scratchy. Laundry soap is expensive, use less and you will save money and have better results.

I hope these tips are helpful, if you have any questions or suggestions please forward them to us here at the Community. We are here to help!


Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

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Posted 2017-12-14T23:54:09+0000  by Mike_HD_OC Mike_HD_OC