Your plumbing system is one of the most important systems in your home. Water lines supply several fixtures in your home including: Toilets, Faucets, Water heater, hose bibs, washer, dishwasher and refrigerator. Without your plumbing system life would be difficult.
With that being said, maintaining your plumbing system can be done with a yearly routine check-up. Most major plumbing problems come from negligence or just not knowing what signs to look for. Here is a yearly check list to keep handy.
1. Check for dripping Faucets – Small drips coming from the faucets are not only wasting water and costing you money, but also a sign of possible bigger problem if left alone. Tightening the faucets sometimes works, but usually you will need a professional to diagnose and repair the problem.
2. Slow Drains – If your drains are starting to drain slow it’s time to clear them before the buildup gets bigger. Cleaning out the P-Trap usually takes care of the problem. Be warned in the use of liquid cleaners as they can sometimes cause more damage than good.
3. Toilets – More than 45% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom, with nearly 27% being used by toilets. Fortunately, your household can significantly curb its toilet water usage by regular maintenance. Checking for leaking flapper, running fill valves, and leaks at the base of the toilet is recommended. A flapper is the most common issue a toilet has, replacing the flapper once a year can avoid bigger problems.
4. Angle Stop Valves – Angle stop valves are usually located under every fixture in your home. If the fixture has a hot and cold outlet you will have two angle stop supplying the fixture. Angle stops are used to shut the water off to a particular fixture in case of a repair or emergency. Turning them off and on to insure proper function once a year is recommended. Also if you notice any water on or around the angle stops it’s usually better to replace them.
5. Water Heater – Your water heater is a very important appliance in your home, having your water heater in good working condition can save you money in the long run. 25% of energy use in a home is used for heating water, a large portion of your water usage is from your water heater. Draining it once a year is very important, as well as checking for leaks around and on top of the unit. Making sure the T&P valve is working is also recommended.
This is a small list of some of the most important plumbing items to check every year. By checking your plumbing system you can avoid expensive future repairs.