Here’s a few of the ways people mess up their home plumbing.
If you’re looking for a career change and want something with rock-solid security, you might consider becoming a plumber who makes house calls. This advice is based on two truths: 1) people will always need plumbing—or more specifically, plumbing that works—and, 2) people will always do stupid things that stop their home plumbing from working. Keep in mind that the service side of plumbing often requires a strong stomach and the will to suppress amusement with other peoples’ self-imposed misfortune. But rest assured that the two truths mentioned above will always keep you in business. The items below are just a small sampling of what you might expect on an ordinary day in the field.
1: Leaving hoses connected during winter.
This is a classic plumbing error that one must assume is caused most often by extreme laziness. Unlike holiday lights, hoses can cause damage when left out all year: they can lead to freezing of the sillcock (outdoor faucet) or its water supply pipe. It’s terrible for your hose, too.
2: Using vent pipes for anything other than venting.
This one falls is the “Why not? I’ll tell you ‘why not’!” category. There are reports of homeowners running things like TV cables down the plumbing vent pipes that come up through their roofs. Seems like a tempting solution to getting into the house, but vent pipes aren’t just there for their bad looks. They not only provide air to drains inside the house, to prevent a suction effect that inhibits drainage; they also get rid of sewer gases that come up from the city’s sewer main (see item 9, below). If you cut a hole in your vent inside the house to run a cable through, you’re tapping into an endless supply of your neighborhood’s sewer air. Nice picture on the TV, though.
3. Using too much drain cleaner in their home plumbing system.
When used judiciously and as directed on the right kind of clog, drain cleaners can be effective and relatively safe for drains. When used with abandon, they can corrode some drain materials, and they can actually make clogs worse. It’s also not very nice for the plumber who eventually comes out to clear that clog.
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