Your home’s plumbing is mostly hidden from view so it’s easy to forget about. That is, until something goes wrong. Here are some ways to prevent plumbing issues from becoming disasters.
1. Do a regular visual inspection of your home’s plumbing
This might seem obvious but in the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to push it down the priorities list. Run water in each sink to see how quickly it drains and if there are any changes. Pay attention to the length of time you can run a hot shower before the water gets too cold. Look in the cabinets under sinks for evidence of leakage.
2. Keep Drains Clear with regular drain clean-out sessions
Use natural methods like pouring boiling water down the drain to avoid having to resort to harsh, toxic chemicals that can erode metal pipes over time. Do this when flow is smooth to attack any small deposits before they build up
Use a drain cleaner as soon as flow begins to slow to reduce the number of sessions you need.
3. Repair faucet leaks as soon as they start or even before
Sometimes you can tell a faucet is starting to give trouble if you have to squeeze tighter or fiddle with it to shut off the water completely. Don’t wait until you have a continuous drip to repair.
Replace cartridges, washers, or gaskets depending on the source of the leak or the type of faucet.
4. Ensure you never put the wrong things down the drain
Fat solidifies when it cools so avoid anything containing grease. Use strainers to catch hair in the bathroom or food in the kitchen sink. Discard and clear the strainer often to keep it clear and to prevent anything from slipping past.
5. Carry out water heater maintenance
Drain your heater’s tank to stir up and clear sediment that reduces tank efficiency and shortens equipment life expectancy. How often you do this depends on water conditions. Start every other month and if water runs clear immediately, stretch out frequency until you notice debris every time you drain the tank.
6. If you live in an area with hard water, consider installing a water softener
“Hard water” contains minerals that destroy your plumbing system over time by depositing sediments throughout piping, fittings, fixtures and equipment like your water heater. Most municipalities publish information on the water hardness. Consult a contractor to confirm the benefits of water softening for your home.