Most homeowners don’t think about plumbing maintenance until there’s a problem. And by then, it’s probably too late. Plumbing issues can be costly to fix and quickly cause extensive damage to your home, especially when dealing with hidden leaks. That’s why it’s crucial to perform basic plumbing maintenance tasks regularly.
While some plumbing problems may require the help of a professional, there are some easy DIY maintenance tasks that you can do to keep your plumbing system in good shape.
1. Check Your Home’s Water Pressure Regularly
Your home’s water pressure plays a big role in the overall performance of your plumbing system. If it’s too high, it can cause damage to your pipes and fixtures. If it’s too low, you may not be able to get enough water pressure to properly do things like take a shower or wash dishes. That’s why it’s important to check your home’s water pressure regularly and make adjustments as needed.
You can check your home’s water pressure in a few different ways. One is to attach a water pressure gauge to an outdoor faucet. Another is to contact your local water utility company or plumbing repair expert and ask them to come and test it for you. Most homes should have water pressure between 40 and 60 psi to ensure proper function.
2. Inspect Exposed Pipes for Leaks
Look at the pipes under your sinks, in your crawl space, and your basement or utility room. If you see any leaks, no matter how small, be sure to have them repaired as soon as possible. Leaks can be caused by several things, including loose fittings, corroded pipes, damaged seals, or even tree roots. You can take some emergency steps like:
- Turning off the water to the affected area
- Placing a bucket under the leak to catch drips
- Taping or covering the leak with duct tape or a rag until you can get it repaired
If you have a leaky faucet, it could be due to a worn-out washer. Replacing a washer is usually a quick and easy fix. Simply remove the handle, unscrew the retaining nut, and replace the washer. Be sure to buy a washer that’s the same size and thickness as the one you’re replacing.
3. Clean Out Your Home’s Drains Regularly
This will help prevent clogs and keep your drains flowing freely. You can use a plunger to remove any small clogs and a drain snake to remove more stubborn blockages. You should also pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down your drains once a month to help keep them clean. If you have a garbage disposal, it’s important to clean it regularly as well.
Run some hot water and dish soap down the disposal, and then use a brush to scrub away any built-up food. If your disposal starts to smell, you can also cut a lemon in half and run it through the disposal to freshen it up. Taking good care of your drains can help prevent bigger problems down the road.
4. Know Where the Main Water Shut-off Valve Is Located
In the event of a major water leak, you’ll need to be able to quickly turn off the water to your entire home. The main water shut-off valve is usually located near your water meter. If you don’t know where yours is, check your home’s blueprint or ask your plumber. Once you know where it is, make sure everyone in your household knows as well.
In addition to the main water shut-off valve, every sink, toilet, and appliance that uses water has its own shut-off valve. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves so you can quickly turn off the water in case of a leak.
Don’t Wait Until There’s a Plumbing Problem
With these simple tips, you can help prevent plumbing problems before they start. And if a problem does arise, you’ll be better prepared to deal with it. So don’t wait until there’s an issue to start thinking about plumbing maintenance – make it part of your regular home maintenance routine.