Given what they do day after day, it’s important that kitchen pipes be kept clean and clear. Clogged pipes are, at best, a pain in the neck. In the worst case, they can become so impaired that the plumbing will need to be replaced. Following are three tips to keep your pipes as clean as possible:
Most areas in the United States have hard water. This is water that’s full of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals make drinking water that tastes good and is actually good for overall health, but can damage fresh water pipes. This is because of the accumulation of lime scale inside the pipes. Lime scale can lower the water pressure, and if it’s not treated, it can impede the flow of water altogether. This might necessitate calling in a plumbing contractor, such as Moody Plumbing Inc, to repipe the system.
Water softeners work by flushing fresh water through a tank full of salt water and resin beads. In a point-of-entry system, the minerals in the hard water are exchanged for sodium ions. The water is then flushed into a freshwater tank and to the water heater if necessary before it enters the fixtures in the house. This increases the working life not only of plumbing pipes but of water-dependent appliances such as dishwashers and coffee makers.
The drainage pipes should be cleaned regularly with a scouring paste made of vinegar and baking soda. Pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain then add one half cup of vinegar. Let it sit for about five minutes. In the meantime, boil water in a kettle then pour it carefully down the drain. A homeowner can also buy enzyme-based drain cleaners. These are blocks of freeze-dried bacteria that actually eat the muck in the drain and pipes when they’re reconstituted.
Another good maintenance tip is to run the water or flush fixtures that are not used often, such as those in a guest bedroom. This keeps the pipes clear and able to work well.
The pipes in the basement, crawl space or attics should be checked at least once a month for leaks or other problems. Some homeowners may find going into their crawlspace off-putting. In that case, a plumber should be called. It may be a good idea to enter into a service contract with a plumber so these maintenance jobs can be conducted on a schedule at reduced cost.