A vital system, the inner operations of pipes, fixtures, and appliances are continuously working to keep your home efficient. Keeping the plumbing system in your home functioning is crucial for having a clean water supply and managing waste and sewage correctly. Properly functioning plumbing systems in your home also prevent water damage and any hazards that may come from stagnant water. It is important to be prepared for any minor plumbing issues that may come your way.
Like any other system in your home, your plumbing system requires regular maintenance to keep it functioning correctly. One of the most crucial plumbing tips is regularly checking faucets, showerheads, and toilets for leaks. Even a tiny leak can waste significant water, increase your water bill, and cause damage over time. If you notice any leaks, make sure to address them quickly. Consider scheduling an annual plumbing inspection to catch any potential issues before they become significant problems. If you notice any plumbing problems, such as leaks, clogs, or low water pressure, it is essential to address them promptly. Delaying repairs can cause the issue to worsen and potentially lead to more expensive repairs down the line.
In an emergency, such as a burst pipe, knowing where your main water shut-off valve is and how to turn it off is vital. You should have shut-off valves in the kitchen, under the sink, or in a utility closet in your home. Being quick to shut off the water to reduce leakage can help you avoid water damage or a higher water bill in the long term. Know where the whole house shut-off is (usually within 20 feet of the nearest road). Your whole house shut-off may take more than a simple twist to turn off. Examine your valve before there is an emergency so that you know if you will need any tools to turn it off.
Your garbage disposal is not a trash can, so avoid putting large food scraps, fibrous foods, and grease down it. These can cause clogs and damage to your garbage disposal. Place a strainer in your sink drain to catch food scraps and other debris, preventing them from going down the drain and causing a clog. Pouring grease and cooking oil down the drain can also cause clogs and damage your pipes. An easy way to help prevent grease and oil in your drain would be to wipe any excess oil from your cooking pot or pan. After each use, running hot water down your sink can help prevent buildup in your pipes and keep them clean. To help remove buildup in your sink, mix vinegar and baking soda and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for roughly fifteen minutes before running hot water. While it may be tempting to use a chemical drain cleaner to clear a clogged drain, these products can cause more harm than good. They can corrode your pipes over time and are harmful to the environment. Instead, use a plunger or drain snake or call a professional plumber.
Toilets are designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. Flushing other items, such as baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, and paper towels, can cause clogs and damage your plumbing system. Dispose of these items in the trash instead. It may be tempting to flush those “flushable wipes” down the toilet for convenience, but long term, it would be better to dispose of them another way. On the other hand, you could substitute wipes with a bidet, an addition to any bathroom that promotes better hygiene. Check your toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank and waiting to see if the water in the bowl changes color. If it does, you have a leak and should call a plumber to fix it. If your toilet is running continuously or not flushing correctly, it could be due to worn-out parts. Replacing the flapper, chain, or other parts can typically fix these issues.
Knowing When to Call a Plumber
If you need more confidence in your plumbing skills, it is always better to call a professional plumber to avoid causing further damage. Some plumbing issues require specialized equipment and knowledge that only a licensed plumber can provide. A plumber can determine the cause and fix the issue. A burst pipe is a plumbing emergency that requires immediate attention from a plumber to prevent water damage to your home. If you notice sewage backing up into your home, it is important to call a plumber immediately to prevent a health hazard and potential water damage. Also, it could be a sign of a leak if you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls. A plumber can locate and fix the leak to prevent further damage.
Proper plumbing maintenance is crucial to keep your home’s system functioning smoothly. Regularly inspecting and cleaning your faucets, sinks, and toilets can prevent costly repairs down the road. While DIY repairs may seem tempting, it is important to know when to call a professional plumber to avoid causing any further damage. By following these tips and being proactive about maintenance, you can ensure that your home’s plumbing system operates efficiently and effectively.
Home & Yard Magazine