Plumbing Maintenance Checklist for the DIYer
Maintaining your plumbing system is as important to the wellness of your home as an annual physical is to your personal health. Think of it as “Home Health and Wellness”. For those individuals who are handy around the house or are HGTV Diyers, there are plenty of simple measures that can be taken to make sure everything is operating at top efficiency. We’ve outlined a few of the top steps to check your home’s plumbing below.
Check faucets and drains
Leaky faucets and annoying drips can lead to a higher water bill each month. Once the faucet is turned off, make sure that the flow of water stops and that water does not leak out near the base of the sink or near the hot and cold knobs. Several different factors can cause a leaky faucet including 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. And if you swing by one of your local home improvement stores, be sure to ask for direction from one of the staffers.
Clogged drains are a huge problem for many. The longer you live at your home, the more opportunity those drains can back-up. 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 or self-made solutions that promise to dissolve what is in the drain. Solutions can wreak havoc on PVC pipe and just eat through it depending on materials. Obviously, one’s kitchens and bathrooms are the most used places in the home and need special attention.
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 and may signal that the flapper has gone bad. Check all operating elements, including the handle, for proper functioning.
In addition, make sure that the seal around the toilet has not come loose or is broken. This, too, can lead to leaks and other problems.
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 and when any parts need to be replaced. You may also search online for the elements never to place in a disposal, such as potato peels, celery, eggshells, etc. These little culprits will cause a clog in a moment’s notice. Check under the sink around the disposal for leaks and loose parts.
Unseen Pipe Leaks
The pipes that run inside the walls of your home can be the most costly culprits. If you notice a water spot on your ceiling, down the wall or a puddle of water on the floor, check this immediately. A leaky pipe cannot only cost you money, but it will hurt the structural integrity of your home if it the water makes its way into drywall and ceilings. If you notice a decline in water pressure, you will want to check the pipes around the area or listen for water streaming somewhere else. 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.
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