The plumbing system is one of the most integral parts of any home, yet many homeowners don’t pay it any attention until they are confronted with a string of plumbing emergencies. By then it’s either cold water, an unpleasant smell, or a water bill you’d rather forget you saw.
Knowing some simple plumbing maintenance recommendations to integrate into your weekly household inspections can save you from some expensive plumbing problems in the future. When it comes to your plumbing system, prevention can be vital, so the following top three plumbing maintenance tips and checks can help you keep on top of those pesky plumbing issues.
Prevent Blocked Drains
Blocked drains are a common household nuisance, but if ignored for an extended period of time, they can cause back-ups in water pipes and sewage lines. This frequently causes a build up pressure in the pipes which can lead to bigger issues, such as burst pipes, in the future.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is by ensuring household drains are not used as a form of garbage disposal. This means keeping food scraps away from kitchen drains, cleaning hair out of bathroom drains and only flushing sewage and toilet paper. Although it might appear obvious, these are some of the most prevalent causes for household drain blockages.
Another way to keep blocked drains under control is to remember to clean them on a regular basis. However, when it comes to cleaning your drains, it is advisable to avoid using any harsh chemical drain cleaners. These cleaners include acids that, if used too frequently, can damage your water pipes.
However, you can make your own drain cleaning solution from a few pantry staples. A simple combination of bi-carb soda, vinegar and hot water should do the trick. When these components mix, they produce a reaction that can loosen unwanted debris in the drain. This allows it to be washed away with a final rinse.
Check Water Pressure
Water pressure is often overlooked until the shower is trickling too slowly to be enjoyable. Be it low or high, water pressure can actually be a key indicator for deeper issues or a cause for any future plumbing problems.
Low water pressure presents itself in many, often frustrating, ways. From taps that take too long to fill sinks to washing machines or dishwashers that are failing to clean as effectively as they usually would. But low water pressure isn’t just an inconvenience, it might also be an indicator for a deeper issue.
When it comes to low water pressure, checking your homes shut off valves is an easy step to check off. If you have recently had plumbing work done or have just moved in, the low water pressure might be a result of the valve not being fully opened. While this is an easy fix, it is not the most common cause of low pressure. It can, in some instances, be an indication of debri build-up or corrosion in the water pipes.
Similar to how water drains slowly through a blocked drain, water flows slowly through a pipe with an excess of mineral build up, which results in low pressure. Worse, corroded water pipes can be an expensive cause for low pressure, especially if they have been ignored for an extended period of time.
Pay Attention to Small Leaks
Not only are water leaks wasteful, but they can also leave you in a state of disbelief the next time you go to read your water bill. Which is why it is important to pay close attention to any small leaks around the house so that they can be repaired before they lead to bigger problems.
Though detecting leaks coming from taps or shower heads can be simple, some leaks are not so obvious. Often you need to be looking out for small signs of water damage such as wall stains, moisture where it shouldn’t be, or even small patches of black mould. These commonly occur in bathrooms, kitchens, or areas surrounding water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines.
Leaks can be a nightmare, but detecting them early might just save you from major water damage and costly plumbing repairs.
Don’t Get Caught Out
It is easy to become blind to little household ‘quirks’, but this is often when small issues begin to go unnoticed, giving them the time to grow into more serious problems. While most plumbing problems require you to call a plumber out to repair them, taking small preventative measures and paying close attention to the warning signs can be the difference between a simple fix, or an expensive one.