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An effective and efficient plumbing system is important for a lot more than just the value of a home. It is critical to keeping you and your family healthy as well. This is why it is no surprise that your home plumbing system makes up for around 15% of the value of your home. An investment that large must be maintained the right way unless you want to keep incurring huge repair bills. We’ve divided essential home plumbing maintenance tips into daily, weekly, and seasonal maintenance activities, so you have a checklist to help you keep your plumbing systems in the pink of health all year round.
Importance of regular maintenance
Your home’s plumbing system is responsible for giving you access to clean water, and flushing away waste. Access to clean, fresh water is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Regular maintenance means that you will be able to prevent problems like sewer line leaks or clogged drains to deal with, and huge plumbing bills to pay. Not only that, water damage can severely devalue your home.
Regular maintenance can also help you save money on your utility bills. Leaky pipes, faucets, or shower heads can lead to a substantial amount of water wastage, and much larger water bills. It is, therefore, in the best interest of every homeowner to ensure regular maintenance of their home plumbing systems.
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Daily maintenance tips
Daily home plumbing maintenance is aimed at eliminating clogs, which are among the most common plumbing issues faced by homeowners. Eliminating clogs will ensure that chances of complete blockages are greatly reduced and that the lifespan of your waste pipes isn’t cut short due to the pressure clogs put on them.
Daily kitchen maintenance
- The main reason for clogs in kitchen pipes is because of debris and waste that should not be going down waste pipes being forced through anyway. The main culprit in most cases is grease and oils, including cooking oils, butter, and other fats. These tend to congeal and block water flow.
- Always turn on both the water as well as the waste disposal before adding food to the disposal.
- Fibrous or stringy foods, like banana peels, celery, potato peels, and other foodstuffs that are difficult to grind should not be sent down the garbage disposal.
- To ensure food wastes are flushed down the mainline, always keep the cold water running for around 15 seconds after using the disposal.
- Always run your dishwasher at night to conserve hot water and maintain good water pressure throughout the day.
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Daily bathroom maintenance
- Reduce the use of bath oils.
- Use a screen over the drain to prevent hair from getting into the drain and clogging it up.
- Flush out only human wastes and toilet paper down the toilet. Avoid flushing tampons, diapers, and other waste materials.
- Reduce pressure on your pipes by waiting at least 10 minutes in between showers, in order to maintain the right water pressure and temperature throughout the day.
- If your toilet gets clogged, avoid using chemical clog removal products. These tend to erode water pipes.
Weekly maintenance tips
- Checking on the health of your pipes once a week is a great way to notice issues in their nascent stages before they become major problems.
- Telltale signs of leaky pipes include a musty smell around the pipes, puddles of water, mold growth, and watermarks.
- Turn on every faucet in your home and make sure none of them are leaking from their valves or handles.
- Make sure all drains in your home, including shower drains, are working efficiently. All drains ought to have a full swirl as water goes down. If you notice bubbles while the water is being drained, it is a sign of a clog.
- The lint traps on your washing machine ought to be cleaned at least once a week.
- Know where to look for leaks. These places include pipe valves, showerheads, toilet flappers, faucets, and loose pipe fittings.
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Seasonal maintenance tips
Your home’s plumbing can be affected by the vagaries of the weather. Here are some maintenance tips based on the time of the year.
Summer maintenance tips
- Have your septic system inspected, and pumped when needed
- Keep a track of stoppages and the times between them.
- Have a sewer line snaking done to ensure there aren’t any tree roots or other debris causing blockages.
- Clean your sprinkler system and make sure it’s working properly.
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Fall maintenance tips
- Disconnect pipes from outdoor spigots to make sure they don’t freeze.
- Shut off the water valves for the outdoor spigots and drain your outdoor water lines.
- Check for leaky faucets both indoors and outdoors. Make repairs and replacements as necessary.
- Use heat tape to insulate pipes in the colder areas of your home, like basements and crawl spaces.
- Flush out and clean your water heater of any dirt and sediments.
- Maintain a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit on your water heater for optimum performance in the colder months.
- Clear the gutters of all debris to avoid blockages during the winter.
- Get your sump pump and pit cleaned and maintained.
Read more: Exterior spigot replacement
Winter maintenance tips
- Insulate both hot and cold water pipes, especially those located in crawl spaces and basements.
- Keep your pipes from freezing by regularly letting the water run on all the valves in your home.
- Make sure you don’t have drafts near your pipes.
- Maintain a warm temperature in every room of your home, and not just in certain rooms. If a pipe that is exposed to extremely cold temperatures freezes and bursts, finding professional help to deal with plumbing problems in the middle of the winter will be difficult.
Read more: Why do hot water pipes freeze first
Spring maintenance tips
- Check for slow leaks around your pipes. The way to do this is to take a water reading, not use any water for a couple of hours, and then check again. An increase in reading is indicative of a leak.
- Check all drains by pouring water down them, especially those you don’t use often. Snake any slow drains.
- Check your appliances like water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers for cracked, building, or worn hoses. Replace if required.
- Make sure your toilet and toilet tank doesn’t have leaks.
Read more: All about drain traps
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