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Serving the Entire Santa Cruz Area
Including Monterey & Castroville
831-633-2000
Serving the Entire Santa Cruz Area
Including Monterey & Castroville
831-633-2000

Back-to-School Plumbing Tips

School is in session! The return of the school year brings many scheduling challenges, so the last thing you need during this busy season is trouble with your plumbing. If you're pressed for time, these tips can help you manage your plumbing challenges, from leaks to clogs and everything in between. 
Unclog Drains
Clogged drains can slow down your family when they're in the midst of getting ready for school and work. To unstop a slow drain, pour equal parts baking soda and vinegar into the drain and let the mixture sit for a few hours. When you're done, chase the mixture with hot water. Repeat as necessary.
If vinegar doesn't work, try a plumber's auger. To use the auger, insert the cable into the drain and push it down the pipe by hand. Twist the cable with the hand crank when it reaches a curve in the pipe, then keep pushing the cable down farther into the pipe. Use the hand crank to twist the cable when it pierces the clog, then pull back the cable. 
If neither of these methods work, or you simply don't have the time or energy to deal with a clog on your own, contact a reputable plumber to clear the clogs for you.
Inspect Your Water Heater
Your water heater plays a crucial role in shower time, bath time, cooking, cleaning and laundry. Having a functional water heater can keep your household working smoothly when everyone is home from school. 
When inspecting your water heater, look for:
  • Corrosion or rust. Corrosion and rust are both signs that your water heater has been leaking.
  • Puddling water. If you see puddles of water, it has to come from somewhere. You probably have a leak.
  • Soot. Soot around the burner could be a sign of excess carbon monoxide, which puts your family in danger.
Inspecting your water heater for signs of distress can help you determine when it's time to get your water heater professional help. If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, contact a professional plumber.
Set Up a Bathroom Schedule
Staggering showers and baths can help take the pressure off of your home's plumbing. Set up a bathroom schedule so each member of the family will know when they can bathe, how long they may spend in the bathroom and by what time they need to be out. That way, everyone can get to their destinations on time and without fighting.
Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal might see a lot heavy use in the mornings before everyone leaves and in the evening when everyone comes home for dinner. Keeping your garbage disposal in good condition will help keep your meals on schedule.
To clean out your garbage disposal, pour vinegar down into the disposal and let it sit for an hour. Next, pour salt and ice into the disposal. Finally, turn on the cold water and run the disposal. The vinegar will help clear clogs in the pipes while the salt and ice will help clean out the appliance and sharpen the blades.
While this will help your disposal stay in good shape, it won't fix serious issues. Instead of spending precious time on your disposal, call a plumber to take care of it.
Inspect Your Washing Machine Hoses 
Rubber washing machine hoses have a way of deteriorating over time. If this happens when everyone is at school or work, you could come home to a flood. Inspect your washing machine hoses for cracks. If the hoses feel brittle, consider replacing them with wire mesh hoses - contact a professional for more information.
Have Questions? Contact a Reputable Plumber
At Albert's Plumbing & Drain Service, we're happy to answer homeowner questions about plumbing care and maintenance. To find out more about how you can take care of your plumbing, contact us today