When it comes to a home’s plumbing system, a little maintenance will go a long ways. Homeowners often neglect these simple steps until it is too late, but this can mean serious plumbing issues in the future. Here is a closer look at some simple maintenance tips that will keep a residential plumbing system working smoothly throughout the year.
Avoiding Clogged Drains
One of the biggest issues when it comes to a home’s plumbing is clogged and slow drains. If it is only a single sink or drain that is having issues, the clog is most likely not down in the sewer line and can be broken apart with over-the-counter drain cleaner. In order to keep drains and toilets from backing up, it is important for the entire family to understand what items should not go inside them. Some of the most common items around the home that should not be flushed or go down the drain include any corrosive chemicals, oils, animal fats, hygiene products, paper towels, egg shells, or larger food debris.
The Water Heater
Modern water heaters are relatively durable, but they are also used quite a bit throughout the year, and this makes regular maintenance an absolute necessity. Primarily, owners will want to check the unit regularly for any leaks, signs of corrosion, rust, and the pilot light or heat setting. Every few months it is also a good idea to turn off the water heater and drain the basin. Once drained, the basin should be rinsed out with a mild cleaner before being refilled. Those that live in an area with hard water may need to inspect and clean their water heater more often.
No matter how careful a family may be, leaks are sure to take place at least a few times throughout the year. While this may seem like a minor issue, even a single slow leak can result in hundreds of gallons of wasted water per year. Some of the most common places for leaks include under sinks, around water heaters, at the base of toilets, and around any spigots on the outside of the home. For any homeowners that are unsure of how to fix leaks or where to turn off their power main while making repairs, it is important to call a local plumber in order to avoid further damage.
When the weather changes drastically it will affect the water running through the pipes and the stability of the pipes themselves. While those in a moderate climate may not need to worry about drastic changes to the weather, anyone in an especially cold area should take a fresh look at seasonal maintenance at least once a year. This includes disconnecting any outside water hoses and ensuring that all spigots are completely off in order to avoid frozen water. If there are any pipes around the home that are exposed, pipe insulators will reduce the chance of burst pipes.
Finally, all residents should understand some of the signs that there may be more severe plumbing issues that will require a specialist. Any time that unpleasant odors are coming from the home’s water, multiple sinks are clogged, multiple sinks are no longer draining correctly, the water cannot get hot, or the water pressure drops, it may be time to call a professional.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to all tasks with his team of Boulder plumbers.