Plumbing is not something most people consider when they routinely clean and renovate their homes. It is something that most people just expect to work all the time.
But as with any other machinery, plumbing also has a risk of failure from all the different elements that keep it working. So, performing a few basic checks and doing a bit of maintenance occasionally will ensure that you are not caught off guard by a sudden plumbing emergency when you least expect it.
We are listing down some of the measures that you can perform easily to know the status of your plumbing. Nevertheless, it’s better to have a professional plumber check the plumbing in your premises, at least once a year.
So, here’s a checklist of what you should be looking for when you getting plumbing maintenance done for your home.
Table of Contents
Featured Image via Matt Popovich@uh
Check Faucets That You Rarely Use
There are always going to be a few faucets at home that you don’t use on often. It can be in your kitchen’s service area or the guest bedrooms. Faucets that aren’t used frequently can clog up, rust, and become difficult to use after a period of time.
Image via Jouni Rajala@leipuri
So, it helps to turn the taps on and off, at least once a week, just to keep them in a running condition.
In case you notice that they’re difficult to operate, then take the faucet apart, and apply some silicone based lubricant. This will loosen your faucets and get them back to working condition.
However, if the faucets are rusted and falling apart, then you should replace them immediately.
Clean Your Shower Head
Your shower head will get less powerful over time. The spray turns dull, and you won’t get as much refreshing shower as before. This happens because of the mineral deposits that accumulate over time.
Clean the shower head by removing it and letting it sit in a bag of white vinegar overnight. After that, scrub away the mineral build up with a brush, and it should work as good as new.
Check Your Hot Water Heater
You might want to make sure that your water heater is working as intended and does not have any suspicious leaks. If there is a leak, find out where it is coming from and shut it off.
Check all the valves that transport water and see if they can be unscrewed easily. If not, remove them, apply some silicone lubricant, and screw them back in.
Image via Jaime Spaniol@jaimespaniol
If you find a severe case of rust in the water heater, then it’s better to contact a professional plumber to see whether or not your heater needs replacing.
But you do not have to do this often. It should be fine as long as you check it once every two or three months.
In case you feel confident about taking apart your water heater, make sure to inspect the anode and see if there is any damage to it. If there is any, then you should be able to replace it fairly easily.
Inspect Your Water Bills
Inspecting your water bill does not immediately come to mind as a plumbing task, but it is essential nonetheless. What you should be looking for is any unexplainable increases in your water bill that could be indicative of a water leak somewhere.
If you find something like this, then it is best to seek a professional’s help with finding and plugging the leak.
Replace Missing Drain Baskets
Your shower drains should always have drain baskets. These baskets traps the unwanted hair and particulates that could otherwise clog up your drainage.
If you have drain baskets, check them to see if they are intact and not developing any large holes.
Replace these drain baskets if you find any signs of wear and tear. While you are at it, also remove any hair that may have accumulated in the drainage so you have free movement of water into the drainage.
Clean Out Your Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal, regardless of how powerful it is, will need some cleaning from time to time. Although it is wise to contact a professional for an extensive cleaning procedure, there is a natural alternative to reduce the damage that it receives over time.
Image via Stephen Poore @stephenpoore804
Take some ice cubes made of white vinegar and throw it into the garbage disposal. Turn it on and let the ice cubes disintegrate. The vinegar will clean the disposal and help it perform at its peak for a little longer.
Check Your Toilets
Your toilets should be held firmly in place, and any sign of movement is an indication that the bolts have rusted out and you need to replace them.
Move your toilets in their place without using too much force. If they move or rock freely, then it’s a sign that you need to replace the bolts and refasten your toilet to the floor.
Another thing that you should do is to check for any cracks or breaks in the ceramic of your toilet. If you find any cracks, then it is best to have the whole toilet replaced, instead of risking a break at any moment. This does not happen too often, but a crack is often severe enough to warrant this.
Inspect Your Pipes For Any Unwanted Growth
Your pipes carry the water to every place in your house. And since they move the water around, there is a chance that you would find algae and other unwanted growth within.
Any algae accumulated can be noticeable as a green mossy growth. And you can use a high-pressure water spray to remove it.
On the other hand, if there is any bluish green growth on copper pipes, note that it’s rust, and that you should replace those pipes immediately.
Look Into The Water Intake Pipe Of Your Washing Machine
Another place to look for water damage is the intake pipe of your washing machine. There is a definite chance for rust to build up there. And if you do find rust, make sure to remove and replace the fittings and pipes.
Rusted pipes and fittings can cause leaks, which can spread damage to other parts and even walls over time. This kind of damage becomes a lot more expensive to repair in the long run. So, checking them often and nipping any early signs of damage in the bud can help you save a lot on home repair costs.
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It’s a lot cheaper to replace a few fittings and pipes than redoing an entire wall in your home.
As the saying goes, prevention is the best cure. And it holds true for home maintenance as well. A few checks now and then can help you keep your home functioning in top condition, and avoid any expensive repairs in the future. These checks do not often need professional training or even the sharpest of eyes, just basic common sense.
During these checks, if you find something that needs a lot of work done, and you are not sure if you can do it yourself, then dial a professional plumbing service and have them do it for you. Because You don’t want to risk damaging something and making the situation worse.