Five Simple Plumbing Tips

1. Know how to shut off the water supply. This includes both the main water supply and individual fixtures like sinks, toilets, water heaters, and clothes washers. If a pipe bursts, a toilet overflows, or your water heater fails, the first thing you’ll want to do is shut off the water. Be sure everyone in your household knows where they are and how to shut them off.

2. Treat your drains once a month to prevent clogs. You don’t need to use harsh chemicals or special tools. You can either run 1 to 2 gallons of hot tap water down each drain or use a natural, non-poisonous product called Bio-Clean. Bio-Clean is distributed exclusively through the plumbing industry.

3. Never flush anything down the toilet except toilet paper. That includes facial tissue, Q-tips, and even products labeled “flushable.” Newer, low-flush models are more easily clogged with paper and "flushable" cleaning products.

4. Don’t treat your garbage disposal as a replacement for your trash can. Run plenty of cold water while using your disposal to prevent clogs. If you don't have a garbage disposal, keep out food scraps and grease, which can build up in layers in pipes until they're blocked.

5. Turn the temperature on your water heater down to 120 degrees F. Hot water is more corrosive than cold water, and you will extend the life of your water heater simply by reducing the temperature.