Plumbing Maintenance and Things to Look Out for In Your Home
The bones of your home are often the most important parts. Good foundation, HVAC, plumbing, roofing, all go a long way when you are living there. They often can be the most expensive things to repair for homeowners so it’s important to keep up on the maintenance of these items. In this post I will go over a few tips regarding your plumbing and how you can keep it in tip top shape!
Often times local plumbers will do home and plumbing inspections so homeowners can find out what areas of their plumbing systems are running smoothly and which need or can be fixed. For the non-handy homeowner, I think this can be a great option, but for those of you more handy, YouTube can be a great resource to check through your plumbing system and find those areas that an inspector would typically look through. That being said, it’s always up to you even if you are handy to have a plumbing inspection done, because it could save you money on equipment (like a drain camera) that you won’t have to purchase every once in a blue moon.
Locate the main shut off valve –
Plumbing emergencies happen and they often happen at the worst times. Knowing where your water main shut off valve can save you thousands of dollars while waiting for a plumber to come out and remedy the situation. The water main acts as the gatekeeper to all water coming into your home, because of its function it can be important to turn of all water input to your home during emergencies. Typically, the water main shut off valve is located in either the basement or the crawl space of your home. If you don’t have a basement or crawlspace look to the exterior perimeter of your home.
Cleaning your drains –
Drain clogging is often the most common type of plumbing problems homeowners will have. Drains frequently get clogged with hair and other debris and cause the drain to back up and then cost you money. A drain snake is a great tool for every homeowner to have and can prevent these types of builds by regularly using them to clear excess debris from said drains. Another great option here is to install a catch to prevent the debris from going down the drain in the first place. With a catch installed all you have to do is routinely clean out the catch and then you know your drains will be as healthy as possible! In cases of extreme drain build up, you might want to look into hydro jetting your drains. By using high-velocity water pressure it will clear the build-up fast and efficiently and can get your drains back in great shape. Another thing to remember is to avoid using liquid drain cleaner, while convenient they can end up causing more damage than they help with which is something you’d definitely want to avoid!
Water Heaters –
Water heaters come in different sizes and applications nowadays and can vary from house to house and region to region. For the sake of this post I will be talking about tank style water heaters like these ones here. Because we use hot water in so many parts of the home, shower, faucets, washers etc it’s important to keep these vital appliances in working condition. The life span of a typical tank style water heater is 8-12 years and to prolong the use and condition of your water heater, I recommend learning how to flush your water heater. What this does is prevent sediment and debris build up inside the tank and helps keep it working in the proper way. Here’s a great YouTube video that explains and walks you through the process of draining your water heater.
Toilets are one of the most used parts of a plumbing system. Keeping your toilets healthy will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. The most essential tool to keeping your toilet in working order is to have a plunger, any time that your toilet starts to clog it’s important to have plunger near by to avoid the overflow of water in the toilet base. Another good thing to know about toilets is that they are relatively easy to repair in most cases. Often times a toilet that runs a lot has issues with the chain or lever which can be easily repaired in 1-5 minutes or replaced with a quick trip to your local hardware store. The flapper at the bottom can sometimes cause a toilet to run if the seal on it is worn or not connecting correctly with the housing, easy to spot and just as easy to fix, you can replace the seal sometimes or replace the whole flapper assembly if need be.
These are just a few plumbing maintenance tips for all you homeowners, while most items like faucets, toilets, water heaters and drains can be easy to maintain, it’s important to know when you should turn it over to the professionals. Ask your friends or family if they know a good plumber and be sure to keep their emergency number in your cell phone for those unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances.