Although there are lots of things that you can do to maintain and troubleshoot the plumbing system in your Las Vegas, NV home, taking the wrong jobs into your own hands could compromise your safety. It can also compromise the safety of everyone around you. Whether you’re trying to save money or anxious to get things done, read on to discover the do’s and don’ts of plumbing safety.
Do Wear Personal Protective Gear When Using Corrosive Drain Cleaning Chemicals
Store-bought drain cleaners are a dime a dozen. You’ll find lots of these products at local grocery, convenience, and home and hardware stores. Moreover, most are priced at just under $10. They certainly seem like a cheap and easy way to clear out stubborn clogs when you have dirty, blocked drains or drains that are moving too slowly. However, it’s important to read the fine print on their labels before emptying their contents into your sinks, shower pans, tubs, or commodes.
If you have a minor clog and want to use these products to resolve it, start by putting on safety goggles and gloves. Most drain cleaners are highly caustic or highly corrosive. They can do serious damage if they splash into your eyes, come in contact with your mouth, nostrils or skin, or enter your airways. It’s also a good idea to wear a long-sleeve shirt to protect your arms from splashes.
To minimize the risk of splash-back after pouring drain cleaner into a clogged toilet or basin, don’t attempt to plunge the clog away. If you intend to use your plunger to clear your drains, you should always do so before drain cleaners are applied.
Most store-bought drain cleaners are downright terrible for both plumbing systems and human health if used incorrectly. Even with your eyes and skin protected, you’re constantly at risk of breathing these chemicals in. Prolonged or repeated exposure to certain products can irritate your airways, cause coughing and congestion, and lead to short and long-term respiratory issues. Thus, it’s important to ensure that the room you’re working in is well-ventilated.
Don’t Make Store-Bought Drain Cleaners Your Go-To Plumbing Solution
When drain cleaners aren’t able to clear clogs in a timely fashion, they sit in pipes and gradually eat away at these structures. Attempting to bale them out won’t clear them entirely, and doing so also poses a number of health and safety hazards. Using drain cleaners too often or having them sit in your pipes for too long can mean the difference between paying to resolve a simple clog and paying for full-on pipe replacement.
There’s also the fact that even many minor-seeming clogs are actually a sign of far larger problems. If you have two or more slow-moving or blocked drains throughout the building, the issue could lie with the sewer pipe that travels from your home to the municipal sewer system. If this pipe is ever encroached upon by tree roots or weeds, blocked by solid obstructions, or cracked, you run the risk of having a whole-house backup that sends raw sewage and blackwater rushing back into the building. The effects of a drain cleaner might exacerbate the very problem that’s causing your backup.
Do Know Where Your Water Shut-Off Valves Are
The best way to minimize the damages caused by an overflowing toilet, appliance, or sink is by turning the water off. All faucets and fixtures should have emergency shut-off valves just behind or beneath them. Search these out long before you need them, and make sure that everyone else in your home knows where they are too. You should additionally locate the shut-off valve for your home’s main water supply. In slab-built homes, these are often located in attached garages, just near water heaters, or at the front curb.
Don’t Dig on Your Own
Having multiple blocked or slow-moving drains isn’t the only sign of an impending whole-house backup. If you suddenly have a lush lawn, a veritable sea of mushrooms growing in a dark corner of your yard, or areas throughout your landscape that are perpetually wet and muddy, there’s a good chance that you also have a broken sewer pipe. This is an issue that you should never attempt to investigate or resolve on your own. Not only is there the risk of being exposed to harmful pathogens and a range of chemical contaminants, but there’s also the risk of encountering live utility lines while digging.
Striking and damaging utility lines can lead to serious and fatal injuries. It can also cause widespread disruptions in utility service and result in hefty fines and other penalties. When you hire a plumber, you might discover that absolutely no digging is needed. Plumbers offer a range of non-invasive sewer repair strategies and diagnostic techniques. With a camera line inspection, we can determine the exact location of sewer damage and its magnitude. Slip lining, pipe bursting, and the installation of cured in place pipe are several trenchless remedies for common sewer line problems. If digging is required for your sewer repair or replacement project, a plumber can coordinate these efforts to ensure everyone’s safety.
Don’t Try to Tackle a Whole-House Backup On Your Own
If blackwater ever comes surging out of your drains, toilets, and appliances, you should avoid handling it or taking measures to stop it. Instead, contact a plumber and a water damage restoration service. Blackwater is rife with bacteria and other pathogens that are known to cause serious illness. It also contains chemical contaminants from all of the cleaning solutions and other products that have gone down your drains.
Pulling out your wet/dry vac won’t return your home to a safe and habitable condition. The first and most important step is clearing or repairing your sewer line so that the problem doesn’t recur. By working with professionals every step of the way, you can prevent problems with mold and mildew and neutralize other health risks.
Don’t Put Seemingly Minor Plumbing Repairs Off
Even a leaky sink can put a dent in your pocket if left untended. Small, unchecked leaks can waste gallons of water each day. Don’t ignore foul sewer smells, strange drain noises, and recurring clogs. Scheduling plumbing service when problems are still localized and minor will keep them from spiraling out of control. More importantly, it will also minimize the risk of plumbing-related health and safety hazards.
Do Schedule Whole-House Plumbing Inspections Each Year
Whole-house plumbing inspections limit the risk of costly repairs, give plumbers the chance to catch and resolve developing issues, optimize water pressure, ensure water safety, and more. They also greatly minimize the risk of mold development. During these visits, plumbers look for slow and hidden leaks at the backs of appliances and in crawlspaces and other areas.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Water Heater Safety
Although frequently associated with HVAC systems, water heaters are actually part of residential plumbing systems. After all, their whole purpose is to supply hot water to faucets, appliances, and other fixtures. There are several do’s and don’t for water heater safety that are important to know as well. For instance, you should always maintain your water heater’s temperature setting below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Do schedule maintenance service annually and have your water heater flushed to remove sediment. Never leave children unattended around your water heater, and never store flammable items near this appliance.
We’ve been proudly serving Las Vegas, NV and the surrounding area since 2018. You can count on us for top-quality and highly responsive HVAC, plumbing, and indoor air quality services. If you have questions about plumbing safety or need to schedule an appointment, contact Bumble Breeze today.