PLUMBING MAINTENANCE TIPS
An ounce of prevention will go a long way toward keeping your home’s plumbing in top working order – and you will avoid costly repairs!
Faucets and Sinks
- Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, as much as 150 gallons a day! Be sure to check under sinks for moisture or small leaks. And always repair leaky faucets right away to avoid paying for wasted water, and also to avoid water damage to your fixtures and pipes.
- Don't wash coffee grounds down the sink. Throw them out.
- Be sparing with chemical cleaners, particularly if you have brass, steel, or cast-iron traps and drainpipes; some caustic chemicals can corrode metal pipes.
- If used no more than once every few months, cleaners containing sodium hydroxide or sodium nitrate can be safe and effective. Remove and clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even flow of water.
- Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanity are clear and open to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings.
- Clean pop-up stoppers in the bathroom sink and the tub regularly. Lift out sink pop-ups once a week and rinse them off.
- Before doing any maintenance on your water heater yourself, be sure to shut off the power, and read your owner's manual.
- At least once every three months, drain water from the tank. Over time sediment builds at the bottom of the heater, which can hamper performance, and draining a gallon or so helps remove the sediment.
- You should also periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow, or if it’s sooty under there, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. Contact a professional to check it out.
- At least once every two years, have your water heater inspected by a service technician. He or she will also check the drain valve for signs of leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion.