Many of us know how to change a light bulb or, plunge a toilet. But, knowing preventative tips for keeping the systems in the house working properly is invaluable. Here are some things that you can do to maintain your plumbing system and (hopefully) avoid any major issues:
Stinky garbage disposal. This can be caused by a variety of reasons and doesn’t always indicate that there is a problem. But, it is better to air on the side of caution and take some steps to ‘clear’ the disposal drain. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is to essentially wash the disposal. First, plug the drain and then fill the entire sink basin with boiling hot water. It is important for the water to be boiling so you can do that on the stove with a pot or tea kettle. Once the sink is full of boiling water, pull the drain plug – being careful not to burn yourself – and let all of the water drain. The boiling water works to loosen and soften up any residue that is stuck to the disposal blades or inside of the reservoir and the pressure of the water washes it all away.
Fix the leaks. A slow dripping faucet can waste nearly 5,000 gallons of water per month. Not to mention the water damage that it can cause. Keep an eye on your faucets and fixtures for leaks and repair them quickly. If there are any signs of damage to the seal or caulking around your sink, shower, or bathtub re-seal it with new caulking. This material is designed to repel water and prevent it from being able to leak between the basin and the countertop. Keep your garbage bags under the sink so that you are forced to look under there periodically. Too many times the area under the sink is ignored as storage area and leaks are able to go on indefinitely, leaving serious damage behind.
Plumbing inspections. If you haven’t had an inspection of your plumbing yet this year, schedule it now. Having your plumbing checked by a professional is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent serious plumbing breakdowns.
If you plan on taking a vacation this summer or, being away for any length of time make sure to follow these tips for maintenance and keep your plumbing working right.