Plumbing problems happen. It’s a fact of living in any home. Easy access to fresh water is so commonplace nowadays that it’s really easy to just take it for granted. Your home’s plumbing is an intricate system. It brings in freshwater, heats it up for washing and distributes it around the house. But when something goes wrong, it can completely stop a household from operating properly. Fortunately, it’s relatively straightforward to take care of your plumbing and avoid a lot of common issues like leaks, broken pipes, and clogs. We’ve put together a checklist of helpful plumbing maintenance tips to keep things working well in your home and help you avoid the headaches and inconvenience of unexpected problems
1. Toilet Paper Only
A toilet bowl is not a garbage bin. The only thing you should ever flush down a toilet is your own waste and toilet paper. Things like sanitary products, cotton buds, hair, wet wipes can build up and cause a nasty clog. Instead, put a bin in your bathroom and use that.
2. Stop A Toilter From Overflowing
There’s nothing worse than flushing the toilet after you’ve just used it, only to see it continue to rise rather than drain. If you think it’ll overflow, some quick thinking will stop it dead in its tracks and buy you time to address the problem. Simply open the tank and push the flush valve down. That’s it! As soon as you do, you’ll see the water stops flowing from the tank to the bowl.
3. Clear a Blocked Toilet Without A Plunger
You don’t need a plunger to unblock a toilet. So, if you don’t have a plunger, try this simple solution… Often, you can clear the blockage simply by adding hot water and soap to the bowl. The hot water will help break down the clog and the soap will help it get moving again. Boil the water and add as much as you can to the bowl. At least 3 jugs full. Add plenty of liquid soap. Don’t be frugal with this. You can’t add too much of this. Leave it for an hour. You might need to give it a bit of a push-along with a coat hanger or similar.
4. Check for Tank Leaks
It’s almost impossible to detect if your toilet’s water tank is slowly leaking into the bowl. To test this, put a few drops of red food colouring into the tank and don’t flush it for an hour or two. If you have a leak, the toilet bowl water will turn red. If that’s the case, try replacing the tank float/ball to keep water from seeping out. You’ll also find fixing it will lower your water bill a bit.
5. Clean Shower Heads With Vinegar
Build-up mineral deposits will clog your shower head over time. The result is water just trickling out of the shower or worse, a complete blockage. If this happens, just unscrew the shower head and soak it in vinegar overnight. Get a toothpick and poke into each hole the next day. If you notice the shower water’s still trickling out then it’s time to get a new shower head.
6. Flush Your Water Heater
Another place where minerals can adversely affect your plumbing is your water heater. It can gather at the bottom of the tank and eventually rust through, destroying it in the process. To avoid a costly replacement, just flush it twice a year. The best times to do this are at the beginning of Winter and Summer. Doing so will help the tank last a lot longer. If it starts making banging noises then it’s likely too late and the damage has been done. That sound is the water bubbling up through a thick layer of sediment on the bottom of the tank. In addition to flushing your water heater regularly, you should also change the anode rod every five years.
7. Install Mesh Drain Covers
Hair, chips of soap and other debris cause clogs when they fall into your drains. Mesh drain covers in your sinks, shower and bath can save you the trouble of having to snake your drains regularly.
8. Inspect for Leaks Regularly
Leaky taps and running toilets can cost you hundreds in water bills over time. Fixing them is usually pretty straightforward and can save you a fair amount of money. Especially. If you consider the cost of replacing versus some of the simple fixes we’ve suggested here. Even if you find you can’t fix the problems yourself and need to call a Pro Plumber, staying vigilant about the small plumbing issues when they start will likely save you thousands in the long run.
Many causes of leaks, like corroded or rusted pipes, don’t happen straight away. This stuff happens over time. Inspect any exposed pipes in your home for signs of damage or decay. If you see rust, warping or water on the outside of the pipes, these signs usually indicate a significant problem. It’s highly likely you’ll need a Pro Plumber to address this.
You rely on your home’s plumbing every day, so take the time for plumbing maintenance. A little basic care can go a long way towards protecting your plumbing from clogs and preventing leaks and water damage. If you don’t have the time or just want a licensed professional to give a thorough home plumbing report, then get in contact with your local Pro Plumber. You’ll enjoy peace of mind as we take the time to go over your entire property and provide a detailed report on every plumbing element. The best part is we offer these for FREE!