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One way to save money on plumbing is to reduce the need to call a plumber at all. The biggest plumbing issue for most folks have is drain-related. This usually does not require a plumber, though a plumber's friend can be useful. Drains get clogged because of grease build up. Soap residue and hair combine and accumulate to form a kind of plaque inside the pipes. Sort of like cholesterol in arteries. The best way to remove this gunk is with a plunger or a snake, which you can get at a hardware store or home center. Try to avoid putting chemicals down the drain. Use them only as a last resort. When and if you clear the drain, keep it clear by pouring boiling water with a little detergent once a month. Since hair is a major culprit in clogged drains, you can stop clogged drains before they get started by placing a hair catcher over your drain. Pick up the hair after showering and say good-bye to clogged bathtub and sink drains. If you live in the temperate zone, the water pipes can be in danger of freezing, which is not a good thing. You can keep this from happening and keep the plumber away by taking a few preventive measures. Make sure that all your pipes are in heated spaces. Any that are not should be well insulated. When the weather turns colder in the fall, disconnect and drain your garden hoses, turn-off the indoor shut-off valve near the faucet, and open the outdoor faucet. If you don't have a shut-off, valve, consider installing one. The water left in pipes exposed to below-zero temperatures will freeze, and cause your pipes to burst.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|