4 Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Pride in building equity in such a large purchase like a house is extremely satisfying and being able to make visual and structural changes can really change the look, feel and operation of your home. That’s not to say it’s without it’s difficulties and is all sunshine and rainbows. Unlike having an apartment or even a condo, any issues with the appliances and bones of your abode are now up to you. That can be a great thing if you are a handy person but also can be quite the headache if you are less experienced in these areas. In this post, I would like to illustrate four plumbing tips that can help every homeowner make sure their bases are covered. However, I would like to preface this by saying plumbing can go awry very quickly and if you feel like you are in over your head do not hesitate to call a professional. There is no need to make a problem worse than it needs to be.
1. Water Main Shut Off Valve
One of the most important things you should know about your house is your water main shut off valve. This can take away some of the panic when a plumbing emergency happens and will allow you to stop the flow of water into your home. Nothing is worse than having gallons and gallons of water flooding into your home, damaging your possessions and costing you a small fortune. Water main shut off valves are often found in basements or crawlspaces. Here’s a great video explaining the process of turning it off.
2. Checking for Leaky Faucets and Toilets
One of the first things you should do whenever you purchase a new home is go around the house and check for leaky faucets and toilets. These items when not fixed can cost you a lot of money in water each year and can be audibly annoying. Leaky faucets are pretty easy to diagnose, often it’s a seal within the faucet itself and can be an easy two dollar and five-minute fix. Leaking toilets can be caused by a variety of different things but often the seal on the flapper is worn out or the chain gets caught up in itself. Here’s another great video on how to fix your leaky faucet.
3. Water Heater Maintenance
Most likely your home has an electric or gas heated tank-style water heater that contains between 20 to 80 gallons of water at a time. These tank units have existed for a long time and are pretty reliable; they often lasting between 10-12 years. Water heating is the second largest energy expense in a home, so it’s important to keep these things running as smoothly as possible. A little bit of maintenance can go a long way in extending the life of your water heater, including replacing corroded anode rods and periodically flushing your tank to get rid of excess sediments. If your water heater is north of ten years old, it may be time to replace it. This is a great resource to help decide what might be the best model for your home as well as taking advantage of whatever state and/or federal tax credits that may be available for your area.
4. Drain Health
The last tip is periodically checking all of the drains that exist in your home, including but not limited to floor drains, shower drains, sink drains etc. Making sure that these are all working properly can make sure you don’t have any unexpected backups that can cause major issues. Floor drains are particularly useful for carrying away flood water in the event of unusually heavy rains. Consider installing a flood alarm if your home has a basement and is dependent on a sump pump to push everything out.
There are my 4 Plumbing tips every homeowner should know. They won’t take care of all your plumbing needs in your household but should get you off to a great start in keeping things running smoothly.