Do you know how to keep your home’s plumbing system in good working order? Can you know what preventative actions you can take with your water pipes to avoid larger problems down the line?
Properly taking care of the piping in your house can prevent small issues from becoming bigger ones. A little regular maintenance will ensure that your pipes remain in top condition and continue working for your home.
Continue reading to learn more about your home plumbing system and what steps you can take to care of it properly.
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Your Home’s Plumbing System
There are two main plumbing systems in your home: the bathroom and kitchen. Both systems supply hot and cold water to your fixtures. And they both rely heavily on having a strong, steady water pressure.
Your water supply may come from either the city or a private well. City water comes in from a large “main pipe” that runs parallel to your street.
Well, water uses a water pump to create enough pressure for water to reach your home. You can learn more about the components of well and septic items here.
Basic Plumbing System Tips
Leaky faucets in US homes waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water every year. The average household leaks almost 10,000 gallons a year.
Repair Your Pipes Sooner than Later
If you notice a leak or other problem with your pipes, don’t procrastinate. Take care of the repairs as soon as possible. The leaks may look small but they can be costly over time. They can cause additional damage to your plumbing system if left unattended.
Keep Your Drains and Sewer Lines Clear
Take steps to keep foreign objects out of your pipes. Use strainers and covers to keep hair and other debris from clogging your drains. Clean and replace them regularly as they are susceptible to wear and tear over time.
Garbage disposal is convenient, but it shouldn’t be your only receptacle for food scraps. Scrape as much food as possible into the garbage, rather than the disposal. Remove large food scraps from plates before putting them in the dishwasher.
Be especially careful to not pour cooking oils down your kitchen pipes. The oils solidify when they cool, which causes clogs to form further down the pipe. These clogs put pressure on the system and can cause a lot of damage.
Know where your sewer lines run in your yard. Roots can cause a lot of damage to pipes, so avoid planting trees along where the sewer lines run.
Protect Your Pipes in the Winter
Your Pipes in the WinterWater expands when it freezes. If the water in your pipes freezes, the ice has nowhere to expand and the pipe will explode!
Insulating your pipes in the winter is an easy and inexpensive way to keep this from happening. Keep your home, especially any rooms with pipes in them at a warm temperature. If you have any pipes that run through a cold room, consider letting it drip just a little bit to keep the water flowing and prevent it from freezing.
Use Non-Toxic Cleaners
Chemical cleaners are corrosive on pipes. They eat away at the material, causing leaks and other issues.
Enzyme based cleaners are a better solution. They are natural bacterium that liquifies clogs to expel them from the system. Unlike toxic, chemical cleaners they won’t damage your pipe’s structural integrity.
Maintain Water Pressure
If there is a strain on your plumbing system, you may notice a change in water pressure. A decline in water pressure usually indicates a leak or blockage somewhere. Low water pressure could be from any number of reasons, including a buildup of lime in the pipes or a burst pipe.
Sediment can accumulate in your showerhead. If you notice reduced pressure in your shower, take the showerhead off first and clean it to see if that helps. If not, then call a plumber to identify the problem.
Use a Water Softener
Hard water can actually put pressure on the piping in your house. Install a water softener to help reduce this strain and the damage to your pipes.
Drain Your Water Heater
Drain your water heater regularly – at least once a year, but twice is better. This will clean the sediment that builds on the bottom of the tank and ensure that it continues to run smoothly.
Inspect Your Plumbing Regularly
Have a professional inspect your plumbing system to ensure everything is in working order. Much like the preventative maintenance on your car, you can identify and fix small issues before they become large, costly ones.
In addition to preventing pipe damage, well-maintained plumbing can keep your house free of allergenic mold. Leaky pipes and faucets cause moisture in your home which can lead to mold issues. Fix any leaks or moisture issues immediately to keep this from happening.
Plumbing issues can create smelly, foul odors in your home. The longer a foul smell is in your home the harder it is to get out.
Although there are some things you can DIY, it’s recommended to have a professional do your annual inspections. Many pipes are hidden from behind walls and are difficult to get at. Identifying potential problems could be difficult without proper equipment and knowledge.
Basic Plumbing Maintenance
A little knowledge and a regular preventative maintenance schedule will keep your plumbing system running smoothly. When you keep everything in good condition and prevent damage to your home, you maintain your home’s high value.
Read other articles on our site to learn more about more maintenance and repair routines for your home.