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Put Down The Wrench And Drain Cleaner: 2 Uncommon Ways To Avoid Large-Scale Plumbing Problems

If you are like most people, you might assume that all is well as long as your drains move water out of that sink, bathtub, or shower pan. When your home floods or your drain clogs one day, you might assume the problem stems from a simple issue like a broken component or a hair clog—instead of a deeper issue. Unfortunately, all the home repairs and drain cleaner the world won't help if your main drainage lines are damaged. Here are two uncommon ways to avoid plumbing problems, so that you can fend off extensive, difficult-to-repair damage:

1. Have Your Water Pressure Checked

Does your water rush out of your taps whenever you turn it on? Although it might help you to spray off those dinner dishes, excessive water pressure can actually destroy your plumbing from the inside out.

Extra pressure can put strain on your plumbing fixtures, damaging valves and leading to leaks. High water pressure can also create leaks in pipe junction points, prompting mold growth, wet rot, and even disastrous home floods, meriting a call to an emergency plumber, like those at Plumb Pros Plumbing Heating & Drains

Believe it or not, high water pressure can even make your toilets run without being used, wasting water and running up your water bill. Since extra water pressure can make it hard for you to control the flow of water into your sinks and bathtub basins, you might end up filling sinks too full, which can make it seem like your drains are taking forever to move that water—when in fact, you just overfilled the basin.

To avoid problems, hire a professional plumber to check your water pressure. To stay on the safe side, indoor residential water pressure should be between 30 and 80 psi. Unfortunately, some municipal water suppliers set the city water pressure as high as 150 psi, sending that water gushing into your main lines. To keep pressure in check, professional plumbers can install special pressure regulators on your main water supply line. These regulators don't require any special maintenance, and they can be adjusted in the future if your pressure needs change.

2. Mind Your Trees

Your landscaping and plumbing lines might seem completely separate, but if your trees grow out of control, those systems can become desperately intermingled. Tree roots start out small and then grow in length and girth, punching their way through dense soil, cement foundations, and even main water lines. Root damage can cause slow-moving drains, marshy landscaping, gurgling noises, or even plumbing fixtures that are prone to overflowing. Fortunately, you might be able to avoid these issues by taking these preventative measures:

Plant A Barrier: To keep roots from growing too close to main sewer lines, consider planting a barrier inside the soil. Metal or wood barriers should be planted 6 to 12 inches deeper than sewer lines and run vertically to help to redirect root traffic. However, if you don't want to spend the time constructing a large, complicated wood or metal enclosure, you can always plant a chemical barrier. Chemicals like potassium hydroxide and copper sulfate discourage root growth and release slowly, providing you with years of protection.    

Remove Large Trees That Are Planted Too Close: Another great way to prevent root damage is to remove trees that are planted too close to your home. Large trees that grow over 70 feet tall should be planted at least 20 feet from your home. If you have large, mature trees on your lot, consider hiring a tree removal specialist to cut them down and remove the stump. The existing roots under the soil will die in place, so that they won't continue to assault your plumbing.

By knowing how to care for your home's main drainage lines, you might be able to keep your plumbing in check for the long haul.


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