Do you know the common warning signs of a leaky drain? If not, you might be in trouble if left unchecked. By being proactive and taking preventive steps, you can save time and money when fixing damaged drains. Here are nine ways to prevent cracks in your drains.
1. Regularly Flush Out Drains
Drains are prone to the build-up of debris and grease, which can clog them up and cause cracks over time. To avoid this damage, you should flush out your drains regularly using a drain cleaner or a plunger. This will help remove any residue in your pipes, preventing them from becoming blocked and leading to cracks. To be safe, you should at least do this at least once a month to maintain the integrity of your pipes.
Another way to prevent clogs is to install a drain strainer. Strainers are mesh screens that fit into the top of your drains and catch debris from entering the pipes. This simple but effective tool will keep small objects, such as hair or food particles, from accumulating in your system, eliminating a possible source of cracks.
2. Check for Corrosion
Corrosion is one of the main causes of cracks in your drains. You should have your drainpipe's interior examined using a flashlight. If you notice any discoloration or flaking paint, corrosion has begun and could lead to breakage over time. To prevent further damage, you must replace the corroded section of the pipe.
Additionally, if there is water pooling around the base of your pipes when they are not in use, this could also signal the presence of corrosion. To resolve this issue, ensure that all fittings are properly tightened and sealed with caulk or another sealant.
Finally, check your water. If you notice that it's a slightly yellow, brown, or red color, this is rust in your water, so your pipes might be corroded. Even if the water is clear, pay attention to its smell. If you notice a metallic scent or taste, it's a good idea to call a plumber.
3. Use the Right Cleaning Solutions
Harsh chemicals can damage your drains, so using more natural cleaning solutions is best. For example, vinegar and baking soda are good at removing deposits inside your pipes without corroding them or causing cracks. You can also opt for commercial cleansers designed for drainpipes if you want a more powerful option. Always be sure to flush out the drain with clean water after cleaning it to remove any lingering residue.
Before you use any cleaners, consult a plumber from TR Miller Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We are well-versed in which cleaners will benefit specific kinds of pipes. The last thing you want is a chemical reaction that you weren't expecting to make the situation worse.
4. Regularly Check for Leaks
Leaking pipes can quickly lead to cracks, so check your plumbing system regularly. Look around the base of your drains and inspect any visible joints or connections for signs of water damage, such as damp spots or discoloration.
Another sign of a leaking pipe includes decreased water pressure. Another indication of a leak is an increase in your water bill; if your usage suddenly increases without any noticeable change in your habits, it's worth looking into. Lastly, you may hear a hissing sound coming from the pipe, another sure sign of a leak. If you notice anything unusual, it's best to call a professional plumber immediately to fix the problem before it becomes more serious.
5. Minimize Freeze-thaw Cycles
Drains are especially vulnerable to freezing temperatures, so preventing pipes from freezing in winter is important. Insulating your pipes is a great way to do this as the insulation will act as a barrier between the cold air and the warm water inside your drains. Pipe insulation can be made of foam, fiberglass, and a combination of foam, tape, and foil. You should also ensure that all exposed pipe connections are tightly sealed with caulk or waterproof material.
It's also helpful to run hot water in your drain regularly during colder weather as this will help keep them from becoming frozen. Additionally, if you experience consistently low temperatures in your area, consider installing an internal heating system for extra protection. Taking these precautions can help minimize the freeze-thaw cycles your drains go through, reducing their risk of becoming cracked.
6. Upgrade Your System
If you constantly deal with issues related to your drains, it may be time to consider upgrading your plumbing. Newer models are designed to withstand the elements better and offer a more efficient way of draining water. Replacing old sink lines or other plumbing fixtures can significantly reduce the chances of cracks developing in your drain pipes.
7. Avoid the DIY Route
When preventing cracks in your drains, it's best to avoid the DIY route. While you can tackle some minor tasks independently, dealing with more complex problems is usually best left to a professional plumber.
Attempting to fix plumbing issues without the proper training and experience can often lead to costly mistakes in the long run or even bodily harm. Issues like corrosion, frozen pipes, and leaks can be difficult to diagnose and repair without the proper knowledge and tools.
8. Invest in Quality Materials
Choose durable pipes from strong materials such as copper, PEX, or PVC for your plumbing system. These are designed to withstand the elements better and can protect your plumbing system from damage.
Additionally, choose fixtures that are designed for the climate you live in. For instance, if you live in an area with freezing temperatures, look for heavy-duty faucets and other plumbing components that can withstand freezing temperatures without cracking or breaking. Finally, use adequate amounts of sealant when installing new fixtures. This will help prevent leaks from forming and reduce the chances of damage over time.
9. Ensure Proper Installation
It all starts with proper installation. Even the best materials won't do you good if they're not fitted and connected correctly. Ensuring that qualified professionals install your plumbing system will help prevent future problems.
Working with an experienced plumber or contractor who knows how to install fixtures and pipes properly can make all the difference in avoiding cracks in your drains. It can save you from having to deal with costly repairs and headaches caused by incorrect installations. TR Miller, Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing has a team of experienced professionals that can provide proper installation services to ensure that your drains last for years to come.
Preventing cracks in your drains is an important part of maintaining the integrity of your plumbing system. Taking certain preventive measures, using quality materials, and calling a professional plumber when needed can help ensure your drainage system remains in good condition for years. By following these tips, you can keep your home's plumbing running smoothly and avoid costly repairs in the future.
At TR Miller, Heating, Cooling, and plumbing, we offer professional plumbing, and HVAC services, for the residents of Plainfield, IL and the surrounding areas. Call us now to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.