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Anyone who lives in a house worries about plumbing problems. We want water to appear as we wish and to disappear nicely when we are finished with it. Leaky pipes, dripping faucets, low water pressure, clogged drains, and plugged or leaky toilets are not wanted. In short, plumbing problems are a pain. Plumbing repairs in Raleigh, NC can be significantly costly if not properly dealt with in the right amount of time, but with understanding and a bit of proactivity, potential disasters can be prevented by stopping common plumbing problems before they need major repairs.

Take small problems seriously

The first thing to remember is not to be afraid to acknowledge a plumbing problem. That doesn’t mean that any problem can be tackled easily by any first-time-home handyman, but it does mean that small leaks can become big leaks if they are ignored. As soon as something starts to be a problem, it should be fixed. If you don’t feel confident, there are many plumbers who can help.

Know how to shut off the water

All the water that comes into your house is connected by a system of pipes and faucets and is controlled by one shut-off valve. It’s a good idea to be able to follow this system back to the shut off valve. It is usually located at the lowest point of the house (in the basement) and closest to the street, but this isn’t always the case, so learn the route that your water takes. Knowing how to turn the water on and off in case of an emergency could be the difference between a puddle and a flood.


Every plumber everywhere has at least one “I can’t believe they tried to flush that” story. Only flush that which nature intended. And nature did not intend for golf balls, toy cars, plastics, or even flushable wipes to be flushed. Removing something from the toilet that is truly good and stuck is likely to be expensive, slightly destructive, and perhaps embarrassing. Don’t use your toilet as a trash disposal, and only flush things that will break down quickly in water. The same rule applies to the kitchen sink.

Kitchen sinks clog because things like grease or fat build up and clog the drain. It should be regularly flushed with boiling water or a cleaning solution that your plumber recommends. However, don’t use anything corrosive or acidic on a clog as it could remain trapped in the pipes and spill over onto the plumber who removes the pipe.

Use strainers

Buy a little metal strainer basket that sits in the sink drain to prevent coffee grounds, large food pieces, or plastic wrap from going down the drain with the water and causing a clog. These can be emptied into the trash later. In the bathroom, these prevent the sinks and tubs from getting clogged with hair, or even with jewelry that accidentally falls in.

Most importantly, respect your plumbing. Follow the instructions and guidelines, and don’t forget to call our expert plumbers at All American if something goes wrong. And remember, the sooner the problem is fixed, the better it will be.

Don Cootware