Preventative Plumbing: The Top Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Your Home
If you have a plumbing leak located somewhere in your home, you could be wasting a lot of water.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American households waste about 1 trillion gallons of water each year due to plumbing leaks. These leaks are often caused by things like worn-out toilet flappers and faucets that drip…drip…drip all day long.
Fixing plumbing leaks is one of the most important forms of plumbing maintenance that you can do. But there are also other steps you can take to prevent your home’s plumbing system from causing any major problems.
Here are seven plumbing maintenance tips that will help you keep your home’s plumbing system in great condition for years to come.
1. Be Careful About What You Put Down Drains
Outside of leaks, clogged drains are probably the most common plumbing problem in most American homes. It’s not uncommon at all for homeowners to experience clogs in their plumbing systems several times throughout the course of a year.
You can limit clogs in your plumbing system by being extra careful about what you put down the drain. Anytime you put something other than water down a drain, there’s a chance that it could get clogged up.
Avoid putting these things down the drain in your kitchen:
- Food particles
- Cooking oils
Steer clear of allowing these things to enter the drains in your bathrooms:
- Bath oils
In addition to watching what you put down your drains, you should also be mindful about what you flush down your toilets since they can get clogged up, too.
You should not flush these items down a toilet at any point:
- Paper towels
- Dental floss
- Baby wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
Stress the importance of keeping these things out of your plumbing system to your family. It’ll decrease the chances of you experiencing clogs.
2. Unclog Slow-Moving Drains
No matter how careful you are about what you put down the drains, there is likely going to come a time when a clog will take place. This will result in a slow-moving drain in your home.
Slow-moving drains can put a huge strain on your plumbing system. It’s why you should make an effort to eliminate them as quickly as you can.
More often than not, you can stop a drain from draining slowly by using a plunger. You might also want to invest in a plumbing snake to take care of more heavy-duty clogs.
But you should not, under any circumstances, pour potentially harmful chemicals down your drain to try and remove a clog. If a clog is so bad that you can’t get rid of it yourself, turn to a professional for drain cleaning services.
3. Test Water Pressure
How is the water pressure in your plumbing system? Many homeowners don’t have the slightest clue as to whether their water pressure is too high or too low.
Get into the habit of using a pressure gauge to test your water pressure. Do your best to maintain a safe water pressure level as part of your plumbing maintenance routine to avoid putting too much stress on your plumbing system.
If you find that your home’s water pressure is always too high, you may want to set up a pressure regulator. It’ll ensure that your water pressure stays at the right level all the time.
4. Clean Showerheads
If your home’s water pressure is at an acceptable level but it doesn’t feel like it when you take a shower, your showerheads might be to blame. Showerheads can get gunked up over time, which will make it feel like your water pressure is low when you’re showering.
Remove your showerheads every few months and clean them to remove any built-up sediment. Doing this alone can improve the water pressure in a shower.
5. Insulate Plumbing Pipes Exposed to Cold Air
Most homeowners have at least a few plumbing pipes that are exposed to cold air in the wintertime. These pipes are usually located in basements and crawlspaces.
If you have plumbing pipes located in these areas, it’s important for you to insulate them from the cold temperatures. This will prevent your pipes from bursting and causing your basement or crawlspace to flood.
6. Flush Hot Water Heater
Over time, there is sediment that will build up inside of your home’s hot water heater.
When this happens, it’ll stop your hot water heater from running efficiently and send your utility bills skyrocketing.
To avoid this, it’s good to flush your hot water heater about once or twice every year. Flushing your hot water heater will remove the sediment from your tank and make it work a whole lot better than it does now.
For more tips, check out this water heater troubleshooting guide from Water Tech Advice
7. Call a Plumber at the First Sign of Trouble
You should be able to take care of most of the plumbing maintenance suggestions on this list on your own. It’s simple enough to clean a showerhead or wrap insulation around exposed plumbing pipes.
But if you sense that there is a serious problem with any part of your plumbing system, don’t hesitate to reach out to a plumber.
Some homeowners put off plumbing repairs when they see how much it might cost. But if you delay a plumbing repair, it could lead to bigger problems within your plumbing system down the line.
Make Plumbing Maintenance a Bigger Priority in Your Home
It’s easy to take your home’s plumbing system for granted. Most people use their faucets and toilets so often that they overlook what an integral role they play in their homes.
Maintaining your plumbing system should be one of your top priorities when it comes to taking care of your home. By doing plumbing maintenance on a regular basis, you can keep your system up and running and avoid any major issues with it.
Would you like to learn some of the other things you can do to maintain your plumbing system?
Keep scrolling our blog for more tips on plumbing maintenance.