Most homeowners are understandably hesitant to tackle tasks related to their plumbing. After all, it takes years of training for professional plumbers to learn their trade, and the DIY novice that makes a mistake could cause untold expense in water damage. But there are several steps homeowners can take to stave off disaster when it comes to the pipes carrying water throughout their structures. So while you might not necessarily be interested in correcting plumbing problems on your own, chances are good that you can benefit from some tips and tricks pertaining to preventing plumbing nightmares. Here are a few tactics that could help to keep your plumbing in ship shape and functioning properly.
- Flush the water heater annually. Preventive maintenance could be the key to preventing plumbing problems, and there are certain tasks you’ll want to perform annually to that end, chief among them flushing your water heater. Over time, sediment can build up in your tank, potentially clogging pipes and limiting your hot water or even causing irreparable damage to your machinery in extreme cases. So make sure to schedule annual cleanings with your plumber. As an alternative, you may want to consider doing it on your own. This task can be messy and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s not particularly complicated. And you should have no trouble finding instructions and video tutorials online to help you out.
- Snake the drains periodically. In addition to flushing the water heater, you should snake the drains annually, or perhaps more often if you suffer frequent clogs. Hair, soap, grease, food products, and other items that go into your drains can cause clogs. And you can remove such gunk and debris by snaking your drains regularly (or having your plumber do it for you) before clogs occur.
- Treat leaks immediately. You can’t necessarily prevent leaks since you can’t predict when or where they might occur. But you can take steps to treat them post haste, before they turn into major disasters. Some can be easily addressed on your own, such as faucet leaks that may be remedied with nothing more than a new washer. But others will require the attention of a professional.
- Know what you’re working with. Every homeowner will have their own particular trials when it comes to plumbing, but knowing what you’re working with can help you to plan accordingly and practice prevention. You can start by finding out what type of plumbing you have, from old-school clay pipes to more modern copper plumbing. You should also understand water problems like hard water, rust, and calcium, for example, and what that might mean for your plumbing maintenance.
- When in doubt, call your plumber. Although there is a lot you can do on your own when it comes to preventing plumbing problems, there is simply no substitute for a professional plumber at times when you don’t know what the problem is. So whether you’re having issues with hot water, water pressure, or clogs, just for example, consider calling the pros from a reputable business like Northeast Plumbing to diagnose and treat the problem before you have a plumbing catastrophe on your hands.