7 Top Threats to Your Pipes

nice home on a sunny day

A happy and functioning home depends heavily upon happy and functioning pipes. The bathroom toilet, the kitchen garbage disposal, the beauty of your front yard are all dependent on how well you avoid these seven threats to the pipes throughout your home.

So what are these seven deadly threats to your pipes?



The merriment of the holidays can often mean extended vacations away from home and an extremely busy to-do list. Before the temperature drops and life gets hectic with visiting family and gift shopping, make it a priority to protect your pipes against freezing.

Protect pipes that are likely to freeze by covering them with insulation sleeves or insulation wrapping. And as crazy as it sounds, you’re going to want to allow a faucet to drip to prevent pipes from freezing if you plan to be away for awhile. Finally, assure your home’s temperature doesn’t dip below 55°F while you’re gone as well. If you’re worried about paying for the warmth in your house while it's empty, feel confident that avoiding the thousands of dollars in damage from frozen pipes is well worth it. Homeowners in more mild climates shouldn’t feel exempt from these recommendations. Prepare pipes for cold weather wherever you are.



One of the biggest, unconventional top threats to your pipes are tree roots. When roots grow, they naturally move towards sources of water. This leads to roots growing toward underground water lines, wrapping around the pipes, and eventually  puncturing weak parts of the pipes.

This type of burst can flood an entire yard. There’s no time to determine the source of the leak or test other parts of the plumbing system. Turn off the water supply and call for help when a pipe bursts.



From hair and dirt to your daughter’s small toys, all of these things can be the culprit of obstructing the pipes that cause clogged and slow drains. A simple convenience store purchase of a drain cleaner can help minor obstructions. But, even overuse of such a drain cleaner can damage the pipes. Placing a type of drain filter in the sinks and tubs of your home is a cheap and quick way to avoid this problem. If the drain has already begun to clog or slow down, and drain cleaner isn’t doing the trick, call your local plumber for professional cleaning and hydrojetting services.



No one wants to deal with the dirty work of a sewer backup. So how can you invest in preventative maintenance for one of the top threats to your pipes? Teach children appropriate items that may be flushed and make sure those lady products are being disposed of properly. Another preventative measure you can try is getting the septic tank emptied on schedule. How often you need it pumped depends on how many people are living inside of the house and the size of the actual tank. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that most household septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years. Again, if the sewer has already started to backup, don’t wait. A plumber’s help can mean the difference between an unaffected house to a floor full of sludgy waste.



A garbage disposal shouldn’t be treated like a trash can, but many people mistakenly use it like one. Avoid the inconvenience of a backed-up garbage disposal, by running cold water and feeding the disposal more slowly. It’s crucial to the protection of the pipes that homeowners regulate what goes into the disposal. Foods that should never be put down the disposal include starchy foods, grease, and eggshells.



Chemicals, like chlorine, are used to keep municipal water supplies fresh. However, chlorine and other chemicals can also cause damage to your water line, resulting in corrosion. Weak, corroding parts of your pipes, lead to small, leaks. Then small leaks can lead to larger leaks. Leaks, big or small, result in higher water bills. So, be careful running such chemicals through your pipes.



The National Association of Water Companies states, “nearly half the pipes in the U.S. are considered to be in poor shape.” Older pipes are quite obviously more susceptible to punctures, leaks, and bursts. All of which, can create serious physical and financial damage. Track the age of your pipes to remember when it’s time for replacement and avoid this top threat to your pipes.



For professional help with pipes that have already experienced one or more of these seven deadly threats, contact Bellow Plumbing, Heating and Air immediately.