Keep your plumbing system in good shape to help it last


One of the many things covered by a TotalProtect® Systems Plan is your home plumbing system. There are so many things that can go wrong with a plumbing system, like root damage, blockages or leaking pipes, so it makes sense that homeowners would want to protect themselves from these potentially costly repair bills. There is no way to be totally sure that your plumbing system won’t encounter a problem, but by keeping your toilet clean and well maintained, you are less likely to run into trouble. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to make life a little easier on your porcelain throne.

Keep it clean
Cleaning your toilet regularly will help to prevent a bacterial buildup. Bacteria that grows in your pipes can be bad for the plumbing system and cause unpleasant smells. There are a lot of home remedies for this problem, which work to varying degrees. Some homeowners recommend using lemon Kool-Aid – just sprinkle the pouch in the bowl, let it sit for 20 minutes and scrub lightly to clear everything away.

We prefer something more serious – a toilet bomb. POPSUGAR has a recipe for a homemade toilet bomb that costs almost nothing and will leave your toilet in great shape. Simply mix 2 cups of baking soda with 1/4 cup of Epsom salts and stir to get out any lumps. Then mix in 8 or 9 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent slowly – one tablespoon at a time – until your mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Next, spoon your mixture into a muffin tin lined with silicon liners and press down hard. Let the bombs dry overnight and voila! The baking soda breaks up stains and the Epsom salts can even get rid of a serious clog.

Test for leaks
If your toilet is leaking, you may be wasting a lot of water every month. Water is cheap, but a toilet leak can really add up, so this is something that has to get fixed right away. In order to test for a leak, put some food coloring into your toilet’s tank. Wait a few minutes to see if the color seeps into the bowl without flushing – if so, you have a leak.

A leak in your toilet bowl is probably something you can’t fix by yourself, unless you happen to be a plumber. If you happen to be covered with a TotalProtect Home Warranty, getting the repairs done is as simple as calling TotalProtect and letting them handle the problem for you!

Install a dual-flush system
Dual-flush systems are extremely popular in Europe and Asia because of the water savings they provide to homeowners and the environment, but they haven’t quite made it over here yet. A dual-flush toilet kit can be purchased from most home goods stores, and might be as cheap as $20, making it an excellent investment. The system works by giving two flush options: low and high. Not only will this save you money on water, it will reduce the strain on your plumbing system, potentially helping it to last longer. Instructables has a quick and easy guide for installation.

Maintaining a toilet is just one of the tasks that a homeowner should be doing to extend the life of his or her appliances and home systems. To be sure that you aren’t at risk for unexpected bills for repairing or replacing one of these systems, consider investing in a TotalProtect Home Warranty, which will reduce your liability to a low, monthly payment.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.