Most homeowners realize the importance of home maintenance to protect their investment. But when we think of routine tasks around the home, the plumbing system might not be top of mind. Here are some plumbing tips to keep your drains and pipes well maintained and working properly.
Plumbing Tips to Protect Your Home
Bathroom Plumbing Tips
- You can fairly easily check for hidden slow leaks in your toilets. All you have to do is apply a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. You will see color appear in the bowl in about half an hour if the toilet is leaking.
- To prevent sticking, turn the water supply valves underneath your toilets and sinks.
- Manually check if your toilets are flushing properly. If you find that the handle must be held down in order to flush the entire bowl or you need to jiggle the handle to stop running water, you probably need to replace old, defective parts in the tank. Consider a low flow toilet or HET.
- Clean any mineral build up apparent in your shower heads. Unscrew the head and soak it in a plastic bag filled with vinegar. You can also apply the bag of vinegar to the shower head directly without unscrewing it, using a rubber band. Let the shower head soak overnight and then gently brush out any built up sediment.
- Check faucets and drains for leaks. Some repair can be done by yourself, but you may need a professional plumber for others. In the long run these plumbing tips will save you money as you lower the cost of your water bill.
Tips for Appliances
- Slowly drain a few gallons from your water heater in order to clear sediment build up. This plumbing tip will help increasing the life of your conventional water heater and increasing energy efficiency.
- Check the washing machine, dishwasher and ice maker supply hoses for leaks or bulges. Any hose over 10 years old or showing a defect should be replaced. Stainless steel hoses are much more dependable, if you’re in need of a replacement.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are open, cleaned out and free of sediment build up.
- Check for bird nests in unwanted areas in or near pipes and gutters.
- Check outdoor faucets and pipes for any cracks or leaks.
- If your home has a sump pump you can make sure it is working correctly by pouring some water into the pit of the sump. It should turn on fairly soon and pump out the water, then turnoff without a hitch.
- If you have ever had a problem with sewer back-up consider having a plumber install a back-flow valve. This will help prevent any subsequent sewage backups.
- Run some water into drains that aren’t used very often in order to prevent nasty smells.
While many of these plumbing tips can be done by yourself, some homeowners might need or prefer to have the expertise of a plumber for routine maintenance tasks.
Ensure efficiency, safety and save the cost of plumbing malfunctions with your own checklist or an annual appointment with a pro.