This guest post is compliments of Keith Delute of http://www.drdrip.com.au. The views expressed do not necessarily match my own:
Repairs in different parts of the plumbing system is too much for the monthly budget of an elderly person. However, preventative maintenance done by a caretaker can help remove such costs. Here are a few plumbing maintenance tips that those taking care of the elderly can do to prevent leaks and clogs, which can endanger the lives of the elderly.
1. Avoid pouring cooking oil down the drains. Cooking oil, once poured down drains, eventually cools and hardens, causing them to get clogged. Instead of pouring grease down the drains, place them in empty milk cartons, tape them shut, and then dispose of them in the regular garbage bins after a night inside the fridge.
2. Use drain screens. Use drain screens made of metal or plastic to prevent hair strands, food particles, and other small items from passing through the drains. Once many small items are caught by the screens, make sure to lift them out and toss the contents in the trash.
3. Each month, sprinkle 60 ml baking soda into the tub and sink drains. Instead of relying on the toxic and expensive drain clog removers, sprinkle ¼ cup or 60 millilitres of baking soda, and then pour boiling water so all the powder goes down the drain.
Pour one cup of white vinegar afterwards. Allow the mixture to stand overnight to dissolve the build up of bacteria and scum in the pipes beneath the drains. Then pour hot water on the drains after the said time.
4. Ensure that tap washers last longer. In order to make sure that tap washers will last longer, avoid tightening the handle too much when stopping the flow of water.
5. Have washing machine hose screens installed. These help in making washing machines last longer and work better. Install these on the hoses to prevent any sediment from clogging the valves and pumps of your washing machine. Be sure of checking the hose screens each year and replacing them if they are full of debris or sediment.
6. Clear all tap aerators. As time passes, calcium builds up in aerators, eventually obstructing water flow. To solve this, all you have to do is to take out the aerators and clean them at least once a week.
These are the simple things that those taking care of the elderly can do to prevent clogs and leaks from happening. In the event of a plumbing issue, qualified and licensed plumbers should be contacted immediately to keep it from worsening. You can check out http://www.drdrip.com.au/ for plumbing services you can trust.