17 Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Plumbing Maintenance

One of the most crucial and essential components of your home is its plumbing system. A well planned and maintained plumbing system keeps your life moving with a flow. Any system or mechanism works smoothly and efficiently if you maintain it. Unfortunately, many of us take it for granted, not paying much attention to this vital system. So, just as you pay attention to the maintenance of various other systems and appliances at home, you should pay the same attention and care to the plumbing system.

So, are you wondering how? Relax, it is simple. You just need to understand the problems and perform preventive maintenance of the system. First, try to comprehend every component/ appliance of your house that uses water in large quantity, i.e. kitchen and laundry, sinks, room cleaning, car washer, etc. To prevent plumbing problems from getting out of hands, they need to be maintained properly.

Mentioned below are the best plumbing maintenance tips to keep your plumbing system in proper order. Follow them strictly and avoid pain.

Plumbing Maintenance Tips

01. Use Non-Toxic Drain Cleaners

Non-Toxic Drain Cleaners

Many homeowners have a habit of using chemical drain cleaners for tough bathroom and kitchen clogs, which eventually results in more harm than positive outcomes. The chemicals present in it cause damage to the pipes. It is always advisable to use drain cleaners like baking soda and vinegar solution which are non-toxic. This will help you in cleaning most of the clogs present in your drain without any adverse effects. Apart from that, baking soda is also used in various other house cleaning purposes. There is an article written by us on the same, please refer 12 Uses of Baking Soda in Daily Life & Household Cleaning!

02. Immediately Fix Clogs and Leaks

Fix Clogs and Leaks

Amongst the most common household plumbing problems are the clogs and leaks. These both problems develop slowly, and it can be hard for you to detect them. Leaks and clogs can make a simple repair an expensive one if not mended on time. They can also cause water damages as well as loudening of unhealthy mildew and molds. Hence, no sooner you notice them; try to fix them before they are out of hand. Now the question is, how will you detect a leaky or clogged pipe? Now that’s Simple! The following signs will lead you to notice them;

  • Reduced water pressure
  • Visible leaks
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Indecipherable use of water
  • Noise in pipes

03. Keep Drains Free of Objects

Sink Stopper

The plumbing system and drains running through your home are designed to process liquids. Avoid the habit of using drains to dispose of other solids and semi-solid household items before they pop up with troubles for you. It is advisable to be vigilant about what should and should not go down your drains. Objects like hair, food, leftovers, cloth pieces or any such things should never find their way to the drains since they can cause clogs. To avoid that, you need to install drain screens and sink stoppers that fit properly.

04. Have the Right Plumbing Tools

Plumbing Tools

Unless you live away from your home, you must have dealt with different types of plumbing issues like leaky faucets, clogged sinks, leaky pipes, and blocked up toilets. Such issues do emerge at times. There is just no way you can avoid it. However, calling a plumber for every repair would be time- consuming and expensive. In most cases, issues are not much complicated and difficult and, you can fix some of the non-technical plumbing issues by yourself. But this will be possible if you have got the right plumbing tools in your hand.

Which are these right tools you should keep handy?

Here is the list of tools for you – hacksaw, tongue-and-groove pliers, propane, metal file, basin wrench, hand drill, tubing cutter, and an adjustable wrench.

To know more about different types of plumbing tools, read

Most Useful Plumbing Tools for Plumbing Project and Repair

05. Schedule Regular Check-Ups of the Plumbing System of Your Home

It is vital to schedule regular maintenance of the plumbing system. How often should you conduct the plumbing maintenance inspection? The best answer is ANNUALLY. Any significant system in your home, which has a daily usage must have a professional check-up yearly. Having a thorough inspection of your plumbing system will ensure that it is both efficient and safe. It will also help you evade future repairs and ensure that the various components of the system are working efficiently without any problem and are in peak condition.

Must Read: Things to Check on During Plumbing Inspection

06. Check Water Pressure

Check Water Pressure

The water pressure available in your home should always be between 15-40 psi, i.e. 1.0 kg/cm2 to 2.8 kg/cm2. Anything above that puts needless stress on your whole plumbing system. Regardless of the readings of the water pressure, consider installing shower aerators and faucet to decrease water flow with no compromising pressure. The good thing about them is they are easy to install, inexpensive, and they also contribute to the saving of water in your household.

07. Change Leaking or Loose Faucets

Leaking or Loose Faucets

Leaky or loose faucets can cause a lot of wastage of water which will ultimately increase your water bill. The problem will worsen over a period of time, if you do not repair it as early as possible. Thus, to obviate these problems, check your facets regularly and repair them no sooner you find any fault in them. Check the handles of faucets to ensure that there is no water leakage when the handles are turned off. Check below the sink for drips or water stains when the water is flowing. If the problem is too severe, you need to replace the faucets with a new one.

08. Learn What Can Be Put Down for the Disposal

You need to understand that everything cannot enter into your garbage disposal. There are only specific things that you can discard through it. Mentioned below are just a few amongst the list of things that are acceptable and safe to discard into your garbage disposal:

  • Citrus Rinds: They are not only safe to put down the disposal, but being acidic in nature, they help clean it naturally. They also act as fresheners thereby avoiding the spread of foul smell.
Citrus Rinds for Garbage Disposal
  • Fruit Scraps: Fruit Scraps are also safe as citrus rinds. There is no problem in discarding fruit scraps in the garbage disposal. Like citrus rinds, they also act as fresheners.
  • Scraps of Cooked Meat: Scraps of meat leftovers are fine in the garbage disposal as long as the chunks are not too large and they do not stink very badly.
Vegetable Scraps in Garbage Disposal
  • Almost All Vegetable Scraps: Most vegetables are safe to put into the garbage disposal, except potatoes which may clog your drains.

09. Check All Exposed Pipes and Appliances for Water Leaks

Geyser Maintenance
Water Leakage from Pipe
Repair Worn Hoses of Washing Machine

The source of water leaks can be from your disposal, refrigerator, geyser, washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, etc. Check for any noticeable signs of leakage like stains of water on the ceilings and walls, or water puddles, any crack, water leakages, or worn hoses for sign of wear. You should also be watchful of mildew and, if possible, install a drip tray beneath the washing machine and water heater. It will assist you in limiting damage in case any leak occurs. Also, understand and follow the maintenance tips mentioned in the manuals of various appliances for maintaining your appliances.

Also Read: Is Your Water Heater Leaking? Here is list of Things You Should Do!

10. Clean all Plumbing Traps/ Screens/ Jalis

Cleaning of Trap

Most of the times, traps accumulate unpleasant materials such as hair, soap scum, and other debris that can slow down the drain’s function of your home and will ultimately lead to clogging sooner or later. To ensure that the traps are working in good condition, pour running water in these traps. The smooth disposal of water will ensure the same. If the water is not disposed of smoothly, there is an acute chance of accumulation of unwanted materials below it. To clear the clogging, you can use a liquid drain cleaner which is safe to use. Also, keep the screens over the traps clean.

Also Read: What is a Plumbing Trap and Its Ideal Requirements?
                  What are the Different Types of Traps in Plumbing?

11. Maintenance and Working of Machinery Associated with Plumbing

Water Pump

Ensure all the pumps such as overhead as well as underground are in good working condition. Also, ascertain that they do not show any problem like excessive noise frequently, overheating or clogging of pump frequently, worn bearing, etc. Carry out routine maintenance to keep the engine or motor of the pump in order. This will also ensure whether the engine is getting the power or no to operate efficiently and simultaneously check whether it needs any tuning or servicing. A maintenance check should be conducted at least once in every six months, or more often depending upon the usage of pump. If the location of the pump is underground, make sure there is adequate ventilation and follow confined space entry procedures.

Also Read: Backup Sump Pump: Water Powered vs Battery Powered | Which is Best?

12. Check Sensor if You Have Automatic Pumping System

The sensor performs the operation of actual water levels and activates pump or motor. It manages the water level in both the tanks. It also requires proper and regular maintenance.

13. Cleaning Water Tanks

Cleaning of Under Ground Water Storage Tank
Overhead Water Tank Cleaning

If you do not clean the water storage tank, it will make your water unhealthy. If the water appears rusty in colour, it indicates that there is an excess of iron content in the water. Also, bacteria and mold appear in the tank. So, to avoid this problem, clean your water storage at least once in a year. This will prevent any foul smell from the tank and provide you with good quality water throughout. While you clean your water tank, you need to follow proper procedure.

Also Read: Water Storage Tanks (for a Residential Water Storage)

14. Clean the Inspection Chambers and Manholes

Cleaning of Manhole

It is important to keep the inspection chambers and manholes clean so as to avoid blockages and ensure clear access to the drainage line all times. Routine maintenance of chambers keeps the toxic gases and foul smell away. Inspection chambers should be cleaned only by professionals who are trained and who have the right equipment for this task.

15. Freezeout Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes

Make sure that you are taking all safety measures to prevent freezing of pipes. This includes insulation of the pipes of the basement, utility rooms, garage, and all cold areas of your house that get little or no heat from HVAC. During severe low temperature, make sure you open cabinets beneath sinks to expose them to heat. In case you are going on vacation, turn down your thermostat temperature but do not entirely shut it off.

16. Use Enzyme-Based Pipe Cleaners

Enzyme-Based Pipe Cleaners

Instead of using harsh chemical solutions to unclog your pipes, try using enzyme-based cleaners to clean your pipes. With the presence of natural bacteria, the sludge clogging in the pipes will get turned into liquid, thus making it trouble-free for you to get the pipes debris-free and clean.

17. Be Sensitive to Foul Smell

The foul smell is a signal or an indication that there is a gas leakage or some traps are not working or something is wrong. If you smell foul, immediately find the source and fix it.

Conclusion

We hope this article proves of great help to you. The preventive plumbing maintenance tips in this article will help you minimize major plumbing issues at your home. Although some plumbing maintenance can be do-it-yourself (DIY), others might require professionals to fix them. In such a case, do not hesitate to call for professional help if you need to keep your plumbing system in good healthy condition.

If you want to read more about the plumbing system, here are some articles related to it. Please refer the following links:

Residential Plumbing System: All You Need to Know!
Plumbing Safety Tips and Precautions
Tips for Choosing or Hiring the Right Plumbing Contractor

Image Courtesy: Image 2Image 8Image 9, Image 10, Image 12, Image 13, Image 15, Image 16, Image 19

Author Bio

Fidelis Muti possess a bachelor’s in English and Journalism and have over four years of professional experienced writing and proofreading materials for print and online platforms, including newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and social media accounts. He also have over three years of experience as a marketing assistant and social media manager.

He is versatile and diligent and will produce exemplary content within time to meet your deadline.

He can deliver most work within 2-3 days; rush orders are accepted whenever possible. He is based in the Kenya but travel often and work for clients all over the world.

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