What’s worse than a plumbing issue causing thousands in damage to your home? Having an utterly preventable plumbing issue cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Yet, this is common for homeowners who don’t care for their home plumbing systems properly. While plumbing companies do maintenance on your pipes, there are also necessary steps that homeowners should take.
Maintaining your home plumbing system is the only way to keep it in good condition. Unfortunately, plumbing systems can become worn out or clogged without proper maintenance, leading to leaks and costly repairs. As experts in home plumbing system maintenance, Complete Comfort Heating Air Plumbing offers tips for homeowners looking to prevent avoidable plumbing problems.
How Often Should Homeowners Inspect Their Plumbing System for Issues?
Homeowners should inspect their plumbing system at least once a year. During your inspection, check for any signs of corrosion or wear and tear on your pipes, valves, and fixtures. In addition, a professional plumber should inspect more intricate system parts, like septic tanks and sewer lines.
If you’re noticing more frequent issues in your pipes, such as slow drains, frequent clogs, odors, or the sound of running water when no taps are on, you should schedule a plumbing inspection immediately. These are common signs of a more significant issue that needs to be addressed before it causes major problems.
Why Can’t a Homeowner Do Their Own Plumbing Maintenance?
Technically, a homeowner can maintain their plumbing system; however, it’s not recommended. For one, an inexperienced person may be unable to identify the root cause of specific issues, leading to costly and potentially dangerous mistakes. Additionally, attempting to repair complicated plumbing systems is often illegal in many areas and can be hazardous.
It’s best to leave plumbing maintenance and repairs to an experienced professional; plumbing companies have staff with the training, knowledge, and tools to diagnose and fix any issue you may have with your plumbing.
5 Common Homeowner Maintenance Tips for Plumbing Systems
While there are many opinions on how to take care of your plumbing system, every homeowner can use many legitimate strategies to ensure their home plumbing system stays healthy. Maintaining your home plumbing system starts with good habits.
Test Your Sump Pump Regularly
If you have a sump pump in your home, most likely located in your basement, then you should test it every few months to ensure it’s working correctly and the float valve is not sticking. Sump pumps are beneficial during a heavy storm when water could potentially enter your basement and flood it.
There’s a lot of water around your home’s foundation, which can seep through your concrete. Your sump pump detects the level in the pit and removes it safely from your home. Easy, right? Well, think about what happens when your sump pump doesn’t work. Here’s how you can check your sump pump:
- Clear the Exterior Drain Pipe of any Debris – often, the water has nowhere to go because of a clog in the drain pipe. Clearing those obstructions fixes things.
- Check the Pump’s Power – your pump usually has two power cords, one for the pump and one for the float. Unplug both and plug in the pump; if the pump turns on, then everything is working correctly.
- Test the Pump – while that’s the gist of what you’re doing, go ahead and fill the pit with water. The float should rise, and once it reaches the appropriate level, it should kick on. If not, then check the float sensor and clear any debris.
Clean Your Drains and Pipes Regularly
Cleaning your drains and pipes is an integral part of maintaining the overall health of your plumbing system. Pour a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar down your drain every few months, which will help to keep it unblocked. The combination will help if your pipes are filthy, but use it sparingly even though it is safe.
Over time, grime and dirt can accumulate in your pipes, causing clogs or preventing water from flowing correctly. Therefore, regularly cleaning these is essential and could free them of any debris that negatively impacts the plumbing system.
Watch What Goes Down the Drain
Be mindful of what you send down your drains and sinks; drains are narrow and can get blocked or clogged with household items such as food scraps and cooking grease. In addition, oil, coffee grounds, and other foreign objects can create a sticky residue in the pipes and prevent water from flowing freely.
To prevent clogging your drains, do not pour cooking grease down them; instead, pour it into a container or jar to be thrown away when it solidifies. Additionally, use strainers over all your drains to catch hair and other debris. Finally, ensure you’re disposing of these items correctly, or you may face a severe blockage.
Shut Off Your Water the Right Way
Take immediate action when there are signs or suspicions of a water leak. For example, excessively full toilets and broken washing machine hoses can cause hundreds of gallons to flood your home quickly, so shut off the water supply line before any further damage happens.
It’s essential to understand the location of your shut-off valves and how to use them. Inspecting individual shut-off valves on toilets and sinks should be done periodically to identify potential problems, which you can fix by replacing these parts. Investing in a main water shut-off valve that provides easy access could be beneficial when addressing issues in the future.
Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t a Dump
Don’t let the name deceive you – many things should never go into the garbage disposal. For example, grease and oil are an absolute no-no for all drains, not to mention pasta, rice, and fibrous vegetables such as celery or corn husks.
Exercise caution when putting food scraps into your garbage disposal, as it can only manage a limited amount. You should also use cold running water while switching on the unit to prevent unpleasant backups.
When to Call Your Local Plumber
Caring for your home plumbing system doesn’t have to be a daunting task. These tips are great for maintaining your home’s plumbing system, but eventually, you may have an issue that needs the expertise of a professional plumber.
At Complete Comfort Heating Air Plumbing, we can help you with plumbing repairs, routine maintenance, and more. Since 2003, we’ve served the communities of Greenwood, Fishers, Carmel, and other surrounding areas with comprehensive home maintenance services. So when life happens, don’t hesitate to call us for quality service and advice on maintaining your plumbing.