You might be surprised to learn that these very common habits actually cause plumbing damage in household systems. Avoid doing these 4 things and your plumbing will operate more smoothly, with less need for repairs.

Using Liquid Drain Cleaner

Most people assume that liquid drain cleaner is good for plumbing systems–that’s the whole point of it, right?–but store-bought drain cleaners contain corrosive chemicals that actually damage pipes. Repeated use of chemical drain cleaners will eat away at your pipes, eventually causing them to break down and leak. Next time you have a stubborn clog, reach for a plunger instead.

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Flushing Anything but the Obvious

Don’t flush anything down your toilet but bodily waste and toilet paper. Period. Even products that promote themselves as “flushable” like wipes and some kitty litter will take a long time to break down in your plumbing and will clog up your pipes. Dispose of those things in the garbage instead.

Using Your Garbage Disposal as a Trashcan

Much like not being mindful of what you flush down the toilet, using your garbage disposal as a way of getting rid of large food scraps can cause a lot of damage. Garbage disposals are meant to grind up the tiny food bits that inevitably wash down the drain. They are not built to dispose of larger food scraps like potato peels, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Toss large food scraps into the compost and only use your disposal for small bits of debris.

Ignoring Leaks

If you notice a very minor leak, you may be tempted to just think “oh, well, it’s not doing any damage” and forget about it. We get it, it’s tempting to ignore leaks when they’re not directly impacting your day-to-day. However, even though that little leak may not be doing much noticeable damage (though it is still wasting water and creating an environment for mold and mildew to thrive in), if left undealt with that leak is going to become a much bigger problem, such as a burst pipe. It’s better to get that leak fixed now, rather than deal with a much more time consuming and costly repair in the future.

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