Plumbing has wildly varied degrees of trouble when it comes to repairs. Sometimes (rarely, we might add), it's as simple as replacing a faucet or using a plunger for a couple minutes, which you can even do yourself.
The thing about the most serious plumbing issues though is that they seem to come out of nowhere. If you don't take certain precautions, they will slowly get more and more aggravating, until they "explode" -- and by then, you've got yourself some expensive repairs to make.
Which is why it's important to take precautions and make regular inspections. If you can identify a problem before it ever becomes one, it's an easy fix!
“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. – Isaac Newton
Liquid drain cleaners are not very reliable
If you've got a clogged drain, you might be tempted to use a liquid drain cleaner for an easy and clean fix. Turns out, these things are not very reliable and can often make matters worse.
Liquid drain cleaners are made of harsh corrosive chemicals -- so harsh they can damage your pipes.
This is another case where prevention is the better solution: never pour anything down the pipes that might clog it in the first place, like chunks of food, grease, foreign objects, nothing of the sort.
If by any unfortunate accident you get clogged pipes, it's better to attempt a simple plunger. If that doesn't solve it, call a professional plumber to help you!
Never pour grease down the drain
While on the topic of things you should never pour down the drain, grease is one of the most common offenders. It might seem harmless, but the grease will slowly create a hard coat on the insides of your pipes, which eventually, will cause a massive problem that can't be fixed by plungers.
When in doubt, leave it to the pros
Many homeowners can perform certain simple electrical and plumbing related tasks around the house, such as replacing a shower head or installing a faucet. And that's perfectly fine as long as you're confident in your ability to do it, but if you don't know how to do something or the task at hand seems too complex, ALWAYS opt for hiring a professional.
Dabbling into DIY repairs you're not familiar with can lead to causing even more problems or even hurting yourself in the process -- which would result in having to call a professional anyway, only now the repairs will be more expensive.
Water heaters don’t last forever
Water heaters are made to last years, but although their lifespan can go up to 20 years, that's far from "forever." Traditional water heaters have an average lifespan of up to 10 years, while tankless water heaters can go up to 20 years.
Take note of which model you own, and how long it's been operational -- if you still have a few more years before worrying about it, just make sure it's being inspected regularly. When it's lifespan is at its end though, it's time for a replacement!
DO NOT flush objects down the toilet
Most homeowners are aware of this, but even then they can sometimes make the mistake of assuming there's no problem in flushing a couple paper towels or baby wipes. And even though toilet paper is made to be easily disintegrated in water, it's also not entirely safe for flushing, so avoid it as well.
Prepare your pipes for the winter
We've mentioned this before, but it's always worth remembering: winter can be harsh on your plumbing. Water can freeze inside pipes, faucets and hoses, which can cause pipes to burst.
Insulation is a good preventive measure against freezing pipes. Be sure to talk to a professional plumber to make sure your pipes are protected for the winter. As for exteriors, always disconnect garden hoses from faucets and keep them closed.