Essential Plumbing Maintenance Tips to Follow

Many homeowners take their plumbing for granted until something goes wrong. However, preventative maintenance can help to extend the life of pipes and fixtures, and avoid costly repairs.

Check for leaks by looking for water stains under sinks and around toilets. Clean drains regularly with baking soda and vinegar to eliminate clogs.

Know Your Limitations

When it comes to DIY plumbing repairs, knowing your limits is important. Even if you are a skilled handyperson, some plumbing issues are best left in the hands of professionals. For example, clogged drains can be a big problem. They can lead to water damage and even flood your home. Clogged drains can also be a sign of larger problems in your plumbing system. It is better to have a professional unclog your drains than it is to try to do it yourself. A plumber has the tools and products needed to get the job done right the first time.

When you’re faced with a clogged drain, start by trying to clear the clog with a plunger or a plumber’s snake (also called an auger). If these fail, call in a professional.

Leaks are another common plumbing issue that needs to be dealt with promptly. They can cause water bills to spike, damage wood and masonry and lead to mold and mildew. In order to catch leaks early on, inspect your property regularly and look for water stains or damp spots in crawl spaces, basements and garages. If you notice these signs, turn off your water and call a plumber.

Leaks can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging pipes, high water pressure, corrosion, cracks, joint damage and clogs. Some of these can be prevented by insulating your exposed pipes and by making sure you shut off your water when you are away from your house for long periods of time. Leaks can also occur at the joints of your pipes or where they connect to appliances such as your washing machine, dishwasher and ice maker.

Inspect Your Pipes Regularly

Regardless of the type of building, it is important to inspect the plumbing on a regular basis. This allows for early detection of problems that can lead to costly repairs. It also prevents the issue from getting worse over time, such as a leaky pipe that can cause water damage and result in a massive repair bill.

A plumbing inspection is a visual examination of a building’s plumbing system. It typically includes all of the pipes, faucets, and other components. During the inspection, a professional plumber will look for cracks, erosion, and other signs of wear and tear. They will also check for clogs and leaks, which can be extremely dangerous and require immediate attention.

Ideally, a homeowner will request an inspection when they notice something unusual with the plumbing. This could be fluctuating water pressure, strange noises coming from the pipes, or a change in water color or smell. These are all signs that it is time to call a plumber, especially good ones like the Greensboro plumbers.

Leaks are a huge problem for homeowners. They can lead to mold, mildew, and rot, and they are often expensive to repair. By requesting an inspection on a regular basis, it is possible to catch these issues before they become major problems.

Knowing what not to put down your drains is also essential for preventing clogs. It’s recommended to never flush anything down a toilet that doesn’t belong there, including feminine products, flushable wipes, and condoms. These items can easily clog the plumbing and create a sewer backup.

During a plumbing inspection, professionals can detect early warning signs and recommend replacements before the issue becomes a serious problem. This can save homeowners thousands of dollars and prevent a potentially disastrous situation.

Know What Not to Put Down Your Drains

Keeping up with plumbing maintenance is important to protect your home and prevent expensive problems down the road. But you don’t have to be a professional plumber to keep your drains running smoothly. In fact, a few simple practices can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your pipes and saving you money on costly repairs.

It’s no secret that certain foods and household items can contribute to drain clogs. However, there are a few less obvious culprits that many homeowners may be unaware of. From throwing a few too many dinner scraps down the sink to rinsing a paintbrush in the bathroom, these sneaky cloggers can be damaging your plumbing system without you even realizing it.

Some of these unsuspected cloggers include meat fat, bacon grease, frying oil, coffee grounds, and those cute fruit stickers (made from plastic). While it may be tempting to put some of these items down the drain in order to eliminate them from your kitchen, they can actually cling to pipes, coat them, and prevent water from passing through them.

If you’re unsure how to dispose of these items, most cities and towns have hazardous waste disposal facilities that can safely handle them for you. Similarly, medications should never be poured down your drains, even if they’re expired or no longer needed. These chemicals can seep back into the environment and your drinking water, and cause serious health issues.

Other unsafe items to avoid dumping down your drains include pasta, rice, eggshells, and any other waste that expands when it becomes wet. If you have these foods on hand, consider storing them in a garbage bag to take care of them until you can throw them away.

Drain Your Water Heater Regularly

Many homeowners are a bit surprised to learn that their water heater needs to be drained on a regular basis. But this critical plumbing maintenance task is important for keeping your water heater running efficiently and safely.

Sediment can build up on your water heater tank over time, causing it to work harder than necessary and costing you money in the long run. It can also lead to corrosion and shorten the life span of your water heater. Fortunately, this simple water heater draining process is relatively easy to do yourself, and it can help you avoid expensive repairs down the road.

Most water heater manuals recommend draining your water heater at intervals ranging from six to 12 months. The most common signs that you are overdue for a water heater drain and flush include rust-colored water at your faucets, leaky or noisy operation at your water heater, or a noticeably longer time for your water heater to heat up.

To drain your water heater, first shut off the power and water supply to your unit. Then, attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater and direct it towards a drain or other receptacle. Open the drain valve and let all of the water inside your water heater drain out completely.

When the tank is empty, close the drain valve and turn your water supply back on. Allow a few minutes for the sediment to settle at the bottom of your water heater tank before turning the water on again. Once your water is hot again, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional inspection of your plumbing system. This will ensure that your pipes are clear of obstructions and that all parts of your water heater are in good working order.

Turn Off the Water

Whether it’s due to an emergency like a burst pipe or simply because you are making a plumbing repair, shutting off the water is essential. Not only does it prevent expensive damage, but it can also allow you to get the repairs done quickly before the problem gets even worse.

Knowing how to shut off the water can save you from a variety of situations, so it’s important to know where your main water valve is and how to use it. You should also be familiar with the shut-off valves for any water-using appliances in your home, such as toilets, sinks, and bathtubs and showers. These shut-offs can be found close to the fixture, and they’re easy to find with a little practice.

If you aren’t sure how to shut off a specific fixture or can’t seem to turn it off for any reason, call a plumber right away. A professional can show you how to do it easily, and they can also install more convenient and easier-to-use shut-offs for the future.

When you’re ready to turn on the water again, open the hose-bib next to your master shutoff valve or another working supply or fixture in your home to clear any air from the lines. Then, slowly rotate the valve counterclockwise (or lever handle valves a quarter-turn). Remember, turning the water back on too quickly can cause damage to your pipes. Once the valve is turned on again, let it run for a few minutes to force out any remaining air in the lines. Then, you’re ready for a long, hot shower!

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