We get called to Bay Area homes for all kinds of different plumbing issues, and we’ve seen almost everything you can possibly think of that can go wrong with a system. But out of all the different types of problems that we encounter, there are some that come up much more frequently than others. Today we’re going to help you avoid those issues by talking about common home plumbing mistakes you should avoid!

8 common home plumbing mistakes to avoid

  • 1. Using the wrong tool to fix a clog. There are a number of DIY tricks that you can try to unclog a drain, but it’s important to know what tools are best for the job at hand. For example, using a drain snake to try to unclog a toilet could cause damage to the toilet bowel (a plunger or toilet auger would work better). In addition, using chemical drain cleaners for any clogs can corrode and damage the insides of your pipes.
  • 2. Overfilling the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are powerful, but they are only designed to be fed one item at a time. If you overfill your garbage disposal with scraps and then try to run it, the disposal can easily get jammed or overworked.
  • 3. Putting the wrong items down the disposal. Another common mistake people make with garbage disposals is not being careful of what they use them for. Disposals can handle most small food scraps, but starchy and fibrous foods like vegetable peels, celery, rice and pasta are often problematic because they can tie up the blades and lead to a jam.
  • 4. Flushing garbage down the toilet. Many people make the mistake of treating their toilets like garbage cans by flushing products like cotton balls, facial scrubs, cotton swabs, paper towels and hygiene products. The truth is that toilets are only designed to flush human waste, so if you flush other foreign objects it can quickly lead to a clog.
  • 5. Leaving hair in shower drain traps. Most showers have drain traps that are used to catch soap scum and hair that would otherwise build up in the drains and lead to clogs. If you make the mistake of forgetting to clean those traps, you will get standing water in your showers and water will not drain properly.
  • 6. Putting excess weight on fixtures. If you choose to put shower caddies or other hanging objects on your showerheads or handles, you should be careful about the amount of weight that you add to them. Putting excess weight on your fixtures can damage them or tear them completely down, so it’s best to avoid putting any weight on them altogether.
  • 7. Pouring grease down drains. Grease is the number one cause of kitchen drain clogs. That’s because it solidifies in your pipes and traps other scraps that you put down your drain, which can quickly lead to severe clogs. You can easily avoid this mistake by disposing of your grease and fats in a jar or the garbage instead.
  • 8. Ignoring small leaks. Plumbing leaks never fix themselves, and they only get worse with time. The longer you ignore a leak, the more damage it can cause and the more water you’ll waste. Instead of procrastinating, it’s best to give Cabrillo a call as soon as you notice leaks or other plumbing problems so that you can minimize the damage and annoyance that they cause.

If you have any questions about these home plumbing mistakes, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor.