Owning a home can be hard work, but with regular maintenance it doesn’t have to be. Check out some of these plumbing tips and keep your home in top shape!
- Make sure everyone in the house knows where the main water shutoff is in case of an emergency. It is typically at ground level (literally. if you’re in a basement, it will likely be at eye level or above. If you’re on the first floor, it will be below eye level) and on the perimeter of the house. If you’re unsure, check your inspection report from when you purchased the house.
- If you believe your toilet is about to overflow, quickly remove the tank lid, reach down and push the flush valve closed. It covers the tennis ball-sized opening in the bottom of the tank. That keeps the bowl from overflowing while you clear the obstruction.
- Every few years, check your toilet for leaks. Remove the tank lid, add food coloring to the water in the tank. Check the bowl in ten or fifteen minutes. If you see color, the flapper valve may be leaking.
- Periodically examine your meter. If no water is running in the house, all dials on the meter should be stable. A movement in one of the dials may indicate a water leak. This could cost you over time.
- Familiarize yourself with the location of stop valves by each toilet and faucet. If a major problem develops you can turn the water off there instead of at the main to prevent serious water damage to your home.
- Open and close all valves at least once a year. This will ensure that they will work when you need them to. Otherwise they may seize up over time.
- Extend the life of your water heater by draining a gallon or two of water once or twice a year from the drain valve at the bottom of the heater. This will allow sediment to clear.
- Use drain-cleaners as a last resort on a stopped drain. If they don’t work you will have to deal with a sink full of caustic liquid. Always use a plunger first, and if you have to call a plumber after using drain cleaner, be sure to let him/her know what cleaner you used.
- Close laundry valves when not in use, in case a hose breaks.
- Be sure replacement parts will be readily available when buying fixtures.