Good plumbing maintenance is relatively easy, but failing to keep up with it can mean costly repairs. Here are some good ways you can take care of your plumbing, either yourself or with the help of a licensed professional. Take care of your house now and it will beneift you in the future.
To get rid of dirt that accumulates under the edges of faucets, consider using an old toothbrush, rather than cleaning products. Many cleaning products will just cause damage to your faucets, and some of this damage could be severe. Just dip the toothbrush into warm water and then use it.
The most common cause of leakage with compression faucets is the washer. If you have a leak, unscrew the handle and remove the escutcheon with a screwdriver. Pull the stem and see if the washer is still intact. If it isn’t, you know where your problem is.
Insulating pipes in unheated areas of your house can save you the headache of burst pipes and flooding down the road. If you find that a room with pipes is especially cold, you should also use caulk to seal any holes in the walls, or any cracks around windows to ensure no drafts get in.
If your pipes are making banging noises, you may need to add additional anchor straps to prevent the pipes from making contact with the walls when water is traveling through them. Typically, pipes are anchored at regular intervals. If banging noises are occurring, you may need to add additional straps or cushion the pipes with a rubber blanket.
Everyone in your home should know where the main water shut off valve is. By knowing where to find this valve, you’ll be able to shut off the water in the event a pipe bursts, a bathtub or toilet overflows or any other emergency that requires you to turn off the water.
Be sure that you shut off your drain lines and outside faucets when the weather gets colder. Cold weather, snow, and ice can cause these lines to freeze up, which can cause damage to them. If you can, try to have these shut off before the first frost of the year.
Make sure you shut off your main system before leaving your house for a few weeks. The water will stay in the pipes, but this should prevent any further damages in case a leak starts while you are away. Check that your shut-off valve is working properly before you leave.
If you plan on doing any work on your walls, from putting in a nail to hang a picture to literally tearing it down, you’ll need to know where your pipes are. Smashing a hammer through drywall only to find you’ve also dislodged a pipe and created a flood is not a great way to start a project!
As mentioned above, most periodic plumbing maintenance is simple and straightforward. Most repairs resulting from serious damage to your plumbing are not. Now that you know how to deal with the plubming issues in your home, you should be more prepared to prevent or mitigate the more serious problems that can result.