If you have ever had to call a plumber at the most inconvenient time, you are not alone. Plumbing issues are quite common among homeowners and can really be a pain in the neck. Whether you are dealing with a leaky faucet or clogged toilet, a plumbing problem can definitely put a damper on your day. The good news is that you do not have to be a graduate of plumbing school to properly maintain your home's plumbing system. Here are five plumbing maintenance tips for your house.
Clean Your Drains Regularly
It is normal for the drains in your house to develop clogs eventually, but you do not always have to call a plumber. If it is taking longer than usual for the water in your sink or bathtub to go down, you can clear it up with baking soda and vinegar. Real Simple Magazine suggests pouring 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar in the drain to unclog it. Place a wet cloth over the drain and wait five minutes. Then, pour boiling hot water down the drain.
Drain Your Water Heater
Sediment can accumulate on the bottom of your water heater over time, decreasing its performance. If you never clean the sediment out, the water heater won't run as efficiently, which can increase your water bills. Before you start draining the water heater, Bob Vila recommends checking the pressure-relief valve to make sure it is working properly. After you turn off the system, turn the lever on the valve and place a bucket under the pressure-relief valve. If you hear air or see water come out, the valve is working properly. However, if nothing happens, you should replace the valve.
If the valve works correctly, you can connect a garden hose from the water heater drain to the outside of your house. Then, open the hot water faucets in your house and the drain valve in the water heater. After you allow the tank to drain all the way, turn on the water supply. When the water coming out of the tank looks clear, you can turn off the water supply. Close up the drain valve and turn your water heater on again. Remember to drain your water heater once a year.
Treat Your Garbage Disposal With Care
A garbage disposal might be durable, but that doesn't mean you can throw anything down it. To prevent clogs, avoid throwing glass, bones, grease, potato peels and other foods that are difficult to grind. Remember to run cold water down the disposal after each use to clear away food debris.
Check for Leaks
Leaks do not just cause damage to your home; they can also make your water bills more expensive. It's a wise idea to check for moisture underneath sinks and around toilets. Another effective way to test for toilet leaks is to put red food coloring in the tank. Wait a few hours to check your toilet again. If the water is still red, there is a leak that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Add Pipe Insulation
When the temperatures are cold, the pipes in your home are in danger of freezing. When pipes freeze, they can burst and create a big mess in your house. A simple way to prevent this problem is to insulate the pipes in the colder parts of your home like the garage and basement.
If you follow these helpful tips, you can maintain a healthy plumbing system. However, if you still encounter an issue with your plumbing, you should have a professional plumber come look at the problem right away.