Many plumbing problems should be assessed by a professional plumber – especially those involving a water heater or gas line problem. But there are some things that homeowners can do to keep their plumbing system operating smoothly. A little routine maintenance and know-how can save you a ton of time and money down the road.
Put together by plumbers in Dallas, TX, here are some plumbing tips that you probably didn’t know about, but now can master.
- Remove mineral deposits from your faucets and shower heads. You can do this by unscrewing the faucet and soaking them in vinegar for 24 hours. This can help your faucet or shower head operate smoothly and prevent clogs.
- As your show head ages, the holes and pipes inside can start to age. Holes in the nozzle or leaky pipes can waste water and, therefore, money. Many professional plumbers recommend replacing your shower head at least every 10 years. This will keep your faucets running smoothly.
- Periodically assess the faucets in your home for drips, leaks, or nearby puddles. Leaky faucets are common, and can lead to expensive repair problems if the leak damages your home.
- Periodically assess the pipes in your basement (if applicable) and under your sinks. If there is buckling, rust, or standing water, you should call a professional plumber to come take a look.
- Over time, your hot water heater accumulates sediment in the bottom of the tank. This can lead to performance issues, poor water quality, and corrosion on the inside of the tank. At least twice a year, flush a few gallons of water from your tank to remove sediment and maximize efficiency.
- If your water heater is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer model. New water heaters are more efficient, more energy friendly, and less likely to have problems. Over time, a new water heater can save water and money.
- Use drain covers in all tubs, showers, or sinks. These covers are made of mesh, and they catch hair or other debris that may find its way to the drain. Without mesh covers, hair, soap, and other debris can enter the pipes and create clogs.
- Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper and waste. Toilets are not made like garbage disposals where everything can be processed down. Flushing heavier or inappropriate items can lead to clogs and a massive headache. Avoid flushing sanitary napkins, bandaids, paper towels, or gum.
- Periodically check your toilets for signs of cracks or leaks. Check the tank and bowl carefully for even hairline cracks. If you find one, you can purchase a repair kit that may temporarily solve the problem. If the crack seems to be worsening, call a plumber right away.
- If you flush the toilet and it seems like it’s going to overflow, remove the lid and press down on the flush valve. This plugs the hole at the bottom of the tank. Don’t worry – the water in the tank is clean. By plugging that hole, you allow yourself some time to assess the situation. If you can’t find the problem, call a plumber to come take a look.
By following these 10 tips, you can help keep your plumbing system in tip-top shape. Any sign of a worsening problem or something you aren’t familiar with warrants a call to a local plumber. A professional plumber has tools to help diagnose and repair most any plumbing problem.