It’s a new year, and that means new checklists! Considering that plumbing is one of the most integral parts of your home, it should be one of the first things you think about addressing. So our San Luis Obispo plumbers have come up with a 2022 plumbing maintenance checklist to make sure the year ahead flows smoothly.
Check for Leaks
Leaks are one of the most common – and annoying – plumbing problems. You might be surprised to know that the average home loses almost 10,000 gallons every year to leaks.
This amount of water loss could result in 10 percent higher water bills. In fact, 10 percent of homes are wasting 90 or more gallons per day, according to the EPA!
But leaks aren’t always apparent by the drip, drip, drip of a faucet; some can be hidden. Review your water bills from the past couple of months, and for a family of four for example, if you’re using more than 12,000 gallons in a month, you probably have a hidden leak somewhere.
You can also check your water bill for spikes in usage to determine if you have a leak.
Of course, checking for the leaks you can see is one of the most important plumbing maintenance tasks you can do to prevent small problems from escalating into something significant like a water-damage scenario.
Here are some common places that you should be frequently checking for leaks:
• Faucets: no water should come out of the handles or valves.
• Toilet flappers: If it doesn’t have a tight fit, your toilet could be running more than it should.
• Toilet: Check the base for excess moisture.
• Showerheads: Watch for drips or a stray stream.
• Pipe fittings: Check under all your sinks for signs of leaks.
There are also some more unassuming places that you should check annually, according to HUD.
• Walls, windows, doors, and ceilings for signs of water damage
• Washer hoses and connections
• Dishwasher hoses and connections
• Refrigerator drip pan-icemaker connections
• Hot water heater (in the fall)
• Water main/meter or well pump for leaks or sweating (in the fall)
Nobody wants a plumbing clog. Talk about one of the best ways to ruin a day. So taking some time to prevent a clog now will save you a big headache in the future.
Here is a clog-prevention list that will help you get started:
• Bathtubs and showers: Take apart the drain traps periodically to remove hair and debris and snake the drains to remove the beginnings of any clog. Use screens or drain baskets to prevent hair from going down the drain.
• Sinks: Clean out the P-traps. And never put grease, oil, or fats (including butter) down the drain of your kitchen sink.
• Garbage disposal: Use it properly – exercise common sense if you’re uncertain about what goes down there. But to start, no fibrous foods like celery, banana peels, or meats.
• Toilet: Don’t flush things that weren’t designed to be flushed, like feminine products, disposable diapers, paper towels, cat litter, hair, etc. A frequently clogged toilet could be a warning that there is an issue in the main sewer line.
Other Preventative Measures
There’s always more you can do to make sure your plumbing is in tip-top shape.
Flush your water heater annually to remove the buildup of sediment which can cause leaks. Here’s more water-heater maintenance tips.
Before any freezing weather, turn off the water supply to your outdoor spigots and remove any hoses. You can also use spigot and pipe insulators to prevent freezing.
If you have a septic tank, have it inspected regularly, and have it pumped every two years.
If you have a problem with tree roots, have your sewer line snaked every year
For more plumbing maintenance tips or if you think you have a problem for the pros, contact our friendly San Luis Obispo plumbers anytime at 805-934-1949.