In the USA alone, one in every five toilets has a leak! These leaks may seem small, but they waste a significant amount of water every year and cost billions of dollars. Plumbing maintenance is of utmost importance to catch these leaks and any other leaks or plumbing issues in your home.
All homeowners depend on their plumbing system to deliver water on demand daily. However, the plumbing system always goes unnoticed until a major problem warrants attention, like burst or frozen pipes. Rather than waiting for dangerous and potentially expensive plumbing repairs, why not conduct plumbing maintenance to prevent these issues?
In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most vital plumbing maintenance tips every homeowner needs to know. These home plumbing tips will help you avoid some common plumbing issues and keep your system running smoothly.
1. Check for Leaks Inside and Outside Your Home Routinely
The US alone loses about a trillion gallons of water to leaks annually. That’s how bad leaks can get, and they could shoot up your water bill significantly. Beyond that, these leaks could mean several things.
It could be that your pipe joints are deteriorating, or the pipes are clogged, burst, overflowing, corroded, rusting, or the water pressure is too high.
It could also mean that the seals around the connectors are broken, you have tree roots damaging the pipes, or pipes were installed incorrectly. Any of these things is a problem that should not be overlooked, and hiring a local plumber would be a wise idea.
Identifying leaks remains to be one of the most important parts of plumbing maintenance.
Sometimes leaks can be apparent like when you can hear your faucets drip, see water stains on the ceiling, or have mold and mildew on your walls. However, some leaks can be well hidden, and it may take you a long time before you realize where all the water is going.
Ensure you check for leaks in your yard, especially in areas where the grass seems greener or longer than the rest.
Check for leaks in the toilets, showers, bathtubs, washing machine, dishwasher, and water heater. If you have babbling, discolored, or bulging walls, chances are you have a leak beneath.
2. Prevent Any Type of Clogs
Debris accumulation in the sinks’ p-trap causes the most common plumbing issue. Instead of struggling with unclogging sinks, try to prevent the whole issue in the first place.
Some of the best things you can do include using drain guards to catch large debris from flushing down the sinks and hiring a professional local plumber once a year to clean out all your drains. At some points, soap scum debris and food particles are bound to build up in the drains.
Having a professional plumbing contractor will help you get rid of it effectively. Additionally, avoid pouring grease down the drain, avoid putting anything that should not go down the garbage disposal, and avoid using harsh chemicals to clean out clogs as they damage the pipes. Always opt to hire a professional contractor to snake the drain or use different unclogging methods.
3. Prevent Frozen Pipes
Winter can have a significant impact on your plumbing system if you’re not careful. Frozen pipes can be a big headache, and they could sustain damages in the long run as they could crack or burst. This makes prevention the best possible solution.
Some of the things you can do to prevent a frozen plumbing system include turning off sprinklers and outdoor faucets during winter. Alternatively, consider investing in frostproof faucets for your outdoors and have shutoff valves that extend into your heated house, which will prevent freezing.
Adding insulation to your outdoor faucets is something you should consider, which also applies to the pipes in your basement and crawl spaces.
The next best thing you can do is hire a professional local plumber to check and repair leaks before winter. If you happen to have water supply pipes running through your garage, consider keeping the garage doors closed, then seal or insulate your home to keep drafts from freezing the pipes.
4. Maintain Your Water Appliances
All the appliances that use water in your home, including the dishwasher, water heater, and washing machine, should be maintained regularly. Check the connection hoses for cracks and replace them every few years. You should always inspect both the cold and hot water supply lines at least once a month for the washing machine.
Some of the failing supply lines include cracking, blisters, a loose connection between the water supply and the washing machine, as well as worn-out tubing. Corrosion is also an indication that you should replace your supply lines immediately. If you’re not sure of these signs or don’t know where to check, have a professional local plumber check it out for you.
5. Know Where Your Water Supply Shut-Off Valve Is
You would be surprised at the number of homeowners who have no idea where the water supply shutoff valve is. This information doesn’t seem necessary until a plumbing disaster poses the danger of flooding in the house. All of a sudden, you need to shut off the water supply.
Turning off the water supply is your best bet at preventing flooding and the extra costs it comes with because you will have to deal with water damages. Whether it’s located in a utility closet, in the basement, or outside the house on a utility wall, find out where your shutoff valve is and know how to use it.
6. Hire a Professional Plumber for Thorough Inspection and Regular Plumbing Maintenance
Hiring a professional local plumber to inspect the entire plumbing system in your home. It’ll help you catch plumbing problems early. This is one of the best plumbing maintenance tips you’ll come across.
A professional will accurately diagnose any issues. They will also help you understand whether the best course of action is to repair or replace.
It would be better to have a plumber inspect your home at least once a year. However, you can always call them when you hear banging pipes or when your monthly water bill increases. Also, if you notice water build-up or water stains on your ceiling, walls, and floor.
Plumbing Maintenance: Everything About Maintenance for Home Plumbing Systems
These are some of the most effective plumbing maintenance tips. If you adhere to them, you can prevent expensive plumbing failures that may require repairs or replacements. Most plumbing disasters are avoidable as long as you maintain your system and take care of smaller issues as fast as possible.
Hire a professional local plumber at least once a year for a thorough inspection. It’ll help ensure your plumbing system remains effective for years to come.
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