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8 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Know

Steer clear of late-night or early-morning calls to the plumber by avoiding these big mistakes.

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Treat Your Garbage Disposal Right

It’s just too easy to toss all your scraps down the garbage disposal and let them churn away, but this makes plumbers cringe. Scraping your trash in the can instead of down the sink can save you from clogging it, or worse.

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washing machine hoseFamily Handyman

Inspect Your Hoses

Ice makers and washing machines have hoses that are prone to crack or burst, which is why plumbers suggest homeowners check them regularly to ensure they’re not cracked, twisted or have a bulge in them. Is your washing machine on its last legs? Here’s how to tell.

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Clear out the Space Under Your Sink

It only seems right to put cleaning supplies, like sponges, rags and liquids, under the sink, but plumbers say NO to this. Besides just being in the way, they can cause trap leaks. Drain traps, which are the curved pipes under the sink, are meant to keep sewer gases from entering your home, while also allowing waste water to pass. Blocking them off with clutter increases the risk of your cleaning products and trash can bumping into the pipes and dislodging them. Here’s how to really clean your stainless steel sink.

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Please Don’t Take on a Major Plumbing Job

No matter how DIY savvy you are, you aren’t a plumber by trade. If there’s an intricate project you’ve never tried before, leave it to the experts—they can actually save you more money than the mess you could create! (Here’s a plumber-approved tip you need to use.)

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Keep Grease Away from Your Sink

You may second guess that bacon grease going down the drain, but it seems a lot easier than trying to clean it out with a paper towel, right? Plumbers beg of you to have some patience. Instead of pouring it down the kitchen sink drain, allow it to harden, scrape it into a garbage can and wipe out the pan with the paper towel before washing. It will save you money in the long run. Learn how to dispose of cooking oil the right way.

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Do Maintenance Checks

Don’t fix it if it’s not broken, right? While the saying makes sense, when it comes to plumbing, it’s best to simply keep an eye on things. This means not overlooking toilets, sink drains, pipes and valves. And, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual maintenance appointment with your plumber, so you don’t have to pay a ton of money later! Got a leak? Here’s how to fix a water-shutoff valve that’s leaking.

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Shut off Your Water Valve Before Vacation

You probably have a long list of things to take care of before going on vacation, and shutting off your main water valve should be one of them. Why? Because you probably don’t want to come home to a flooded house! Now that you know how to take care of your house pre-vacation, here’s how to clean out your fridge.

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There’s an Easy Way to Prevent Frozen Pipes

You might not hear a lot of advice about letting your faucets drip, but when it comes to wintertime, plumbers advise you avoid frozen pipes this way. If you’ve had frozen pipes in the past, you’ll likely have them again, unless you’ve taken preventive measures, so if temps drop to frigid levels, open a faucet slightly and let a steady drip occur to prevent frozen pipes. Check out these other ways to prepare for winter.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Alexa Erickson
Inspired by balance, Alexa finds that her true inner peace comes from executing a well-rounded lifestyle. An avid yogi, hiker, beach bum, music and art enthusiast, salad aficionado, adventure seeker, animal lover, and professional writer, she is an active individual who loves to express herself through the power of words. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @lextraordinary1, and follow her work at: