Maintaining your home's plumbing can help to avoid serious blocked drains, burst pipes, water leaks behind the walls, and other costly damage. You don't need to be a plumber to keep your home's plumbing in good repair, but it is good to call a plumber when needed, so pipes and other fixtures can be maintained properly, and so you avoid unnecessary plumbing emergencies. Note a quick plumbing maintenance checklist you might use in your own home, and be sure to ask a plumber about any residential plumbing issues as soon as they arise.
Be sure to turn on the cold water and then turn on the garbage disposal before putting any food down the drain. The blades will then have an easier job of chopping up that food, and debris is less likely to stick to those blades. Keep the blades and the water running for several seconds after you've put all your food scraps in the drain, so that everything is washed away. Also, be sure you add food slowly to the drain to avoid clogs and potential damage to the blades.
Many home washing machines will have a lint trap, and it needs to be cleaned just like the lint trap in the dryer. Any lint that gets built up in this trap may make its way into your home's plumbing pipes when the washer drains, and this can cause clogs. If the washing machine has a hose that is affixed to a utility sink, add a trap over the end of this hose, which you can usually buy at any home improvement store. Make sure this trap is cleaned or replaced as often as needed to keep lint out of the home's plumbing.
It's good to check for leaking faucets and showerheads on a regular basis, as these leaks can actually mean that the pipes are clogged and water is not draining away as it should. Leaks also waste a tremendous amount of water over time. You might not notice a leaking faucet or showerhead if you can't hear the sound of dripping water, so get in the habit of wiping out a sink after every use, and checking to see if water droplets later appear, signalling a leaking faucet. Check the showerhead for water droplets that cling to its surface, also signalling a leak. If you do notice any leaks, have these fixed by a plumber right away, so you protect your home's pipes and also don't pay for water that you don't actually use!