There are many little things you and your family can do to save money around the house. Take plumbing, for instance. The more you follow simple rules every day, the more money you save on water bills and plumbing repairs. Here are essential tips you will want to follow to save money on plumbing. Watch What Goes Down the Drain. Whether it is your sink, your toilet or your garbage disposal, the easiest way to prevent premature replacements and repairs is to watch what goes into the drain. With sinks, make sure that you use strainers. Strainers are available at most any store and cost just a few dollars. These items will keep out hair, soap and food debris which, if left to go down a sink drain, eventually lead to troublesome clogs. Strainers also come in handy for keeping rings and other pieces of jewelry from accidentally ending up in the drain which can result in a call to the plumber. If you have children be sure they understand never to put anything like a stuffed animal or another object down the toilet. This applies to very young children, but you want to be sure that you let older kids know that too much toilet paper or paper towels should also never be stuffed down the toilet. As with sinks and toilets, be careful about what you put down the garbage disposal. Make your family aware that food items like corn husks, potato peels or banana peels are absolutely not made for the garbage disposal. You can purchase special strainers that fit over the disposal drain, too. You just need to lift it away when you need to use the disposal. When you watch what goes down the drain, you reduce chances of experiencing clogs and having to make expensive emergency calls to the plumber. Watch for leaks no matter how insignificant they may appear to be. Small leaks are a lot easier and cheaper to fix than big ones. Inspect your exposed sink pipes for any signs of leaks on a regular basis. Check washing machine hoses from time to time, too. If you see any cracks in them replace them immediately. Usually, washing machine hoses are good for about three years. Make sure your toilets are not leaking, either. Put some food coloring in the top tank and wait half an hour. If any dyes show up in the bowl, you have a leak. You can either replace the toilet yourself to save some money or you may call your plumber to do the work. If small leaks are happening, you can often fix them by replacing washers or applying plumbers putty where needed. If they are in hard-to-reach areas or they seem to be on-going, call your plumber for help. Take care of your water heater. Most water heaters will last about 15 years, but you can extend the length of time you own it by doing a few things. At least once a year, drain a few gallons of water from the tank to flush it out. This gets rid of sediment which stops the unit from heating as well as it should and shortens the units life span. Always set your water heaters temperature to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This not only helps prevent scalding, it also helps you save money on regular water bills. If you live in an area where sewers are in use, you can avoid costly backup repairs by installing a backflow valve in your floor drain. This valve helps prevent backups and costly repairs from hampering your monthly budget. If you live in a home that has a basement and you use a sump pump, you can save even more money by regularly inspecting it before its seasonal use. Make sure the electrical outlet and cable are in good shape. Turn the unit on to make sure it operates properly. This will ensure it functions well throughout the season and does not need repairs. If anything does seem wrong, you can usually replace any necessary parts or batteries yourself for a lot less than replacing the entire unit. Use these tips every day. You will save money on your plumbing repairs and expenses.
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