There are certain plumbing issues – like a burst pipe or a flooded basement – that simply can’t wait to be dealt with no matter what time of day they happen. There is no choice but to call an emergency plumber right away. And while we are happy to offer emergency plumbing services throughout Hamilton-Wentworth, we know that you would be much happier to avoid plumbing disasters altogether.

You may not be able to prevent every plumbing problem, but here are a few tips that might just help you avoid the need for an emergency plumber.

  1. Be careful what you flush down the toilet!

Toilets are meant to handle bodily waste and toilet paper – that’s it. Other solid wastes like paper towels, diapers and feminine hygiene products do not belong in the toilet, and if you flush them, they could end up clogging your drains. Make sure you keep a garbage can and a small blue box in your bathroom to avoid being tempted to flush what should not be flushed.

The city of Hamilton has a fantastic page explaining what is acceptable to flush down your toilet.

  1. Strain your Shower and Kitchen Drains.

Just like you need to be careful about what goes down your toilet, you also need to be careful about what goes down your drain. Hair in shower drains and small chunks of food in kitchen drains are common culprits for clogs. You can avoid having these things go down your drain simply my using and inexpensive mesh strainer over your drain.

Remember as well, not to pour hot grease or oil down your sink. Once cooled, the grease will form into a solid and, over time, could give you problems. Instead, use your garbage to dispose of grease.

  1. Keep your heat on in the winter.

Many residents of Hamilton-Wentworth like to escape the cold winters for a while and go someplace a little more tropical. If you do this, you might be tempted to think you can save some money on your utilities by turning off your heat. But if your pipes end up freezing and subsequently bursting, you’ll end up having to pay much more than you saved. Instead, if you are away, set your heat on low – but never turn it off completely during the winter.

  1. Check your Washing Machine Hoses.

One potential source of flooding that people don’t commonly think about is the washing machine. Washing machines tend to cause flooding if there is a problem with one of the rubber hoses. To prevent this, inspect the hoses every six months. If you notice they are starting to crack or bulge, get them replaced right away.  The general recommendation is to replace the hoses every five to seven years.

If you are worried about your washing machine leaking while you are on vacation, there is also the option to turn off the water supply to your washing machine.  Just follow the hoses behind your washing machine to where the faucets are, and turn the faucets off.

There is also the option to buy stainless steel braided hoses, which are less likely to burst.  You’ll be able to find these at your local hardware store, or online at Amazon.

  1. Know where your main water valve is (and how to use it).

Shutting off your main water valve may be the most important thing you can do to prevent or mitigate flooding. Everyone in your household should know where this valve is located. If you are doing home renovations or taking a long vacation, this valve should be turned off. And if you see water leaking around the valve, that means it’s time to replace it.

If you follow these simple tips, you will be able to avoid many plumbing disasters, but if you ever do need an emergency plumber in Hamilton-Wentworth, you can count on Wentworth Plumbing to come to the rescue.