When it comes to the long-term viability of your plumbing system and its various components, few things are more important than preventive maintenance. Referring to various actions that are easy to perform in most cases, but stop potential issues from forming in specific parts of your plumbing system, preventive maintenance helps keep your costs down and your system working efficiently for years.
At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we're happy to offer a wide variety of plumbing services for our Salt Lake City clients, including water heater services, drain cleaning and many more. We're also here to offer tips and expertise on the kinds of preventive maintenance our clients should be engaging in, whether on their own or with the assistance of our plumbers whenever needed. What are some of the simplest forms of preventive maintenance that take very little time on your behalf, but help your system stay at optimal operations? Here are several to consider.
One of the simplest things you can do on a regular basis is simply check your various drains for any signs of slow drainage. When water doesn't seem to be flowing as quickly as it used to, this is often an early sign that a clog is beginning to form somewhere in the drainpipe. By addressing this early on, you can avoid having to call for professional drain cleaning services later.
On the flip side, if you sit back and do nothing about a slow drain, that clog will only grow larger and thicker over time. Eventually, it will cause a complete blockage that backs water up into your sink, tub or toilet. Not only is this an enormous mess to have to deal with and clean up, but it also puts your system under significant strain as water pressure builds behind the blockage.
If your home is still utilizing the traditional tank-format water heater (rather than a newer tankless water heater) it's important that you flush the tank out on a regular basis. Over time, sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank. If this isn't addressed, it can cause serious operational issues with your heater.
The good news is that flushing your water heater tank is a fairly simple process that most homeowners can handle on their own. You'll just need to attach a water hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank and open it up, allowing all the water (and sediment) to flush out. Doing this every few months is generally sufficient.
Another simple but important preventive measure is to inspect your toilet tank on a regular basis, looking for any signs of leaks. A leaky toilet tank can waste hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water each year, so it's definitely something you'll want to nip in the bud as soon as possible.
There are a few different ways you can check for a leaky toilet tank. One is to simply place a drop of food coloring in the tank and then wait for a few minutes to see if any of that color winds up in the bowl. If it does, you have a leak that needs to be addressed.
You can also check the floor around your toilet for any signs of water damage or moisture. If you see any, that's another indication that your toilet tank might be leaking.
Wasted water is a major issue in many homes, and one of the most common sources of wasted water is a leaky showerhead or faucet. If you have either of these, it's important to get them fixed as soon as possible so that you're not needlessly wasting water (and money) each time you turn them on.
In most cases, fixing a leaky showerhead or faucet is a fairly simple process that doesn't require the assistance of a professional. You can usually find replacement parts at your local hardware store, and then follow the instructions in your owner's manual to make the repair.
In some cases, you might need to call a professional plumber to take care of the issue. This is usually the case if the leak is coming from a pipe rather than the actual fixture.
Every so often, or especially if you notice significantly greater or lesser water pressure coming from certain fixtures in your home, it's a good idea to check the water pressure gauge on your main water line.
If the reading is significantly higher or lower than normal (usually somewhere between 40 and 80 psi for most homes), that's an indication that there might be an issue with your water pressure regulator. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, so you'll definitely want to call a professional plumber if this is the case.
If your home has a garbage disposal, it's important that you take steps to properly maintain it on an ongoing basis. This will help prevent serious operational issues and keep it working properly for years to come.
One of the most important things you can do is to avoid putting certain items down the drain, as they can damage the blades or cause other issues. These items include grease, oil, coffee grounds, egg shells, and anything else that might be tough to grind up.
You should also run cold water for a minute or so before and after you use the disposal to help keep the blades sharp and prevent them from getting jammed. Finally, every so often you can grind up a handful of ice cubes to clean the blades and remove any built-up gunk.
These are just a few of the most important preventive maintenance tips for your plumbing system. For more on this and how we can help, or to learn about any of our plumbing services for clients throughout SLC and nearby areas, speak to the team at Neighborly Plumbing & Services today.
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