top of page

12 Plumbing Maintenance Tips to Keep Your System Running Smoothly

Maintaining a well-functioning plumbing system is essential for every homeowner to avoid costly repairs and ensure uninterrupted water flow and drainage. By implementing regular maintenance practices, you can extend the lifespan of your plumbing system and prevent common issues from occurring. In this blog post, we'll share 12 essential plumbing maintenance tips to help keep your system running smoothly year-round.


Skilled plumbing maintenance
Photo taken from https://www.pinterest.ph/

Watch What You Flush Down the Toilet

Be cautious about what you dispose of in the toilet. Items like hair, food scraps, grease, and wipes, including those labeled as "flushable," can clump together and block your pipes, leading to the need for drain snaking or professional plumbing assistance. Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. This simple rule helps prevent expensive and inconvenient repairs.


Check for Toilet Leaks 

Regularly inspect your toilet for leaks, as even minor leaks can lead to water waste and potential damage if left unattended. Look for pooling water around the base or dripping from under the tank, which may indicate loose bolts or issues with the wax ring or tank gaskets. Promptly address these issues to prevent water damage. Additionally, be vigilant for slow leaks that may not be immediately noticeable but can cause the tank to refill unexpectedly. Conduct a simple food coloring test by adding a few drops into the tank and checking for color in the bowl after waiting. Performing these checks periodically can help identify and resolve toilet leaks before they escalate into larger problems.


Fix Leaking Faucets and Showerheads

Did you know that according to the Environmental Protection Agency, a leaking faucet can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week? These leaks often stem from issues such as a corroded valve seat, O-ring problems, or a worn-out washer. In addition to wasting water, leaks can lead to higher water bills. To prevent such problems, it's important to regularly inspect faucets and showerheads for signs of leakage. Be sure to check that your handles are not leaking when you turn off the water, as they can be a hidden source of leaks. Additionally, inspect under your sinks while the water is running to detect any pipe leaks. If you notice water stains, it's crucial to address the issue promptly.


Check Appliances for Water Leaks as part your Plumbing Maintenance routine

Many household appliances, including the washing machine, refrigerator, and water heater, are connected to the main water line, and each of these appliances can potentially develop leaks. Signs of a leak include water stains or puddles around the appliances. Manufacturers provide maintenance guidelines to assist in caring for the product, which, when followed, can help identify and address any issues promptly through scheduled repairs.


Watch What You Put in Your Garbage Disposal 

While having a garbage disposal in your kitchen offers convenience, it's important to be mindful of its limitations. Putting incompatible items in the disposal can cause immediate problems or lead to issues that may not surface right away. Avoid disposing of fibrous foods, uncooked starches like rice and pasta, coffee grounds, potato peels, or eggshells, as these can damage the disposal or clog the sink drain. Hard items such as fruit pits and bones can also harm the disposal blades and are challenging to remove. Additionally, pouring hot, liquid grease down the drain may seem harmless, but it can solidify and cause clogs in your home plumbing over time. Instead, dispose of grease in a sealed container and throw it in the trash.


Keep Your Drains Clear

If you've noticed slow water drainage in your sinks or showers, you may be dealing with a minor clog. While your initial instinct might be to reach for a chemical drain cleaner, it's best to avoid these products as they can damage your pipes or toilet due to their acidic composition. Instead, opt for a safer approach by using a mixture of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. This solution will create a bubbling effect that helps clear out the clog and restore normal water flow.

According to Joseph Wood, a master plumber and Expert Review Board member, you can also consider using an enzyme cleaner available at your local hardware store. These cleaners utilize natural enzymes to break down organic matter and clear drains effectively. It's recommended to use these methods regularly, ideally once a month or whenever you notice slow drainage, to prevent clogs from worsening and avoid costly repairs down the line. However, if the issue persists despite your efforts, it's best to seek assistance from a professional plumber in your area, as there may be underlying issues such as improperly sized plumbing pipes that require expert attention.


Inspect Your Sewer Drains

Depending on your location, your home is connected to either a septic tank or a sewer line. Septic tanks treat wastewater on-site, typically located near or beneath your property, while sewer main lines connect to the city's water system, sending wastewater to a treatment facility. Regardless of your sewage system, it's important to have your drains inspected annually by a professional. Debris can accumulate in pipes over time, leading to potential blockages in your sewer drains. Identifying and addressing blockages early on is key to preventing property damage and minimizing repair costs. Additionally, scheduling annual sewer line maintenance can help prevent blockages from developing into larger issues. A plumber can clear any minor blockages during maintenance visits, ensuring your sewer system functions smoothly.


Check Your Water Pressure

Have you ever been frustrated by low water pressure during a shower? It's a common issue, but regulating water pressure is vital for the health of your home. Low pressure can extend tasks like dishwashing, while high pressure can strain pipes and cause leaks. To maintain balance, you can test pressure levels using a gauge on an outdoor hose bib and install a pressure regulator to keep pressure within a healthy range. These measures ensure optimal water pressure and manageable water bills, making them essential for any household.


Flush Your Water Heater

Your water heater works hard to provide hot water for bathing and cleaning, but over time, mineral deposits accumulate from the water passing through the appliance. These deposits, mainly calcium and magnesium, can build up inside the tank, leading to corrosion of the sacrificial anode rod and the interior walls, ultimately damaging the water heater. It's recommended to flush your water heater once a year to eliminate sediment build-up. If you live in an area with hard water, consider flushing it twice annually. This maintenance routine will extend the lifespan of your water heater and improve its performance.


Shut off Outdoor Fixtures With the Seasons

Remember to close off your outdoor fixtures according to the season. If feasible, turn off the water supply to these fixtures—such as outdoor hoses, faucets, sprinkler systems, and backflow preventers—and drain and insulate them before the onset of freezing temperatures in the fall. In some regions, you may need to use a sprinkler winterization process, including blowing out your sprinkler system, depending on your location.


Create a Preventive Maintenance Schedule

We all lead busy lives, making it challenging to find time for household tasks, including plumbing maintenance. However, neglecting plumbing issues for too long can result in significant damage to your home. On average, hiring a plumber costs approximately $330 for standard repairs, but expenses can soar up to $3,000 for more severe issues. To avoid these costly repairs, it's essential to establish a plumbing maintenance schedule. Take a walk around your house to identify any areas that may require attention and add them to your preferred calendar app for proper organization. By adhering to a plumbing maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your system functions smoothly and keep your finances intact.


Don’t Hesitate to Call a Professional

Regular plumbing maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your system. By adhering to a consistent schedule and implementing preventive measures, you can effectively prevent most issues. However, if you encounter a problem that you're unsure how to address, it's best to enlist the services of a local plumber. Their expertise will not only resolve the issue promptly but also ensure your continued satisfaction as a homeowner.


FAQs


How often should I flush my water heater?

It's recommended to flush your water heater once a year to eliminate sediment build-up. If you live in an area with hard water, consider flushing it twice annually.


What should I do if I notice slow drainage in my sinks or showers?

If you notice slow drainage, it's best to avoid using chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage your pipes. Instead, try using a mixture of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda to clear out the clog. You can also consider using an enzyme cleaner available at your local hardware store. If the issue persists, it's advisable to seek assistance from a professional plumber.


How can I prevent leaks in my faucets and showerheads?

To prevent leaks, regularly inspect faucets and showerheads for signs of leakage. Check that handles are not leaking when turning off the water, and inspect under sinks while the water is running to detect any pipe leaks. Promptly address any leaks to prevent water damage and higher water bills.


What items should I avoid flushing down the toilet to prevent clogs?

Avoid flushing items like hair, food scraps, grease, wipes (including those labeled as "flushable"), coffee grounds, potato peels, eggshells, fruit pits, and bones. Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet to prevent costly and inconvenient repairs.


Should I shut off outdoor fixtures during the winter months, and if so, how should I do it?

Yes, it's advisable to shut off outdoor fixtures before the onset of freezing temperatures in the fall. Turn off the water supply to outdoor hoses, faucets, sprinkler systems, and backflow preventers. Drain and insulate these fixtures to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. In regions with colder climates, consider using a sprinkler winterization process, including blowing out the sprinkler system.


Conclusion 

Maintaining a well-functioning plumbing system is crucial for avoiding costly repairs and ensuring uninterrupted water flow. By following the 12 essential plumbing maintenance tips outlined in this blog post, you can extend your system's lifespan and prevent common issues. From monitoring what goes down your toilet to flushing your water heater and shutting off outdoor fixtures seasonally, proactive maintenance is key. Remember, if you encounter any issues beyond your expertise, don't hesitate to call a professional plumber for assistance. With regular maintenance and timely repairs, you can keep your plumbing system running smoothly and your home protected.



4 views

Comentarios


bottom of page