Depending on how old your home is, or how recently the plumbing system has been inspected, your maintenance responsibilities can vary. Either way, here are five simple ways to keep your home’s plumbing system in good condition and prevent problems from sneaking up on you.
1. Look out for water leaks.
A leaking faucet is usually not a big deal. The leak may be caused by worn out or corroded parts, poor water pressure or loose or broken parts. But if your cabinets suddenly become damp, or your refrigerator starts to leak, then it’s important to call a professional plumber right away.
2. Fix leaks early.
It’s important to fix leaks as soon as you notice them. Leaks cause excess moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Homeowners should also consider checking for puddles under the refrigerator, at least once a month. Small puddles can indicate a leaking ice maker and larger ones can seep into the floor and cause more extensive damage.
3. Know how to shut-off water during an emergency.
If the shower is overflowing, or if a pipe under the kitchen sink has burst, then you need to know where the main shut-off valve is located so you can quickly shut off the home’s water supply. This will help prevent extensive damage and give you time to call a professional plumber.
Be sure to have the tools you’ll need to reach the valve if it’s in a dark, hidden or hard-to-reach corner of your home. The ten minutes you’ll spend searching for a flashlight could end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs.
4. Avoid toxic drain cleaners.
Chemical drain cleaners may be effective in fighting bathroom and kitchen clogs, but they can also cause long-term damage. Instead, homeowners should use natural drain cleaners, such as baking soda and vinegar.
5. Be mindful of what gets thrown down the kitchen sink drain.
When you’re in a rush to cook dinner, you may be tempted to throw just about anything down the garbage disposal. Though there is quite a list of things you shouldn’t throw down the drain, there are a few items that are actually good to discard into the garbage disposal. Citrus rinds and fruit scraps can work as fresheners and help to naturally clean the drain.