If you’ve never had a plumbing emergency, consider yourself lucky. Once you’ve had one, you’ll do anything in your power to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Not only can plumbing problems be messy, but they can be expensive to fix and a hassle to book a fixing time; you might need to take a few hours off work and schedule with a busy plumber. The following will explore a few of the quick and easy things you can do well before a plumbing problem appears so that you can avoid your plumbing system is so taxed that it has a full-blown breakdown. Of course, every home is different, and some buildings, especially if they’re older, have some oddities. If you encounter something that confuses you or feels outside of your expertise, reach out to a local plumbing professional.
Keep Your Eyes Open For Leaks
Yes, on the hottest days of summer, it can seem like plumbing is sweating. This is normal and can be left alone. If, however, piping, faucets, water heaters, or other plumbing-related appliances are leaking, this is something that should never be ignored. Water is powerful, and over time it can damage a lot of things including your home and your plumbing included. As Waterheaterleakinginfo.com points out, a small leak can quickly turn into a bigger problem. This means that leaks should be watched out for and dealt with immediately after they’re noticed.
Clear Clogs As Soon As You Notice Them
Similar to leaks above, clogs are often a simple fix; you just need a snake (or a metal coat hanger untwisted) or a drain-clearing chemical. If, however, clogs are left too long, more buildup ends up in the blockage until the entire pipe won’t let water pass through. If this happens, you’ll have a mess on your hands for sure. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what you let go down the drain to help minimize the risk of clogs or blockages. You need to be especially careful with food items that swell when wet. Rice will keep getting bigger, as will quinoa and bread or grain-based foods. This means that a little rice can actually cause a bigger problem.
Test Your Drains For Slow Drainage
When it comes to your sink and shower drains (even the ones in the guest bathroom that hardly ever get used), it’s a good idea to test for slow drainage every week. This is as simple as starting up the shower or sink and watching how quickly the water drains. If things are moving slow, this is an indicator that something is wrong.
Clean Washing Machine Lint Traps
It does not the only drain that can get clogged; your washing machine can fill up with lint in the trap resulting in a struggle for water and potentially a blockage and a big mess next time you use the washing machine. Keeping that lint trap nice and clean will help keep your plumbing related to the washer smooth and healthy. This can also result in cleaner clothes overall, which is an excellent bonus.
Winterize If Needed
If you live somewhere where it gets below freezing, even just at night, in the winter, you need to do a bit of extra work as the season starts to change. You’ll want to disconnect all exterior hoses and shut off outdoor valves. Furthermore, you’re going to want to be sure that your pipes are well insulated to keep things from freezing and bursting. A burst pipe is a really rough plumbing emergency to deal with, especially if it’s freezing in the basement and now everything is covered in icy water.
Schedule Regular Check-Ups With A Professional
It’s also worth your while to book a plumber to come in and take a look at your setup every so often. For many people, once a year is plenty; for those who have particularly old plumbing systems, you might want to do this more frequently. If your home is more than 75 years old, it’s a fantastic idea to have the plumber ensure that your pipes aren’t made of lead. A while back, this was a normal piping material, only now we know it’s toxic.
The six tips mentioned above should help you keep your plumbing in tip-top shape. Like any other type of home maintenance, proper care throughout the day, week, and year can result in saved money in the long run as well as encourage your plumbing system to function better and last longer.