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Plumbing No-Nos

Plumbing No-Nos

18th Apr 2016

You may hear various secret solutions and home remedies for plumbing problems, and some of them can be useful to jot down. Others, though, will be more likely to worsen the issues than they are to fix them.

1. Heavy Water Pressure in a Clogged Drain

If the water isn't getting through when it used to do so, a stronger burst of water will clean it out, right? While a gust of water might clean out some of the debris, it comes at the risk of overfilling your pipes and causing the buildup to seek an escape which could be back into your face or through a newly created hole in your pipes.

2. Chemical Drain Cleaners for Clogged Drains

One unfortunately commonplace DIY plumbing attempt is to stuff chemical cleaners down a clogged drain. Whether solid or liquid, these chemicals can be useful, but you'll need to use them frequently as part of your cleaning routine to get any benefit. If you pour them down a clogged pipe, they can collect at the source of the clog where they'll be more likely to eat through your pipes than to push their way through the debris. Do use septic additives and cleaners to improve your plumbing performance, but be careful to only use cleaning products as instructed.

3. Duct Tape Leak Repairs

Duct tape can provide a solution for a surprisingly broad swathe of household tasks, but it is not a viable solution for holding in water when your pipes are leaking. If the slightest amount of water touches the binding glue on the tape, the hold will weaken and eventually leave the leak free to spray itself once more. When absolutely nothing else is available, you might consider it to temporarily plug an incredibly small leak, but it should otherwise be left out of your plumbing toolbox.

4. Saving Water through Displacement in the Tank

If you're worried about water conservation, you may have fallen into the trap of "dropping a brick" into your toilet tanks. The force of the water will start at the same level despite there being less of it, but the flow will die down quicker and may not carry all of the waste through the undercroft of the toilet.

5. Using Makeshift Tools to Try to Clear a Clog

Absolutely do not use bent wire hangers or similar long, stiff rods to try to force open a clogged drain. While your pipes can likely withstand a jab from a wire, the probe will be unlikely to make its way past the bends and has a chance of breaking, adding to the clog instead of fixing it.