8 Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Tips You Should Know

Conroy Baltimore
Written by Conroy Baltimore
Updated March 2, 2022
A woman checking faucet
Photo: SeventyFour / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Use these tips to help you avoid leaks in your wallet 

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Drip. Drip. Drip. Oh no. That’s a sound that no one likes hearing. There’s a leak somewhere in your house, and you’ve already started shaking your head thinking about the amount of money you may have to pay.

Luckily, maintaining your plumbing system is not as difficult as you might think. By performing preventative care, you can potentially avoid common issues like broken or rusted pipes, leaks, and clogs. Learn how you care for your plumbing system using our handy plumbing maintenance tips.

First Things First: Plumbing Terms to Know

Before you begin any maintenance, there are some plumbing terms to know that will make your job a little bit easier, including:

  • Shut-off valve

  • Auger

  • Flapper

  • Water pressure

  • Drain pipe

These are integral parts of your system that help keep its functionality in place, and knowing them can help you diagnose your issue. You may have to research more depending on your problem, but at least you have some background knowledge to help you start.

1. Create a Preventative Maintenance Schedule

It’s no secret we all have busy lives, so it can be challenging to make sure there’s ample time for our household tasks. However, when it comes to plumbing issues, leaving any problems for too long could create lasting damage in your home.

On average, the cost of plumbing repairs is around $325 but can increase as high as $3,000 if the issue is more severe. To avoid these not-so-wallet-friendly prices, create a plumbing maintenance schedule.

Walk around your house and note things that may need a tweak or fix. Add them to your favorite calendar app so that you can organize your time correctly. Your plumbing maintenance scheduling will keep your system working the way it should be and keep your money in your pockets.

2. Fix Leaking Faucets and Showerheads

Did you know that faucet water leaks can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week? These leaks can happen as a result of:

  • A corroded valve seat

  • Problems with the O ring

  • A worn-out washer

Not only do leaks waste a lot of water, but they can also increase your water bill. To prevent any issues from arising, inspect your faucets and showerheads regularly for signs of leakage.

Ensure that your handles aren’t leaking when you turn your water off. They tend to be a sneaky culprit for water leaks. You should also check under your sinks while the water runs to establish if one of your pipes is leaking. If you see water stains, you’ll need to address the issue right away.

3. Check Appliances for Water Leaks

A kitchen and living room
Photo: Nazar Abbas Photography / Moment / Getty Images

Most of the appliances in your home, such as the washing machine, refrigerators, and water heater, connect to your main water line. Each of their processes can use heavy amounts of water, causing leaks at any point.

You’ll know if you have a leak if there are water stains or standing puddles in areas around the appliances. Manufacturers always supply maintenance guidelines to help you care for the product. Following them will help you stay on top of any issues and schedule the necessary repairs.

4. Keep Your Drains Clear

If you’ve noticed water going down your drains slowly, you may have a slight clogging problem. Your first choice might be to buy a chemical drain cleaner since it’s a heavy-duty response and can clear the blockage right away.

Sometimes this isn’t the best move because these products contain acids that can eat away at your pipes or damage your toilet. Instead, you can use a mixture of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. The contents will bubble up and clear out your drains, allowing your water flow to return to normal.

Try to use this method at least once a month or any time you see water leaving your drains slowly. But if you’ve tried these methods and the problem remains, you should contact local professional plumbers in your area.

5. Watch What You Flush Down the Toilet

Be careful of what you flush down the toilet. Items such as hair, food waste, grease, and wipes can form solid masses and clog your drains. 

Toilet paper and waste are the only objects that should get flushed down the toilet. It’s the easiest way to make sure that you avoid a costly (and unsightly) repair.

6. Inspect Your Sewer Drains

Your home is either connected to a septic tank or a sewer line, depending on where you live. Septic tanks treat your wastewater on-site—usually in a space near or underneath your property. On the other hand, sewer main lines connect to your city’s water system. All of your wastewater gets sent underground to a nearby treatment facility. 

Regardless of your home’s sewage system, your drains should get inspected by a professional. Due to the constant flow of water, pipes can clog with debris from time to time, causing problems with your sewer drains at home. 

Try to schedule main sewer line maintenance at least once a year to prevent this issue from happening. A professional plumber will come in and clear out any slight blockages before they can become substantial problems.

7. Check Your Water Pressure

Have you had moments where you’ve been looking forward to showering, and the pressure was trickling out slowly? You’re not alone. We might not think about it too often, but water pressure regulation is healthy for our homes.

When you have lower water pressure, it will take longer to do the dishes or have a quick shower. It can cause leaks or burst your pipes if it’s too high since they aren’t used to the heavy water pressure. That’s why balance is key.

You can test your water pressure levels using a pressure gauge. It will let you know if the pressure is too high or low. Another preventative measure you can take is installing a pressure regulator. Pressure regulators maintain your water level, so it doesn’t go above the required level. With these two tools, you’ll help keep your water bills at a reasonable price.

8. Don’t Hesitate to Ask a Professional

A little bit of plumbing maintenance goes a long way. As long as you keep a consistent schedule and follow preventative measures, things should be fine. 

On the off chance you experience an issue you’re not sure how to handle, search for plumbers near you. Their expertise will prevent the problem from worsening and leave you as a happy homeowner.

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