Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Plumbing is one of the most important essentials of any modern home. The on-demand supply of cold and hot water, disposal of waste and the convenience of appliances are often taken for granted. Failing to properly maintain your plumbing system can result in leaks, blockages, and disruption to the supply. However, with some basic maintenance, you can minimize the risk of plumbing problems and create the opportunity to deal with minor issues before they develop into a major problem.

Watch for indications of trouble:

Being aware of potential problems with your plumbing can be the first step to correcting any issues. Indications of potential trouble include damp spots, leaking faucets, dripping and sounds of running water. By being alert for these small issues, you can ensure they have prompt attention to correct the matter before it develops further.

Locate your shut off valve:

In the event of a plumbing problem, it is important that you know exactly where your shut off valve is located. In cases where water is flooding into your home from a burst pipe, seconds can save additional damage to your home. If the shut-off valve is located in a hard to reach the area of the home or needs tools to operate it, keep the area clear and put any necessary tools nearby.

Know the appliance shut off points:

You should also familiarize yourself with how you can shut off the water supply to toilets, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines. Don’t forget other appliances connected to a water supply such as an ice maker. Should a problem develop, knowing exactly where the shut off is located can save valuable time and a great deal of clean up.

Know the location of your sewer valve:

The final valve to be aware of is the sewer valve. This is the main valve for wastewater. Access to this valve is often needed when your sewer line is clogged, knowing the location of this valve can save a great deal of labor time when you do need to call in a plumbing professional, who does not need to spend time locating it.

Prepare your pipes for colder weather:

Sudden spells of cold weather are a common cause of burst pipes. The water contained in the pipe expands and causes a crack in the pipe. The best preventative measure for this is to insulate any exposed pipes within your home. Check unheated areas of the home such as crawl spaces and garages for any unprotected pipes. There are some very easy to install forms of insulation which can simply be stuck over the pipe without the need for expertise or specialist tools.

Deal with frozen pipes properly:

If a pipe does become frozen, you can minimize the potential damage by dealing with it properly. Initially, you will need to shut off the main water supply and open the faucet to drain any remaining water in the pipe. If the blockage has occurred in a hot water pipe, you should also turn off your hot water heater. Gently, warm up the frozen pipe using a hair dryer rather than an open flame. Start heating from the direction of the nearest faucet and pay attention to the faucet to see when water begins trickling out. Once the pipe has been defrosted, the flow of water will be restored. You can then check the pipe for any indications of damage such as cracks or leaks.

With some basic skills and a few tools, most homeowners can deal with small plumbing issues. However, it is important to work only within the confidence of your skills. If you are in any doubt, you should contact a plumbing professional.  If you do require assistance with a plumbing issue or problem, contact Scott English Plumbing. We have a team of experienced technicians offering expertise in all aspects of plumbing and we would be delighted to assist you.