Maybe you didn’t make a formal New Year’s resolution to take better care of your home’s plumbing this year, but by keeping in mind a few tips you may be able to avoid expensive plumbing bills in 2016. These simple suggestions will save you money, improve efficiency, and reduce energy consumption.

The kitchen is where many plumbing issues begin. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest places to prevent problems from arising. If you have a garbage disposal, washing hard objects or stringy scraps down the drain may cause damage or malfunction. The easiest way to prevent this is to use an inexpensive drain strainer that can be cleaned each time you use the sink. You can also keep the insides of your drainpipes clean by occasionally pouring vinegar into them, letting it sit for 30 minutes, then flushing with hot water.

Clogs can happen in the bathroom too, where the simplest approach is to provide a waste basket so there’s no temptation to toss anything but toilet paper into the toilet bowl. Mineral deposits on plumbing fixtures are another common bathroom issue that can lead to uneven showerhead spray and low water pressure. If possible, unscrew showerheads or sink faucet aerators and let them soak in white vinegar for an hour. Scrub with a bristle brush, rinse, and reassemble. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

A toilet that won’t stop running can keep you up at night and waste lots of water. More often than not, the fix is well within the reach of the average homeowner. Usually some foreign matter has gotten stuck between the flapper and the discharge hole that allows water to flow from the tank into the bowl. Once you remove the object, the seal should close properly and stop the leak. If the problem persists, you may have a damaged seal. Test it by adding food coloring to the tank and leaving it for a few minutes. If you see colored water in the toilet bowl, the seal is damaged. A new flapper is relatively easy to install, and if you’re handy you may be able to avoid calling a plumber.

Hopefully these tips will be enough to keep your plumbing in good shape. But remember, a stitch in time saves nine. If you have problems that can’t be kept in check by these preventive measures, the sooner you call for assistance, the better off you’ll be. We at Express Plumbing & Rooter are available 24-7 for any emergency plumbing needs. For assistance or questions, contact us at 800-628-5553 or Make an Appointment.