Unlike a car, when something goes wrong with your plumbing system, the check engine light won’t go on. The fact of the matter is that properly installed sewer lines and copper pipes in our home plumbing system will last for years. Proper maintenance is as much about what not to do to your plumbing system as it is what to do. If your plumbing system is not maintained correctly, including your appliances such as your water heater, it can create some real headaches down the road. Some simple steps taken for regular maintenance can go a long way. Most plumbing problems occur in old homes, but the sooner you can take action, the better.
Get A Whole House Water Filtration System – I’ll Tell You Why
The first step you can take to preserve your plumbing system is to buy a whole house water filtration system. I know this sounds like a tall order right out of the gate, but most plumbing issues derive from the hard water in California and many other states as well. It shortens the life expectancy of our water heater, and it can clog our pipes. In some cases, you can contribute hard water to our pipe’s need for replacing before its time. It clogs our showerheads and leaves hard water scales on our counters and shower doors. Filtered water is better for your hair and skin and provides an excellent source of drinking water right from the tap. Yes––no more lugging around bottled water. To top it off, it’s perfect for the environment. And for those homeowners that don’t think it fits in the budget, Big B’s Plumbing has one-year financing with 0% interest, the same as cash.
Your Plumbing System In Your Bathroom
Most of the products we put down our bathroom drains are petroleum-based such as hand soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. These products, along with toothpaste, shaving cream, and hair gel, become a catch-all for hair, skin cells, and phlegm that turns into an ugly living bacteria that’s often referred to as black slime. The black slime will cause our drains to move slowly and eventually clog. You can protect your drains by pouring a kettle of hot water down them every couple of weeks. If the bathroom drain gets heavily used, then do it once a week.
Check the Water Pressure
Everyone likes to take a hot shower with excellent water pressure. You may even hear someone boast about how good their water pressure is. Beware, high water pressure is not a luxury, and it could cause damage to your plumbing system. The ideal water pressure is between 40 and 60 pounds per inch (PSI). Over 80 PSI, and you’re in the danger zone. A homeowner is completely capable of checking their water pressure. You could purchase a water pressure gauge at your local home center for less than ten dollars. Hook it up to the outdoor spigot, and you’ll get a prompt reading. Run the reading on more than one spigot to confirm an accurate reading. If your water pressure is high, you’ll need to adjust your water pressure regulator or call for a plumbing expert.
What To Do To Your Plumbing System
Number one, pay attention to your drains. We cannot stress this enough. Your toilet, house drains, and garbage disposal are not a trash can. Proper use of the garbage disposal is also important for preventing clogs. When using your garbage disposal, you should turn the water on before running the disposal and leave the water running for a good 15 seconds afterward to help rinse the debris through to the mainline.
You should also avoid putting fibrous foods down your disposals, such as banana peels and celery, as well as starches like potatoes and rice. And never, ever put oil or grease of any kind down the drain. Only solid and liquid waste, along with toilet paper, should go down your toilet. No wipes of any kind that includes wipes that claim they are flushable. There is no regulating body that regulates “flushable wipes”; makers can claim anything they want without being held accountable. They are not wanted in our plumbing system or our city’s sewer system.
Vinegar is Inexpensive And Good For Drains
Pouring 2 to 3 cups of generic white vinegar down our drains every 2 to 3 months can help stop clogs from forming. Culinary professionals also recommend this tip. Directly pour vinegar down your drain and let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with a kettle of hot water. Vinegar is inexpensive, good for drains, and has no adverse effects on our environment versus harsh chemicals. Vinegar, a no-brainer!
Water Leaks Don’t Give Any Notice
A water leak also gives no notice, but you can take precautions from turning a small leak into a large one. Run a check under your sinks once a month for signs of water stains on your pipes. Also, check for any signs of mold. Old hot and cold water shut-off valves tend to leak. Check to see if they have calcium buildup. If they look worn and you have difficulty turning them on and off, then it’s time to replace them. Water pressure valves need replacing every eight to ten years. Run an occasional check of your ceilings, especially downstairs above your bathrooms, check for brown stains or bulging drywall.
Don’t Wait Until Your Water Heater Falls Apart
Most of us wait until our water heater shuts down entirely before replacing it. Run a check of your water heater once a month. Look in and around your water heater for leaks, rust, mold, or mineral buildup. If your water heater is more than ten years old, consider replacing it with a new water heater. A new water heater could save you as much as 30% in energy costs over your old water heater that’s over ten years old. You’ll find that you’ll not only save water and energy but money as well.