Your home plumbing system is an essential system in your home since it provides you with water for health, personal hygiene, and overall cleanliness. Your plumbing system also removes waste from your home. With a well maintained energy-efficient plumbing system you can conserve water which will save your money.
As a homeowner, you should do everything you can to protect your plumbing system. That means committing to a regular maintenance schedule.
Why Is Plumbing Maintenance Important?
Most people don’t think about their plumbing system until there’s a problem. Some of these problems have quick fixes, but others are major problems that are expensive to repair. Many plumbing system problems are preventable. With proper maintenance, small problems can be discovered before they can become major issues.
Plumbing problems can be more expensive than most people think. Most plumbing problems lead to wasted water. Even a small drip from a faucet can turn into gallons of wasted water each month. Unfortunately, not all leaks are visible. Proper maintenance can help prevent a small leak from getting worse. This is why it’s great to have a local plumber in your area that your can call on.
Seasonal maintenance can ensure you won’t have to suffer through a flooded basement in the winter or wasted water from leaks in the spring or summer. Daily and weekly inspections can keep your system running properly, your energy costs down and can help conserve water.
Daily maintenance is basically caring for your plumbing while you use it. With proper use, most plumbing issues such as clogs can be prevented. The most common locations for daily maintenance are the kitchen and bathroom.
The most important thing you can do to protect your kitchen plumbing is to avoid putting oil or grease in the sink. These substances, including butter, congeal and can cause a clog.
Improper use of the garbage disposal is another common problem. To keep your garbage disposal running efficiently do not put stringy foods in the unit. Also, you should run cold water into the disposer for 15 seconds after use.
Oil can also be an issue in the bathroom. Bath oils can form a clog, especially when combined with the hair that often gets trapped in tub and sink drains. Reduce the use of oily products and clean the drain regularly of debris that causes blockages.
Toilet clogs are caused when anything other than human waste and toilet paper is flushed. Although many items like tampons and wipes are labeled flushable, it is best not to flush them.
Every week check your pipes. Look signs of a leak, like water puddles, water marks, mold growth or a musty smell. When checking for leaks look for leaking faucets, dripping shower heads, loose pipes, pipe valves and worn toilet flappers.
Check for clogs and blockages by testing the speed of drainage for the sinks and showers. A slow drain could be the sign of a clog. You should also turn on each faucet to ensure water is not coming out of the valves or handles.
Each season can have an effect on your plumbing. To ensure your plumbing system runs smoothly year around there are certain steps that need to be taken for each season.
In The Fall
In the fall temperatures begin to drop. This is the time to prepare your plumbing for winter. Outdoor water hoses should be disconnected and put away. Outdoor spigots should be checked for leaks and then covered with an insulated cover.
Inside the home, insulate pipes in unheated areas of the home, like crawl spaces, garages, and basements. Flush your water heater to remove sediment and improve its efficiency for the winter months.
If you have a sump pump to clear ewater from your basement or a low-lying area of your property, ensure the pump and pit are clean and inspected.
In The Winter
Regularly run water from each valve to prevent pipes from freezing. If your pipes are prone to freezing you might consider heating your whole house during the winter. You should also leave cabinet doors open to allow the heat into the areas where the pipes are located. You can also allow water to trickle from the faucet when the weather is extremely cold.
If your pipes freeze, turn off the water in that area, using the shutoff valve. Then leave the faucet on to relieve pressure. Use a hair dryer to thaw the pipes, but don’t use an open flame. If the pipe has burst, call a plumber.
In The Spring
Check for slow leaks using a water meter. Also inspect pipes, drains, toilets, faucets, hoses and appliances for signs of leaks. Check the drains for signs of clogs. These steps will protect your home from any damage it may have received during the winter months.
On the outside of your home clean the guttters, downspouts and plumbing vents. Also, check the dpigots to make sure they are not leaking before you start using your water hoses again.
In The Summer
This is the ideal time to get the septic system inspected because the ground temperatures are warm. This is a job that should be done by a plumber. They can determine if there are any blockages or if there are any cracks in your sewer system.
You should also take this time to inspect your outdoor sprinkler. Clean the sprinkler heads and ensure they are all working properly. If you have a lawn irrigation system check for damage before you use it.
A Local Plumber Can Help
You don’t have to do all of these inspections and maintenance activities yourself. A licensed plumber nearby can help make these jobs easier. If you have any concerns you can contact a plumber with any qyestions you have. A plumber can also provide useful information on how to reduce energy costs and save on water usage.