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Plumbing Tips: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Plumbing Tips: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

When it comes to your home’s plumbing, you’ll find many people out there willing to offer advice — especially those who aren’t plumbers. Some of the old wives’ tales that you may hear from your granddad in Marietta or find on the Internet actually do work. However, others can actually damage your pipes and fixtures. Here are a few plumbing tips to avoid, as well as a handful you can use.

Grease and Drains

Don’t pour bacon fat or any other grease down the drain.


Just don’t.

It can clog your drain at the trap as it solidifies, and it is bad for the environment. If this ugly deed has already been done, you may have heard that a cup of degreasing dishwashing detergent or even pickle juice, when mixed with boiling water, will unclog the drain. And it may. In fact, boiling water alone may liquefy the grease. But, chances are, it will not fully flush the grease from your plumbing system.

Instead, if you suspect your sink is clogged with grease, go straight to the trap beneath the sink, take it off and remove the grease. Then store any future grease in an old coffee tin or a mug with a lid.


Some folks recommend yeast, along with a little water as a way to unclog a drain.

While many wives may swear by this trick, plumbers tend to debunk it because if you try it one too many times, you will eventually have a very dense loaf of bread jamming up your pipes.

Consumer drain cleaners, by the way, are not great for your pipes, plumbing or the environment either. The best way to unclog a drain is by removing the clog physically.

Tips that Work

Here are a few more plumbing tips that you can use to make sure your plumbing stays in working order.

(1) Be sure to turn off water sources to outside spigots before the winter arrives. Drain the water lines and leave the spigots open to prevent freezing;

(2) Use a plastic bag full of vinegar to clean mineral deposits from your shower heads. Use a rubber band to secure the bag to the fixture and let it soak overnight; and

(3) Place strainers in all your sinks to prevent food, hair, soap and other debris from entering the drain. This way you can avoid the clog problem all together.

Before attempting any do-it-yourself plumbing tips, check with a pro. Give Casteel a call; one of their plumbing professionals will happily let you know whether what you’re about to do will get you into deeper trouble.