Dear Burton, 

 My wife and I just bought our first home. When we were renting, we had a landlord around to help with occasional bathroom plumbing issues. Now that we’re doing our own maintenance, what are some easy things we can do to keep our plumbing in good shape?

           – Plumb Perplexed 

 Dear Perplexed,

Congratulations on moving into your new home! That’s a great question to ask now— before you’ve got a flood on your hands (and all over the bathroom floor). If you want to play offense when it comes to clogged plumbing problems, try these simple tips:

Don’t let your hair down (the drain).

Hair has a bad habit of binding to the soap in your tub, shower, and sink drains. As it builds up, your flow will slow. By putting a mesh cover over your drains, you can prevent this problem before it starts. Now that’s a tip so easy, even the greenest homeowner can do it!

Be a picky flusher.

What’s a whole lot cheaper than calling a plumbing service? Putting a wastebasket next to your toilet! Don’t flush things like q-tips, sanitary products, wipes, paper towels, hair, or cardboard. 

And if you’ve got little kids around, a locking toilet lid can protect you from a loo full of legos. We can’t count how many clogged plumbing calls we get every year for bathrooms flooded by toilet toys. 

Spring cleaning? Don’t forget your faucet and showerheads.

Over time, sediment can build up in your faucet and showerheads, blocking the water flow and causing corrosion. If you’ve got vinegar in the house, here’s a simple fix. Just unscrew the heads and soak them in vinegar for 24 hours. If the head is stuck, you can rubber band a plastic bag full of vinegar around the faucet, then try again in a few hours. 

Don’t skip routine preventive maintenance

Calling a plumbing service to snake your drains isn’t just an emergency response. Annual maintenance on your pipes is an inexpensive way to protect against a very expensive problem. This is especially important if you’re in an older home with historic plumbing. Protect your pipes—and floors, walls, and your sanity—by prioritizing annual maintenance. 

With a good mix of preventative habits and periodic light maintenance, you can avoid any major bathroom mishaps for years to come. But if it’s already too little, too late, just call Burton! Our expert 24-hour plumbers and drain cleaning experts can get your pipes back on track in no time.