There are some things homeowners with the right know-how can do themselves to make their plumbing better, not having to involve a plumber time and again. Plumbers possess their own plumbing secrets, so let's take a quick look at some plumbing essentials you need to know.
Expensive water leaks can be prevented by simply protecting your pipes. Water leaks not only result in damage to property, but it can as well skyrocket your water bill. You can start by knowing how to identify pipe leaks. Sometimes it may be obscure.
Pipe leaks often occur around joints, so you'll need to check for:
- Wet areas on the ground
- Water clusters on the ceiling
- Mildew on flooring, carpets and walls
- Damp floors around the house
- Sagging floorboards
The water pressure might also change, or the water bill may suddenly increase. Also try to clear the area underneath the sink in order to be able to notice leaks and drips there as well.
Turn Outside Faucets on before a Freeze
Open your outdoor faucets so as to ensure the water keeps flowing and avoid freezing whenever you take a vacation or expect a freezing night.
Water leftover in the tubes of connected hoses can freeze and result in damage to the pipes and faucet. Ensure to disconnect hoses from external faucets during the cold weather.
Also ensure that all internal valves controlling external faucets are closed as well. Drain the water from the faucets after that is done.
Care for Your Sump Pump
If the sump pump fails, the insides of your house can flood and result in the growth of molds. Here are some ways you can ensure the functionality of the sump pump.
- Have the inlet screen cleaned on a 3-month basis.
- Inspect the pump often to confirm it is plugged in.
Every few months, carry out a test on the sump pump. Put water in the basin of the pump until the float comes up and ensure the pump starts.
If your sump pump requires a replacement, go for a quality model. Spending that little extra money to get a quality pump is totally worth it.
Teach Your Household about the Toilet
Avoiding a clog is as simple as educating everyone about the things that can and cannot be sent down the bowl of the toilet. Your list of "items not to be flushed" should be clear for all to see.
If you have curious pets or little kids, you may consider having a lid lock installed so as to prevent them flushing the wrong items down the toilet bowl.
Care for Your Water Heater
If your water heater unit is between 8-12 years old, you should get a replacement. If your current unit isn't operating optimally, then you'll end up spending money.
With water heaters, a little maintenance will go a long way also. You can begin by having it drained once a year at least to get rid of sediments that may have settled at the bottom. Other tips for your water heater are:
Maintain the temperature around 120 degrees. You can expect your energy bill to go up by five percent for every time you set it higher by 10 degrees.
When you decide to replace your water heater, consider some of the more modern designs such as a tankless-type heater unit. They are more efficient and do not require frequent repairs.
Plumbing Secrets: When You Do Require a Plumber
For some projects, you simply cannot get around hiring a qualified expert. When that time comes, consider someone that has at least five years of experience in the business. You can find qualified plumbers nearby on sites like BBB and Yelp.