A flooded home is no fun at any time of year, whether it occurs in the winter or in the summer. But fortunately, many types of floods are less likely to happen if you take great care of your plumbing. Here are some common ways plumbing malfunctions could cause a flood in your home and how you can avoid this result in your house.
1. Broken Pipes
Pipes can sometimes rust through and develop pinhole leaks. But in other cases they can fail catastrophically and spew water everywhere. Two reasons your pipes might flood in this dramatic fashion include water hammer and freezing.
Water hammer is caused when you use a faucet or appliance and then switch the water off abruptly. The water is pressurized, so it hits the end of the line and sends shock waves radiating back through the pipe. This can cause an audible clatter and can actually cause the pipe to bang against anything nearby, like a wall. Sometimes it bangs long and hard enough to break.
If you suspect you have a problem with water hammer, contact your plumbing contractor. If you cushion the pipes, install an arrestor, and even lower the water pressure slightly, you may help reduce or prevent damage.
A frozen and burst pipe typically occurs when your area experiences a cold snap. The first pipes to freeze are often those that are unprotected: those installed along your home’s attic floor or in your basement, for example.
You can protect these pipes with insulation or heat tape. You can also let the faucet trickle to reduce the chances that the pipes will freeze or burst.
Every gallon of water you conserve helps the environment and helps your pocketbook. Replacing your old water-guzzling toilet with a new high-efficiency toilet is a smart way to save water. Here are three facts about saving water with a new toilet.
1. Old Toilets Are Water Wasters
Since 1980, toilet manufacturers have worked hard to lower the water usage of their toilets and meet government regulations for toilet-flushing efficiency. Toilets manufactured before 1980 used as much as seven gallons of water per flush.
After passage of the Energy Policy Act in 1992, all toilets were required to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Today, homeowners can choose from toilets that flush with as little as 1.1 gallons of water. Since toilet-flushing represents a large percentage of a home’s water usage, replacing an older toilet with a high-efficiency toilet significantly reduces your total water consumption.
A garbage disposal is a great invention and makes washing your dishes much easier because you can just let some of the food particles slide right down the drain. To properly use and maintain your garbage disposal, however, you need to follow a few rules.
If you are unfamiliar with garbage disposals and how they actually work, keep reading to find out more so you can keep your system working great.
How Does a Disposal Work?
When you put food scraps into the disposal and turn on the system, blades in the grinding chamber start cutting up the food into tiny particles. This allows the food to easily flow through the drain with the running water.
A daily shower is a great way to wake up and face the day but can be hard on your water heater if you take
long showers. The heater will have to pump this hot water up to the tub to meet your needs and may need to
warm up even more water if your shower is too long.
Thankfully, you can learn how to take shorter showers to minimize this problem and decrease your water
Soap Up With the Water Off
In a post-breakfast haze, you may accidentally pour the leftover bacon grease down the drain. If you’re tempted to flush it with water and repeat this plumbing indiscretion again, think twice. Before you clog the pipes, or worse, take a look at why bacon grease and your home’s plumbing system don’t mix.
The Science Behind the Pipe Problem
Anyone who has ever felt or seen bacon grease knows that it’s sticky and congeals quickly. It makes sense that, in your pipes, the oily substance would coat the sides – eventually building up and causing clogs.
At room temperature, bacon grease (and other oily cooking byproducts) remain liquid. Liquids in drains won’t typically causes problems. But, as you may have already seen, bacon grease won’t freely flow down your drain. Issues arise as the grease cools, turning from a liquid into a pipe-clogging solid. Left untouched, the quickly cooling grease hardens and restricts pipes.