What Should I do for Plumbing Maintenance?

January 2nd, 2020 | Carter Lovinggood

Plumbing is all over our homes. Did you know the cost of plumbing alone makes up roughly a third of what you paid for your home? Crazy, right? It’s best to perform regular upkeep on this vast system. Luckily, a little bit of work goes a long way. Stick around, and we’ll go through room-by-room the best maintenance solutions.

Utility Room

There’s a lot in that little room, but the work is pretty simple. First off, start by flushing the water heater. This can be achieved with just a garden hose and a screwdriver. Shut the water off to the water heater, and open the drain valve. Let the water out for roughly ten seconds (You can drain the whole thing too if you want.) and close the drain valve.  Doing this will also prime the trap for the floor drain, making any potential bad smells go away. It will also ensure the floor drain is draining properly. Be careful. If you have an older water heater, and no water softener, calcium build-up can damage the drain valve and cause you to not be able to close the valve entirely. This may lead to the necessary replacement of the drain valve. Water heater leaking? Be sure to read here to figure out what exactly went wrong.

Secondly, test the Thermal Expansion Tank to make sure it is still working. The Expansion Tank is just a small, two-gallon tank sitting on the cold water side. It stops back pressure on the cold water lines from the water heating. There is a small Schrader valve, similar to that on a bicycle tire. Press down on the center of it. If air comes out, you’re alright. If water comes out, it needs to be replaced.

Secondly, if you have a water softener, ensure the salt level is correct, and add cleaner to the brine tank. You can pick up brine tank cleaner at any hardware store.  Also, test the water hardness level to ensure the softener is running correctly. You can purchase simple test strips at the hardware store as well. These strips are not always accurate, but if you would like, we can have an Expert perform a full water treatment test. For more information of water softening, be sure to have a look here for more information.

Thirdly, check to see if your water pressure is correct. On a hose bibb or on the drain valve for the water heater, you can put a water pressure test gauge, and it will determine your water pressure. If your pressure is above 25 psi, your water pressure regulator has failed and needs to be replaced.

 

Bathrooms

Bathroom maintenance is also important. Start off by testing the lavatory drains, and see if they are draining correctly. DO NOT USE STORE-BOUGHT DRAIN CLEANERS, LIKE DRAINO. This can actually make the issue worse. If they need to be cleaned, It doesn’t hurt to call an Expert. Make sure that faucet isn’t dripping, either!

Next, if there is a floor drain in the room, prime it by dumping two cups of water down the drain. This will fill the trap full of water, and stop any bad smells coming out from the sewer line.

Also, be sure to make sure that the handle for your shower isn’t super hard to turn. Hard water build-up can be the culprit, and it could be damaging the internals of your shower valve. This could mean changing out the cartridge for the shower.

Lastly, check the toilet for any leaks or running water. If you see the look of consistent running water in the bowl of the toilet, you are losing water due to faulty parts in the back of the toilet. If there is water around the base of the toilet when you flush, the wax ring on the base of the toilet is bad, or worse, the flange has been damaged. Toilets are prone to causing high water bills, and it is a good idea to have this checked out regularly.

 

Kitchen

The kitchen, the hub of good grub in the home, and is a place known for plumbing. Check the garbage disposal and make sure it isn’t making any hard grinding noises. It’s common for pieces of hard material to go into the disposal. This could cause a jam, leading to repairs or replacement. Be sure to not put any stringy vegetables, or peels of any kind down the disposal either. If you want to make the disposal smell better, don’t put lemon slices down it. This is a common misconception that actually damages your equipment. At the hardware store, you can actually buy scented, biodegradable beads that go down the disposal, leaving it smelling fresh.

Check the kitchen drain and make sure it is flowing correctly. If not, consider getting it cleaned by a pro.

Is that faucet dripping? If it is, it could cost you a lot of money in the long run due to unnecessary water bills.

Always double check underneath the sink to see if any drains, or water lines are leaking. It is often the case that drips occur, but due to the number of products and other items that are put under the sink, the water damage is concealed until the cabinets have already been greatly damaged. If you see that this is occurring, locate what exactly is leaking. Common culprits are the p-trap, garbage disposal, and faucet.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to check the plumbing in your home twice a year, just to make sure everything is working as intended. If you would like, we can check all of this for you. Feel free to give us a call at 801-224-8118, or you can book online here.