A new year means new resolutions for many, and while most resolutions revolve around hitting the gym or kicking a bad habit – here’s one that all homeowners should resolve to do for the good of their home and wallet: Plumbing Maintenance.
As much as plumbing seems like a service that you only need when there’s a plumbing problem or emergency, there are certain checks that you can perform throughout the year to prevent unexpected plumbing issues that could cause costly damages to your home.
To help you stick to your guns and keep your plumbing system in order throughout the year, we’ve put together a handy 2015 plumbing maintenance checklist to help you keep on top of problems before they happen, saving you both time and money.
These checks are recommended at least annually, however, we suggest running through the checklist twice a year to make sure your plumbing continues to run smoothly all year round.
- Look for visual signs of leaks in exposed pipes located under sinks and faucets. If you see puddles of water and watermarks on the walls or on the floor, this could be a sign that you have a leak that needs to be fixed.
- Look for signs of corrosion on pipes by checking for green stains around pipe fittings and on shutoff valves or yellow/orange stains on old steel pipes. Funny tasting water is also indicative of worn or corroded pipes. If you identify any of these signs, it could mean that it’s time for your pipes to be replaced.
- Test your water pressure. Low pressure could be a sign of sediment build up in the faucet or shower head or could indicate a problem with the water line. Check water pressure by turning on two or more fixtures at the same time to see if the water pressure changes dramatically.
- Remove your shower heads to check for excess sediment that may be a cause of low water pressure. However, this could also indicate that you need a new water softener installed.
- Check how long each sink, the shower and bath takes to drain. If drainage is slow, this could be an indicator that the drain is clogged or a vent pipe is blocked. The appearance of bubbles while draining could also be a sign of drain problems and if you hear gurgling sounds, there may be a problem with the vent.
- Do a flush test. Flush each toilet to make sure it is in good working order and check the parts inside the tank for signs of damage, rust or missing components. While you’re there, make sure the toilet isn’t running and check the floor around the toilet for signs of water leaks.
- Look for cracked tiles in the shower, around sinks or near water pipes as this could mean that there is a leak that is causing damage underneath or behind the tile.
- Check to see if the caulking on the bath, sink or toilet is coming off. This could be another sign of water damage.
- Check for any mildew caused by standing water that may have dried up.
- Push and pull gently on your toilet to check for movement that may require readjustment or resealing.
- Drain your water heater to remove sediment that may have built up in it over time.
- Turn on all of the faucets to see if any water comes out of the handles or valves.
- Check the hoses on your washing machine to see if they are cracked, brittle or leaking.