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How to save on your plumbing bills

Monday - 3/21/2011, 9:55am  ET

toilet (AP)
If you keep the dog toys out of the toilet, you'll save some money, too. (AP)

WASHINGTON - Many people are clueless about basic home repairs, but knowing just a few things can save you hundreds in plumbing bills.

WTOP's David Burd extracted a few tips from his plumber after paying him $175 to extract a velvet stuffed frog toy from the toilet.

  • Yes, Monday is the busiest day for plumbers. They're called in to repair the "handy" work of some not-so-handy homeowners.

  • Don't put a brick in toilet to reduce your water use. Bricks can disintegrate and cause plumbing problems.

  • Avoid liquid drain cleaners.They can damage your plumbing.

  • Flushable baby wipes can clog your toilet.

  • If you find yourself jiggling the toilet handle, replace the flap valve. It will cost you about $4.

  • Keep an Allen wrench under the sink, along with the directions, to fix a jammed garbage disposal.

  • Know where the main water shut off at your home is. You'll save a lot of money, if you can turn the water off when a pipe breaks.

WTOP's David Burd contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)