Maintaining your plumbing system is important to help keep everyone in your home happy and healthy, and a lot of preventative care can be done by the homeowner. For those out there that prefer to do things themselves, there are plenty of simple measures that can be taken to make sure everything is working properly. Here are some do-it-yourself steps to inspecting your home’s plumbing.
Check faucets and drains
Leaky faucets can lead to a higher water bill each month due to water constantly dripping from them. Make sure that the flow of water stops after the faucet is turned off and that water does not leak out near the base of the sink either. Several different factors can cause a leaky faucet such as worn out parts, like O-rings and washers, which are meant to keep water from escaping the pipes. Luckily, most common causes of a leaky faucet can be fixed on your own if you have the right parts and tools.
Checking the drains in your home is important as well because a slow-draining sink, shower, or bathtub can be signs of an oncoming pipe backup. Standing water can also allow mold to grow in your home and pose many health risks. Be careful of liquid solutions to this problem as well because they can lead to worn out pipes. It is important to check faucets and drains in every single room, including kitchens and bathrooms.
Make sure the toilets in your home are not continuously running or running when the toilet has not been flushed. A frequently running toilet can significantly raise your water bills each month. If your home is experiencing this problem, try jiggling the handle as it may have stuck.
If jiggling the handle doesn’t work then open the tank and see if the pipe is being adequately covered. There should be a rubber piece that fits over the pipe to cut off the flow of water, and if this is broken or worn out then water can continue to flow through into the toilet.
Check the toilet’s stability as well to make sure it doesn’t rock back and forth.
Examine the garbage disposal
A third area to check is the kitchen garbage disposal. Make sure you know the maintenance requirements of your garbage disposal to understand if any parts need to be replaced. Check for leaks as well, because just like a leaky faucet this can have an adverse impact on your water bill.
Look for signs of leaky pipes
A leaky pipe cannot only cost you money, but it can even hurt the structural integrity of your home if it the water makes its way into drywall and ceilings. See if your water pressure has changed at all, as low pressure may mean water is being lost along the way to the spout due to the leak. Check bathrooms for mold in unusual places, such as areas outside of the shower, or loose tiles. Be sure to inspect walls as well to see if they have warped or developed dark stains which are often due to mold and mildew.