September 25, 2019

Plumbing Maintenance Tips: 6 Ways to Avoid Costly Plumbing Repairs

If you’re a new homeowner or you have owned your home for quite some time, dealing with plumbing issues can be costly. These are a few tricks of the trade that can save you hassle and headache when it comes to plumbing repairs and plumbing maintenance. 

Call in the Experts BEFORE There’s an Issue

Many times when plumbers arrive, the damage has been done. By the time you realize that a pipe has burst, flooding has already happened. When your sump pump fails, it’s already too late. If your hot water is on the fritz,  your whole household could be in an uproar. 

Instead of being on the defensive line about your plumbing repairs, you need to be on the offensive line. An emergency call is much more expensive than a routine check-up. You can save yourself time, money,  and avoid damages by having your plumber come out to your house regularly to do a maintenance check. 

Keep a Checklist

As a homeowner, it’s important to keep track of what repairs need to be done in your home.  Here is a checklist of places to check once a month in order to stay on top of your plumbing issues and to ensure you call the plumber at the right time. 

  • Toilets
  • Sinks (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room)
  • Showers and tubs
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine drains & hoses
  • Dryer vents
  • Refrigerator
  • Sewer lines
  • Sump pumps
  • Shut-off valves
  • Water meter & water main
  • Outside hoses and sprinklers

If you notice any leaks or if any of these aren’t functioning properly, it’s time to call the plumber. 

Know Your Pipes

Close-up Of Male Plumber Fixing White Sink Pipe With Adjustable Wrench

If your house is older (built before the 1960s), know what type of material your pipes are made of. If your home still has galvanized pipes,  you will need to invest in replacing them. Over the years, they easily corrode and could burst, causing extensive and expensive damage to your home. If you notice a brownish tint to your water,  call a plumber right away. This is a sign that your pipes are at risk of leaking or worse – bursting. The only way to know what types of pipes you have for sure is to call a plumber. He can quickly assess your pipes, potentially troubleshoot any minor issues you may have, and create a long term plan for extensive plumbing repairs. 

Prepare for the Winter

“Winter is coming” is not just a concern for fantasy TV characters  but is something a homeowner who lives in the northern states needs to prepare for. Before the cold arrives is a great time to schedule a routine check with your plumber. He/she will be able to check the pipes in your basement,  garage, and outside that need to be turned off or insulated during the winter. Having your plumber back as the weather warms to check how the pipes fared during the winter months will give you time to prepare again for the upcoming,  inevitable change in weather. 

Know Where Your Shut-Off Value Is

In the event of an emergency,  know exactly where the water main shut off value is in your home. If it is located in the basement,  be sure an emergency flashlight is handy if it’s located in a dark corner and also make sure there is always a clear path to the shut off valve. If you’re not sure where yours is located,  your plumber can show you during your regular scheduled maintenance check. If a leak or a flood does occur, you never want to waste precious time hunting for your shut-off valve. 

Beware of Clogs

Pouring drain cleaner down your pipes might seem like a great idea and an easy fix but you might be heading toward a greater problem by doing so. Depending on your pipes such as galvanized pipes or copper pipes,  repeated use of drain cleaner can wear down the inner walls of the pipes, making them vulnerable to leaks or worse, pipes bursting. While a pipe bursting can cause immediate damage, over time, a leaky pipe can do the same because mold and mildew can form within your walls. Calling your plumber to snake out the clog is a much safer alternative. Your plumber will be able to also address any other issues you may have that are unnoticeable to the untrained eye.

Schedule a Routine Maintenance Check 

Staying on top of your plumbing repairs will save you money in the long run. Many local businesses,  such as Just In Case’s Just For U membership, offers its members routinely scheduled checks that can be customized. This type of membership not only gives you piece of mind,  but also gives you access membership discounts on repairs and diagnostics fees. Check out more detailed information about this here.

By following these simple tips, you can be prepared for any plumbing issues that may come your way. Plumbing repairs can be costly but if you schedule regular plumbing maintenance, you can be prepared and potentially avoid extensive water damage to your home.