When you have broken pipes, leaky faucets, a clogged toilet or a water heater that is running cold, your first instinct is likely to call the plumbing. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid or eliminate these plumbing issues. One of the first things you’ll need to do is gain a thorough understanding of your home’s water system. The water system consists of everything that requires the use of water in your house, such as the washing machine laundry room, kitchen appliances like the sink, refrigerator and garbage disposals, your showers, toilets and water heater. If you maintain these items in your home, you can reduce the chances of running into a plumbing emergency.
When you want to maintain the plumbing in your home, you should start by fixing all the leaking showerheads and faucets in your home right away. A dripping faucet can raise your water bill and wastes water, which is bad for the environment. If you don’t fix these issues right away, they’ll only get worse and lead to serious water damage. Check your faucets regularly for leaks and repair the leaks as needed. Look around the handles for water drips when the faucets are turned off. Look underneath the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom to check for water drips and stains while you’re running the water.
If you have slow drains, unclog them right away. If the water drains slowly out of the sink, this could be a sign of a bigger problem. Before this becomes a bigger issue that causes flooding or requires expensive plumbing repairs, mix vinegar and hot water together and flush the solution down the drain. This helps to loosen debris and increase your water flow. Do this every three month or so to make sure your drain is flowing properly. You should also check all your appliance and pipes for water leaks. Your refrigerator, garbage disposal or water heater could be the reason for the leak. Look at the manufacturer’s manual to make sure you know how to stop water leaks. Make sure there are no water stains on the ceilings or walls or you see puddles of water beside or under these appliances. It’s also a good idea to install a drip try underneath the washing machine and water heater; this will reduce damage if there is a water leak.
Make sure you fix leaking toilets as well. In some cases, there is a faulty seal around the valve that will cause the toilet to run even if you haven’t flushed it. Over a period of time, debris and gunk will form around the flapper and valve seat. The gunk will keep the flapper from sealing properly and this means the water will keep running. Or, you could have an issue with the tank stopper or handle. If you maintain the function of the toilet, you likely won’t have to deal with expensive plumbing repairs.
While these maintenance tips can save you a considerable amount of money, there will be times when you have to call a plumber. If you try these DIY tips and are still having clogs or drainage problems, contact a professional plumber in your area.