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5 Plumbing Resolutions for 2021

In January, many homeowners start thinking about what they want to do around the house in the coming year. Now is a great time to also start thinking about how you can better maintain your home's vital systems, including your plumbing system. You rely on your plumbing every day. Now is a great time to give it the TLC it deserves.

You may be surprised by how easy it can be to improve the functioning of your plumbing system. Getting to know your system and setting up an annual maintenance routine not only saves you money on repairs but can also help you extend the lifespan of your pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

Keep reading for five things you can do this year to take care of your plumbing system.

Resolution #1: Check the Temperature on Your Water Heater

Water heaters are typically factory-set at 120°F. This is low enough to help prevent scalding injuries. However, it is often recommended that you set your water heater to around 135-140° to prevent bacteria, such as Legionella. Higher than this can be dangerous and ends up using an excessive amount of electricity.

You want to avoid setting your water heater too high as you run the risk of burning yourself, and it runs up your electricity bill unnecessarily. However, if you elect to set your water heater to 140°, it is worth looking into installing a water temperature mixing valve on your plumbing fixtures to avoid burns.

Quickly checking that your water heater is set to the appropriate temperature is a 5-minute task that can make your system safer and save you money. When you go out to your water heater, you may notice a range of symbols instead of temperatures. This can be confusing at first. If you are unsure what your temperature dial means, review your water heater's manual.

The most common symbols and what temperatures they correlate to is as follows:

  • Low – 80-90°
  • Hot - 120°
  • A - 130°
  • B - 140°
  • C - 150°
  • Very Hot - 160°

Resolution #2: Get to Know Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal might be one of your most-used appliances in the home. Most homeowners use their garbage disposal daily, if not several times a day. However, most people aren't fully versed in what can and cannot be put in the disposal. Knowing what objects to avoid putting down your disposal can help you extend its lifespan, improve its operation, and prevent drain clogs.

Foods you should not put in your garbage disposal include:

  • Fats, grease, and oils
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Bones or shells
  • Large amounts of scraps and peels
  • Large chunks of fibrous vegetables
  • Large amounts of starchy foods, like pasta and rice

Many of the items on this list are notoriously difficult to break down, even after going through the disposal. They can build up in your plumbing system and cause foul odors and clogs. Similarly, fats, oils, and grease can coat your disposal and your system, leading to buildup and clogs.

Resolution #3: Install Low-Flow Fixtures & Save Water

If you are looking for a way to use less water this year, look no further than your plumbing system. Simply not letting the faucet run while you brush your teeth or do the dishes can save a lot of water. However, if you would like to make a bigger impact, you should look into installing low-flow faucets and fixtures. As low-flow fixtures reduce your water consumption, they also save you money on your water bill.

You can find low-flow models of the following fixtures:

  • Bathroom sink faucets
  • Showerheads
  • Toilets

It is a common misconception that low-flow means no water pressure. Low-flow technology has advanced in recent years. There are many different models on the market, some of which give you the same satisfying pressure while using significantly less water.

Resolution #4: Schedule an Inspection with a Professional

One of the best things you can do for your plumbing system is to schedule a yearly inspection with a professional plumber, like ours at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. While you can do a lot as a homeowner to keep your system up and running, our plumbers have the training and experience to catch small repair issues that you may not be aware of. We can also provide you with a sense of your plumbing system's overall health and help you plan for future repairs and replacements.

Resolution #5: Have Your Drains Professionally Cleaned

Did you know that drain cleaners you can buy at the drug store may do more harm to your system than good? Often, these products are made of highly corrosive chemicals designed to eat through clogs. This can cause significant corrosion and damage to your plumbing system. Instead, if you are looking to improve the flow of your plumbing system, you should schedule drain cleaning services with a professional plumber.

The benefits of professional drain cleaning include:

  • Improved water flow through your system
  • More effective clog and build-up removal
  • Improved drain performance
  • Healthier pipes and fewer repair concerns

It is typically recommended that you have your drains professionally inspected and cleaned every 1-2 years. Your plumber will be able to recommend an appropriate timeline for your system. To learn more about how to keep your drains clean between visits, review our website here.