As a homeowner, it’s important to tackle routine plumbing maintenance before it wreaks havoc on your home. In fact, there are plenty of plumbing jobs that are much more cost effective if you keep an eye on them before a problem arises. Here are five tips to help you keep your plumbing in pristine conditions:
Do not use chemical drain cleaners.It can be tempting, when one of your sinks or your tub is running slow, to use a chemical drain cleaner to speed it up again. There are two reasons why doing this is not a good idea. First, most of these chemical drain cleaners are not effective and second, the cleaners themselves are dangerous for your plumbing and dangerous for you. They can be extremely corrosive to organic materials and many metals and can burn through clothes and skin. Snaking a drain is almost always better than using a chemical cleaner.
Turn down your water pressure. Unless your water pressure is suspiciously low, you could probably turn down your water pressure and not notice a difference. Why bother doing this? Because it eases the stress on your plumbing system. The higher your pressure is, the more stress water puts on your pipes to work harder. The lower the pressure is, the less stressed out they are.
Take care of a problem as soon as you notice it. If you notice a small leak, do not ignore it. Almost across the board, plumbing problems are much easier to deal with when they are small and small problems can very easily become large ones if not dealt with immediately. Any items such as a water heater, pipe, appliance, or fixture leaking should be checked out by a professional. Don’t put off addressing a problem just because it seems insignificant. It soon won’t be.
Know what to do if something overflows or breaks. That is: shut off the water. Do you know where your shutoff valves are? They are sometimes hidden in the backs of cabinets or even outside near your meter. Know where they are and how to turn them off so you can nip an overflow or break in a pipe in the bud, before it becomes a flood.
Inspect your plumbing regularly. While you might want to have a professional come out occasionally to look at your system, you can probably look for, find, and inspect small problems on your own, even inside your own walls; based on discoloration and mold. Look for moisture stains, drips, condensation, and discoloration—all of these could indicate a small leak.
If you do discover a leak in your home, it always the best route to call a professional plumber to help diagnose and resolve any potential issue you may be having with your pipes.