If you have recently remodeled your kitchen or bathroom, you know that keeping your plumbing up to date is important. With proper maintenance and upkeep, you can ensure that the plumbing in your home will stay in tip-top shape and protect your new remodel. Follow these simple tips to avoid any future plumbing problems and keep every part of your home beautiful!

Minor repairs

Although most plumbing work is best left to a professional, there are certain tasks you can accomplish with your own handywork! A few ways to keep your plumbing in top shape are;

  • Familiarize yourself with your main water shut off valve, in case of any repairs or plumbing emergencies. It’s also necessary to know where the shut off valve locations for toilets, sinks and appliances are located, and how to work them.
  • Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing issues each home will face. You can keep your drains from clogging by buying drain screens to keep hair and other debris from accumulating in your drains.
  • If you do encounter a clog, try to avoid store bought chemical drain cleaners, although they can be good at clearing the gunk build up. The chemicals are harsh on your pipes and can end up causing damage. Use a more green, environmentally friendly solution if you need to use a liquid cleaner, but otherwise it is recommended that you use a drain snake to clear the clog.
  • Some minor repairs can be done with just a few tools and a little help from video tutorials. For example, fixing or repairing leaky faucets can be an easy process if you follow the correct steps. If you are not comfortable with doing any repairs yourself, or if the project is a little larger than a quick fix, call a plumbing professional.

Winterize your home

Cold weather can wreak havoc on any home, with leaks, and frozen or burst pipes causing issues for homeowners every winter. It’s best to prepare for the freezing weather to ensure that your home stays incident free. Some winter preparation tips include;

  • Insulate any exposed pipes before winter. Pipe insulation can be bought at most home improvement stores and comes in a variety of forms. Foam or rubber insulation can be wrapped around the pipes, or you can even purchase peel and stick insulation. Easy, inexpensive and well worth it!
  • Take care of your outdoor area. Put away exterior hoses, and apply insulating capes to all outdoor fixtures. To prevent pipes from bursting, clear standing water in outdoor sprinkler systems with compressed air.
  • During times of extreme cold, open cabinet doors underneath sinks in rooms that are on exterior walls of the home, to let more warm air to the pipes. It’s also a good idea to leave taps open a small amount to make sure there is a little bit of water flow in the pipes so they do not freeze and burst.

Do regular plumbing checks

Staying aware, and taking preventative measures towards any plumbing issues, is key to keeping your home damage free. Here are some checks you can do to make sure everything runs efficiently.

  • Keep an eye on the water pressure in your home, and make sure to check the number every few months. Low water pressure can indicate an issue, whereas high pressure can damage shorten the lifespan of plumbing fixtures.
  • It is a good idea to check your washing machine hoses every six months. Replacing rubber washing machine hoses with stainless steel, and checking them regularly will help you avoid leaks and flooding.
  • Not all leaks are noticeable, but they can still increase utility bills and/or cause water damage. Check your toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to your toilet tank and waiting about half an hour. If there is any color in the toilet bowl it is a sure sign of a leak, and you may need to have the flapper or other tank parts replaced.
  • If you see any signs of rusting or erosion, it means it is time for a replacement. Do not ignore this, as having a rusted pipe can cause a whole array of issues.

To stay aware of any possible leaks or issues, keep an eye out for low water pressure, wet spots and mold growth. These are red flags that there is a leak, or plumbing issue of some sort. Unexplained odors in certain spots of the home are also strong indicators something is wrong, and slow draining sink or tub drains could mean the pipe is clogged.

Small problems can quickly become large ones, so if you sense a plumbing issue, take care of it immediately. Plumbing problems can quickly get out of hand, so don’t hesitate to find a good local plumber and keep your home running smoothly.

by Sierra Waldrop