Every homeowner can tell you of a plumbing experience they’ve encountered, whether it’s a broken water heater, burst pipe, or a backed-up sewer line. Unfortunately, we wait until something goes wrong before we decide to fix a plumbing issue. When we give our home attention, our plumbing system rarely gets any love. As a result, most plumbing issues can be avoided or, at the very least, kept to minimal damage. Furthermore, maintaining your plumbing system doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg and requires very little time. We put together a comprehensive plumbing maintenance checklist.
Change Out Your Old, Dilapidated Water Heater
While this might not sound like plumbing maintenance, think again. We’re concerned about the overall maintenance of your plumbing system, and your water heater is considered part of that maintenance. If it is over ten years old and showing signs of wear, it might be time to consider replacing it now before it breaks down altogether. Likewise, if rust is showing, it’s time to replace it. Water heaters generally last 8 to 12 years without maintenance. However, with minor annual maintenance, you can extend the number. You may not know this, but some water heater makers will not honor your warranty if your heater has not been maintained.
Another consideration is late model water heaters can use 34% less energy than water heaters built ten years ago. Additionally, tankless heaters can save even more. So, first on your checklist is evaluating your current water heaters condition–––be honest with yourself.
Maintain Your Good Running Water Heater
Suppose your water heater is in good running condition and provides all the hot water your family needs. In that case, it needs maintenance at least once or twice a year, especially if you don’t have a whole-house water filtration system. Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, and Menifee are notorious for hard water.
The typical gas-powered heater has a pair of burners at the bottom of the storage tank. However, the minerals in hard water can solidify and accumulate as limescale on the bottom of the storage tank. This creates a barrier between the water in your water heater’s tank and the burners. In addition, it is causing your heater to work overtime, losing its intended life expectancy. Draining and flushing the tank every six months will extend its life, and your water heater will perform much better.
Replace The Anode Rod In Your Water Heater Every Five Years
Replace the anode rod every five years, and some experts say every three years. It sounds like much of your plumbing maintenance checklist comprises your water heater. Why not? Your water heater provides hot water for bathing, dishwashing, cleaning clothes, and much more. Hot water in our homes is part of a good quality of life. The anode rod is a long metal rod that passes through your tank’s interior and is composed of magnesium or aluminum. Through an electrochemical process, it draws iron, limestone, or other mineral-containing particles from the water, and the rod corrodes in place of the tank. In short, it protects the inside of your tank from rusting and, again will extend the life of your water heater.
Replace Your Washer Hoses Before They Leak And Create A Disaster
In most cases, your washing machine hoses have been attached to the laundry room spigot, both hot and cold, for eight to ten years without ever being turned off. Unfortunately, when it’s time to turn off the spigot and remove the hose, it doesn’t always go as planned. Some hoses get stuck because of corrosion and are very difficult to remove. You might even be replacing your washer hose because it started to leak. Our experts here at Big B’s Plumbing suggest replacing washer hoses every three to five years as part of your plumbing maintenance checklist. Caution: Before replacing your hoses, turn off the water in your home.
Replace Angle Stops In Your Bathrooms And Kitchen
These are the valves that sit behind our toilets and under our bathroom and kitchen sinks. Think about this, these valves usually stay in the on position for five to ten years or longer with 40-60 pounds of water pressure placed on them. Unfortunately, in some instances, they’ve been closed for so long that they start to leak when you shut them off. In addition, the valve’s compression portion, which stops the water, usually fails 8–10 years after installation. Replacing the angle stops in your bathrooms and kitchen is part of your plumbing maintenance checklist.
Replace Old Shut-Off Valves
On average, most household water shut-off valves have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. To prevent issues with it, we advise investing in a new shut-off valve, especially if you’re buying a home that’s more than 15 years old. The purpose of your shut-off valve is to quickly shut your home’s water off without going to the meter. Most homes have a ball shut-off valve with a lever handle. You can usually find it on your incoming water supply line at the closest entry point, sometimes close to the water heater. Unfortunately, the valve has been under extreme pressure for many years and can leak. You can put replacing your shut-off valve on your plumbing maintenance checklist.
Check Your Water Pressure At Least Once A Month
Water pressure is a big part of your plumbing system. If you have low water pressure, it can be frustrating navigating through the basics, such as showering, washing dishes, washing your car, etc. In some cases, it could be a project taking place in your city or an accident involving a fire hydrant, or you may have a real problem like your water pressure-reducing valve or a water leak. You can purchase a water pressure gauge for 10 to 15 dollars online or at your home center. While low water pressure can be slightly uncomfortable, high water pressure could wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Connect your water pressure gauge to your spigot closest to your incoming water supply. It should be between 40- and 60 pounds per inch (PSI).
Replace Your Old Water Pressure-Reducing Valve With A New One
Your water pressure-reducing valve has a lifespan that is typically between 10 and 15 years. Nevertheless, we have seen regulators malfunction in as little as three years. The regulator regulates your home’s PSI; as mentioned above, your water pressure should get set between 40-60 PSI, and anything over 80 PSI could damage your plumbing pipes, water heater, and appliances. Therefore, replacing your water pressure-reducing valve should be added to your plumbing maintenance checklist.
Check Your Home For Water Leaks Once A Month
A water leak the size of a pinhole can inflict serious damage to your home. The key to water leaks is catching them before they create too much damage to your home. They come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, you may have something as small as a toilet leak that wastes water or something as large as a slab leak. As odd as it may sound, every homeowner should commit to checking their home for water leaks. It’s as simple as turning off all the water in your home and checking your water meter. If you have a water leak, a small leak indicator on your water meter will continue to move if all your water is turned off.
Whole House Water Filtration For Your Family
While this may not sound like plumbing maintenance, it could very well be. Understandably not everyone can buy a whole-house water filtration system. Let me encourage you to consider one. They work wonders for our plumbing system, including our water heater and appliances. Think of this as no more plastic water bottles because pure great, tasting water comes from the tap. You’ll also notice its amazing effects on your hair and skin. So consider a whole-house water filtration system from Big B’s Plumbing. We have excellent on-the-spot financing.
So Let’s Recap:
- Replace your old, energy-sucking, dilapidated water heater. Life expectancy 10-12 years
- If your water heater is in good running condition, run maintenance on it by flushing the tank twice a year.
- Change the anode rod in your water heater every 3-5 years. It will perform better and extend the life of your heater.
- Replace old washing machine hoses every five years before they start to leak. (Once every 5 years)
- Have your angle stops in your bathroom and kitchen replaced.
- Replace your old shut-off valve every 8-10 years.
- Buy a water pressure gauge and check your water pressure monthly.
- Replace your old water pressure-reducing valve with a new one. every 10-15 years.
- Check your home for leaks once a month.
- Have a whole-house water treatment system installed.
Here’s the secret, don’t wait until it breaks. Instead, be proactive with your plumbing system and replace old worn-out parts before they start to leak. Maybe you can ask your plumbing company to bundle some of your needs. For example, instead of waiting until something breaks, have them simultaneously replace all your angle stops. That could save you significantly.