Plumbing repairs are not something that’s always included in the average homeowners budget. When it comes to plumbing, preventative maintenance can save a homeowner a substantial amount of money in costs and repairs. So, we would like to recommend a few helpful hints that might save you a little trouble and money somewhere down the line.
Plumbing & Maintenance Tips (in no particular order):
Unless it’s specifically labeled toilet paper, do not flush it down the toilet! Unfortunately, many items and substances are disposed of down the drain or in our toilets when they have no business being there. These items often include hair, feminine hygiene products, paper products, wipes, diapers, grease and oils. Even facial tissues like Kleenex can cause clogs because the paper fibers do not disintegrate like toilet paper. This is not only bad for the environment, but it can also wreak havoc on a plumbing system causing blockages and failures.
Replace the flapper or ball inside the toilet tank once a year. This not only cuts back on the amount of water being wasted, but it also reflects in savings on your water bill. If you have money and opportunity, perhaps you might want to look into upgrading to a more modern tank fill system.
Consider upgrading your plumbing fixtures. Next time you find yourself replacing a washer or inserting a piece to repair an old leaky faucet, why not consider upgrading to a better option, like a washerless faucet. Newer washerless faucets offer better performance and require much less maintenance. Your local plumbing expert can recommend the best products available to you.
Clean shower heads to remove sediment build up. The mineral deposits and sediment that can build up in a shower head can affect the water pressure, often lowering it to an undesirable level. No one like a weak water flow when they’re taking a shower, but fortunately there are plenty of options to be found at your local store including calcium, lime and rust removal chemicals that can aid in removing the sediment. But, if you prefer a more organic and chemical free method, many homeowners have found that letter a shower head soak in white vinegar (often warm to hot in temperature) for a few minutes can help to remove the deposits.
Remove sediment buildup in your water heater tank. You might not think about it, but a lot of dirt and sediment can build up and settle at the bottom of a water heater’s tank. This sediment buildup, if not dealt with, can cause corrosion and reduces not only the life span of the water heater, but also affects the water heaters ability to heat the water efficiently. To flush out and remove the build up a homeowner should drain several gallons of water from the faucet closest to the bottom of the tank. It’s best to connect the faucet with a hose to direct the released water into a nearby drain.
Test the water heater’s pressure relief valve. First of all, be careful because the water coming from the tank’s pressure relief valve will be extremely hot. Carefully lift up on the pressure relief valve lever. Don’t hold it open; just let it quickly snap back into place after lifting it. The valve should spit out a short burst of hot water. If it does not, then there may be a problem and it is highly suggested that you call a professional plumber to have a new pressure relief valve installed as soon as possible.
Repair all leaks ASAP! Even though it may not seem like much, that little leak can drastically increase a home’s water bill. Turn off the water supply to the leaking area as soon as the leak is noticed.
Be on the lookout for leaking hot water. Whether it’s from a faucet, pipe or other supply line, a little hot water leak can be big trouble. A hot water leak uses the hot water contained in the water heater’s tank. If it continues to leak it can eventually completely drain the water in the tank, which then burns out the water heaters heating element. That’s not a repair any homeowner wants to deal with! If a hot water leak is found, the homeowner will need to shut off the main water supply. Also, the breaker that feeds the electric supply to the water heater will need to be shut off. Then the leak can be repaired and the water heater will not be damaged. A costly repair can easily be avoided by simply shutting off the electric supply to the water heater at the first sign of a leak.
Use strainers in your drains! The easiest preventative step any resident can take to eliminate the likelihood of clogged drains is to make sure all shower, bathtub and sink drains have strainers. A strainer’s job is to keep hair, soap, and other unwanted solids from entering the drain and clogging the connected pipes.
Be aware of where the water shut off valves are located in your home. One of the first things a new homeowner should do is to locate their water shut off valves. There’s no worse time to try to find them than in an emergency. Some are easy to spot while others may be hidden behind an access panel or elsewhere.
Watch out for corrosion! Take a stroll through your home, look at pipes, what do you see? Are there green stains around shut off valves or fittings? Perhaps there’s some orange or yellow coloration on your pipes? What about when you turn on the water in the shower or sink, is the water discolored at first? If any of the previous situations apply to you, then you more than likely have corroded or rusted pipes. Corrosion and rust can contaminate your water and cause the breakdown of the plumbing’s pipes. It’s the small beginning to a big problem. It’s best to have the corroded or damaged sections replaced by a professional. If all of the pipes in the home are relatively the same age, it might be wise to have them all replaced to avoid continuous replacement of small sections.
Choose a trusted plumber! Let’s face it, not all jobs are meant for the self-proclaimed handyman. Sometimes you need a professional to handle the job. For those situations where DIY just won’t cut it, have the name of a reliable plumber on hand.
When we think about the valuable components that make up a well maintained home, we often forget about the plumbing system. But, without a properly installed and maintained plumbing system a homeowner can quickly find themselves in a world of trouble, full of expensive repairs and inconvenience.
Call us today at Four Star Plumbing & Air Conditioning for your plumbing needs.
Credits: Ezinearticles.com / Rocky Capano