Whenever you call in a plumber for maintenance and repair, while they may seem hard at work, they just might be silently chastising for the simple and avoidable mistakes you’ve made. Most clogs, floods, and breakdowns in plumbing can be avoided by learning the basics of protecting and preserving the plumbing systems.

As such, here are a few tips to help avoid future clogs and breakdown in plumbing.

1. Avoid Using Chemicals to Clean the Drain

Those chemical cleaners which claim to be a cure-all for all tough clogs may be unquestionably effective at unclogging the notorious grease and hair in your drains. However, they may be just as effective in corroding and damaging the surfaces of the metal pipes, leading to leaks. In the longer run, such leaks might cost a fortune to repair. In the case of a clog, call the professionals. It’ll actually save you money.

2. Everything isn’t Flushabledont flush
Your toilet isn’t a garbage can. Toilets aren’t meant to flush wet wipes, toilet scrubbers, make-up pads, feminine hygiene products, cat litter. Though these products may be labelled “flushable”, they’re made of plastic which isn’t bio-degradable. Therefore they collect in tight curves, main sewer lines and clog them out.

3. You Don’t Know Where the Main Shut-Off Valve Is

You wake up to a flood in the middle of the night. The water is unrelenting and you just want it to stop. Yet you know nothing about the shut-off valve. Such a stressful situation can be easily avoided by simply asking the plumber to give you a home tour of the basic parts of your home’s plumbing system. Next time you have an emergency at an inopportune time you’ll be prepared to handle it.

4. Avoid Drop-In Toilet Fresheners

They turn your toilet water into a fresh and lovely blue, those drop-in fresheners, however, they more often than not contain dangerous chemicals that’ll corrode and weaken your metal pipes, causing leaks, bursts, or breakdowns. They can also get stuck in the flash valve thus preventing flushing. If you really can’t do without the drop-in fresheners you can add them into the flush tank instead. But the best alternative is using fresheners that aren’t drop-in so as to prevent the damaging of the pipes.

5. The Garbage Disposal System Isn’t a Trashcan

Garbage disposals are meant for disposing of small amounts of scrap, but most users think they’re an easy way to dispose of whatever trash is in the home. They end up damaging the system and spend wads of cash in repairs. Use the garbage disposal appropriately and rinse with lots of water after use.

6. Forgetting to Up-Date the Hoses

Hoses have an average lifespan of up to five years. Afterwards, you’re obliged to replace them to avoid bursting and flooding. During replacements ensure that you use stainless steel for all water lines as it’s rust-resistant and will generally increase the lifespan of your pipelines.

7. Don’t Over-Estimate Your DIY Plumbing Skills

Don’t pressure yourself into imagining that you’ve got to be an expert fixer-upper of your home. Know your limits especially when it comes to plumbing. Leave the complicated repairs to the professionals. If you insist on taking on a repair or maintenance you know little about, you’ll end up turning a quick fix into a mess that’s super-expensive.

8. Absence of Leak Protection System

Leaks start out small but turn ugly fast. For a few hundred dollars you cam install a leak protection system which offers an alarm to alert you of any loose fitting in pipes and hoses. It also automatically turns off the main water supply in the case of a leak. Therefore, you can easily avoid water wastage and nip potential damages.

9. Ignoring Hard Water

When you notice that your soap doesn’t lather or spots on your glasses, it means you are using hard water. This may not seem like a major concern, however, hard water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium, which coat the inside of your pipes. Over time the coats thicken and cause clogging, leaks, or bursts of the pipes. To prevent such occurrences, it’s prudent to purchase water softeners. They last up to 15 years and will also increase the lifespan of your home appliances.

10. Mishandling Water Pressure Valve

Never handle the water heater if you aren’t a professional. By fiddling with the water pressure valve, it may burst and throw hot scalding water all over causing serious burns and damage to property. Call a professional t do the job for you.

11. Waiting Until the Last Minute to Call for Help

If you feel a problem manifesting in your plumbing systems don’t put it off simply because it seems minor. The longer you let it linger, the worse it becomes. If you detect a problem early it’ll save you a lot of money if you deal with it right away. Don’t let it fester into a full-fledged plumbing emergency.

Plumbers are highly trained professionals. Do your research and have a good one on speed dial. In the case of any problem, however minor, phone them for assistance. They’ll help you save big bucks in the longer run.