This 2019, don’t let major plumbing problems and budget-breaking bills get in the way of living your best life.
While you may not be able to fix plumbing systems or do carpentry, most anyone can do preventative maintenance.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions for your plumbing system to save you from all sorts of problems:
1. Know Where Individual and Main Water Shut-Off Valves Are Located
Everyone in the household should know where the main water shut-off valve is located and how to use it. It is also useful to know where the various individual water shut-offs are located, such as the sinks, toilets, washer, and water heater.
Just a little bit of knowledge can help stop a flood before you are knee-deep in water.
2. Noisy and Leaky Faucets
- Don’t turn the faucets off too tight. This can further compress the gasket and cause a leak.
- If a dripping faucet is keeping you up at night, you can temporarily silence it by tying a piece of string around the faucet so the water goes down the string without making any noise.
- Periodically clean your faucet aerators. Simply unscrew the aerator, clean and rinse it. If there are still minerals and other buildup, soak the aerator screen in vinegar for a while.
- High water pressure is often the cause of leaking (and screeching) faucets. To measure and adjust your water pressure, however, you will need to contact a plumber.
3. Clogged Drain
- Do NOT use store-bought drain cleaners. They can damage your plumbing system and finishes. Speak with a professional plumber about the best drain cleaning products.
- Try a plunger (cup-shaped, not flanged) to clear drain clogs. Fill up the sink with water first so the rubber part of the plunger is fully submerged. This helps create a seal and keeps water from splashing everywhere. You can get better suction pressure by plugging the overflow opening in your tub or sink.
- Avoid putting grease, oil, or fat (FOG) down the drain.
- Be careful when trying to clear a drain clog with boiling water and baking soda. Do not use boiling water if you have porcelain sinks/tubs/bowls or PVC piping.
- To help prevent drain clogs, try this once a month: pour one cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of vinegar. As the mixture is foaming, flush very hot (not boiling) water down the drain.
Learn more about the common causes of drain clogs and how to prevent them.
4. Water Heaters
- Flush your water heater of sediment at least once a year. This improves efficiency and extends the lifespan of your water heater.
- Tankless units also need to be flushed once a year, but it tends to be more complicated. Consult the manufacturer’s warranty (follow directions exactly) or contact a professional plumber.
- Inspect the water heater’s anode rod at least once every three years. To protect your steel-lined water heater tank, minerals in the water go for the more reactive metal in the anode rod. If you don’t replace your anode rod every 5 years or so, the metal in the tank itself will begin to corrode.
Find out if it’s time to replace your water heater.
5. Frozen Pipes
When the temperature drops below freezing, your pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting. Follow these tips to prevent frozen pipes in your home:
- Keep the thermostat running, even when you leave on vacation. Never set the thermostat any lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add insulation to basement, attic, and crawl spaces.
- If a freeze is predicted, open up bathroom and kitchen cabinets with pipes inside and let water trickle from the faucet.
- In a pinch, you can use a hair dryer to thaw frozen pipes. Contact your local plumber for their advice.
You may also want consider adding pipe insulation to all of your hot and cold water pipes.
6. Clogged Toilet
- Nearly all toilet clogs can be avoided by remembering one simple rule: Only flush human waste and toilet paper. It’s that simple.
- If you have a particularly sensitive toilet or septic system, use less toilet paper.
- Never flush wet wipes. They are not “flushable” no matter what the packaging says. Keep an empty wastebasket in the bathroom at all times to dissuade people from using the toilet as a trashcan.
Homeowners can take care of most of these preventative plumbing maintenance, but of course, you can always reach out to professional plumbers.
The experts at Bardi are ready to step in when you need a professional plumber. Call Bardi at (770) 263-9300 or schedule service online!