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Tired of calling a plumber? Use these tricks to ward off constant and costly repairs.

#1 Insulate pipes.

Naturally, pipe insulation is most important in areas where there is the potential for pipes to freeze and burst. The cost of both piping and insulation is tiny relative to the damages when a pipe breaks. While it is obvious that outdoor pipes (under the porch, etc) need to be insulated, other pipes can still freeze even if they run in a temperature-regulated part of the house. Things happen, electrical power goes down for several hours, or you go on vacation and don’t expect the temperature to drop as much as it does. Proper pipe insulation can reduce, if not eliminate, the chance of your pipes freezing.

Insulation has a tremendous impact on your home’s energy use. With rising energy prices, as well as environmental concerns, it is becoming even more important to pay attention to how you consume energy. Proper insulation improves the thermal efficiency of your home, limiting heat transfer and providing a vapor barrier against moisture. Proper piping and insulation materials also eliminate condensation formation, which accelerates pipe deterioration. If you need help insulating your piping, call an insulation pro immediately.

#2 Watch what you put down your disposal.

Your disposal isn’t a trashcan. Aside from damaging your disposal itself, the following items are known to cause serious drain clogs. Keep these materials away from your drain to maintain a healthy disposal:

  • Fruit pits
  • Large bones
  • Shrimp shells
  • Banana peels
  • Nuts
  • Grease
  • Onion skins
  • Potato peels
  • Pasta
  • Rice

#3 Maintain your sink and shower drains.

In showers, use mesh screens to keep drain-clogging materials out of your plumbing. With kitchen and bathroom sinks, keep items like grease, cosmetics, matches, Q-Tips and cotton balls out of your drain. Install drain guards in your bathroom sinks and educate your family about what’s safe to put down your home’s drains.

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