Plumbing Maintenance Tips
Be Prepared for an Emergency
Being proactive is extremely important when it comes to lowering the risk of serious plumbing problems.
- Know what to do if an emergency occurs, such as a burst pipe. You need to locate your main water shut-off valve to keep a flood from ruining your home. If you don’t know where it is, a professional plumber can quickly find it and show you what to do.
- You will also need to know how to cut the water to your major appliances, such as the refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher. If one of them starts leaking, your floors could sustain major damage.
- Freezing weather can be extremely hard on pipes, causing them to break when they thaw. One of the most important plumbing maintenance tips in a cold climate is to insulate your pipes before a cold snap hits. Disconnect your outside hoses and put an insulation cap on the spigots, and don’t forget to insulate the pipes in your crawl space or your garage.
- Open your cabinets when the cold weather hits so warm air can keep your indoor pipes from freezing.
- If the pipes do freeze, warm them with a hair dryer at the part of the pipe closest to the water tap.
- If your water heater is more than 10-15 years old, check it on a regular basis for corrosion that can lead to a damaging leak. You would probably be better off replacing it with a more energy-efficient model.
- Have a plumber check your water pressure every few months to make sure it is not putting too much of a strain on your pipes.
Bathroom and Kitchen Plumbing Maintenance Tips
- Use strainers for your bathtub and shower drains to keep hair and debris from clogging your pipes. Clean them on a regular basis.
- Never flush anything down the toilet that doesn’t belong there. This includes Kleenex and feminine hygiene products.
- It will also be important to know how to shut off the water to your toilet should an overflow occur in order to reduce damage to your flooring and to minimize health risks.
- Pay attention to your showerheads and make sure they remain clear of mineral deposits.
- Be very careful about what you put in your garbage disposal. For example, never put celery, carrots or chicken skins in the unit, because that will very likely lead to a troublesome clog.
Know When to Call a Pro
Of all the plumbing maintenance tips to follow, maybe the biggest one is to know your limitations. If you have an issue that needs fixing, you have to be 100 percent certain you have the skills to take care of it. If you don’t, you could easily make a mistake that could wind up costing you thousands of dollars. Always call a professional if you have any doubt whatsoever that you can handle a repair by yourself.