Plumbing Disaster Checklist

The Ultimate Homeowners Plumbing Checklist

Maintaining a smoothly functioning plumbing system is essential for every homeowner’s peace of mind and the integrity of their property. From minor drips to major leaks, plumbing issues can disrupt daily life and cause significant damage if left unaddressed. To help homeowners stay proactive and ensure their plumbing systems remain in top condition, we present “The Ultimate Homeowner’s Plumbing Checklist.” This comprehensive guide encompasses a range of essential tasks and tips designed to empower homeowners to take control of their plumbing infrastructure, prevent costly repairs, and promote long-term efficiency and reliability.

Whether you’re an average homeowner who’s all thumbs or a good do-it-yourselfer, this plumbing checklist serves as your go-to resource for safeguarding your home against common plumbing problems and maintaining optimal functionality year-round. By following these simple yet effective guidelines, you can enhance the longevity of your plumbing system and enjoy greater peace of mind, knowing your home is well-equipped to handle any plumbing challenge that comes its way. So here’s your “the homeowner’s ultimate plumbing check.”

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

#1 Check Your Home Piping for Leaks

Let’s start at the top of our plumbing checklist: our home piping. The water pipes that deliver water throughout our home will eventually wear out. Copper pipes are expected to last 40 to 50 years but can easily exceed those numbers under the best conditions. The problem is hard water in California. The minerals in our water will eventually build up in our pipes, causing low water pressure, and in some cases, the pipes will start to leak. A water filtration system is the best solution because it removes the minerals before it delivers water to the house. High water pressure is another reason for pipe leaks. Poorly installed pipes are another reason pipes will start leaking. So, catching the leaks early is key to a major issue. 

There are ways of finding a leak, for example, checking exposed pipes in your garage or attic for signs of water on your pipes. You can also check for water stains or bulging drywall throughout your home. Other signs of pipe leaks are: 

  • Skyrocketing water bills
  • Stained and damaged ceilings, walls, floors
  • Musty smelling rooms
  • Visible mold & mildew
  • Skyrocketing water bills
  • A Running water meter
  • Foundation cracks

However, there is one surefire way of knowing you have a water leak. Checking the flow indicator dial on your water meter. 

  1. Thoroughly turn off the water in your home.
  2. Open your water meter and check for the spinning triangle or dial.
  3. You have a leak if the flow indicator moves with all the water off.
  4. But wait! Now turn the irrigation handle off; if the dial stops spinning, the leak is isolated to the irrigation. 

Homeowners should check for leaks once every four months, although there is no science behind that number. The process takes approximately 20 minutes at most. Add it to your plumbing checklist. 

Plumbing checklist includes checking your pipes

Install a Leak Detection Device

Another way to avoid the nightmare of a water leak is to install a leak detection device on your pipes. There are many makers of these devices. Flo by Moen is one that has a good brand name as well as good reviews. These devices connect to your smartphone and warn you of a water leak should one occur, especially if you’re not home. Some devices allow you to shut your water off from your phone. Do your diligence and add it to your plumbing checklist. 

Your Plumbing System Needs A Flo by Moen

#2 Water Heater Inspection and Maintenance

Let’s face it: hot water is a big part of our quality of life. If our water heater goes out, we’ll probably have some unhappy family members. Most homeowners don’t know that their water heater requires maintenance. Some water heaters require annual maintenance to validate their warranty. The sediment from your water heater must be removed annually. Sediment from the hard water in your area builds up in the storage tank, causing the heater to work harder to produce hot water, shortening the heater’s life expectancy. 

Anode Rod Should be Removed

In addition, the anode rod should be removed once every five years, which could significantly extend the life of your water heater. The anode serves as a vital component within the water heater, strategically positioned within its interior. Its primary function is to shield the steel walls of the tank from potential damage caused by minerals and sediment present in the water. Anode rods, typically crafted from either magnesium or aluminum, offer robust protection to the water heater. 

Magnesium, in particular, stands out for its remarkable effectiveness due to its superior ability to release electrons compared to aluminum anodes. This heightened reactivity guarantees optimal performance, making magnesium anode rods an excellent choice for homeowners seeking reliable protection for their water heater’s interior.

#3 Check Household Leaks, Such as Faucets and Toilets 

You can begin your plumbing checklist by checking your toilet for leaks annually by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to the tank. If your bowl turns color, then you have a leaky toilet. Toilet leaks are easy to fix, and the new parts are inexpensive. In most cases, it’s the toilet flapper, and even a novice do-it-yourselfer can make the fix. 

Some of us drop-in bowl cleaners offer effective cleaning but can sometimes accelerate wear on the rubber components of a flapper. However, making sure the timely replacement of the flapper prevents leakage. While it might not be a part we regularly consider replacing, it’s advisable to replace a toilet flapper every three to five years for optimal performance and to maintain a leak-free toilet.

Faucets and Fixtures

Now, let’s jump to faucets and fixtures. Most of the time, these leaks are obvious. Our old faucet starts to leak, or a shower head starts dripping. Sometimes, it’s the outdoor spigot. The problem is the leak looks so harmless, so we procrastinate to fix it.  

This might help you move a little faster to get that leak fixed. Each year, the average household’s leaks can lead to nearly 10,000 gallons of wasted water, highlighting the importance of addressing these issues promptly, according to the Environment Protection Agency. Additionally, approximately ten percent of homes experience leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. These leaks often stem from common sources such as worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. However, by identifying and addressing these leaks, homeowners can significantly reduce water waste and contribute to a more sustainable environment.   

energy efficient plumbing fixtures

#4 Bathroom Sinks Need Plumbing Maintenance

As a homeowner, you’ll know what slow-moving drains are all about, especially if you have kids who share a Jack and Jill bathroom that gets used twice as much as regular bathrooms. It doesn’t take long for those drains to start draining slowly. And if you have teenagers, it seems like they are always clogged up. The problem stems from bathroom products and hair that turns into a bacteria that most plumbers call black slime. Once it starts, it will keep growing until removed. 

The solution is to pour a kettle of hot water down your drain once a week for heavily used drains and every two weeks for drains that don’t get used as often. Some products in the market specifically address black slime as a maintenance. You can also use a baking soda and vinegar concoction as a maintenance. 

#5 Check Your Water Pressure

Is your water pressure as strong as ever? Some homeowners think blazing water pressure is good for your home. Think again! High water pressure can wreak havoc on your appliances and plumbing system. In some cases, you don’t even know it’s high. This is all too common. Checking your water pressure takes five minutes at most. Homeowners can purchase a water pressure gauge at their local home center for less than ten dollars. The gauge fastens to the spigot closest to your incoming water supply. Turn on the water; the pressure should be 45-65 pounds per inch (psi). Anything over 80 psi is considered high water pressure. 

We recommend checking it every few months, especially if you’re in an older home and your pressure regulator has not been replaced for several years. Furthermore, low water pressure is also a nuisance that no one wants to live with. So check your water pressure regularly; it only takes a few minutes.  

Water pressure Check is Part of Residential Plumbing Maintenance

#6 Compression Valves Need Maintenance

Bathroom and kitchen valves are often called angle stops, compression, or shutoff valves. These valves stay open for years, so when they close, they begin leaking. The solution is to open and close them annually while adding a couple of drops of lubricant. The valves connect to your toilet, bathroom sinks, and kitchen sink. They have a tendency to stick if allowed to sit for many years. If your valves have blue-greenish stuff on them, these are limescale deposits. You can remove it with an all-purpose cleaner. You can also wipe lemon juice or vinegar over it. The mild acid helps dissolve some of the minerals, creating the buildup.

#7 Washer Hoses and Connections Checks Annually

Occasionally check your washer connection by feeling for moisture around the connected area. You can also keep it clear of lime buildup by wiping it with an all-purpose cleaner and a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar. Allow it to sit, then wipe dry. Washer hoes need replacing every five years. However, they should be part of your annual plumbing checklist. Nothing is worse than coming home to a flooded washroom. 

Let’s Recap Your Plumbing Checklist

  1. Check your home’s plumbing system for water leaks by completing a check on the flow indicator on your water meter. This also includes a visual check as well.
  2. Flush your water heater annually and replace the anode rod every five years. 
  3. Check your toilets annually using a couple of drops of food coloring in the tank. If it shows up in the bowl in any form, you have a leaky toilet. 
  4. Bathroom sinks need maintenance. Pour a kettle of hot water down your drain once a week. You can also use a baking soda and vinegar concoction as a maintenance.
  5. Buy a water pressure gauge and check your water pressure once every quarter. It takes less than five minutes.
  6. Bathroom and kitchen valves open and close them annually while adding a couple of drops of lubricant.
  7. Occasionally check your washer hose and connections by feeling for moisture around the connected area. Replace hoses every five years.

Most homeowners don’t realize that plumbing maintenance will extend the life of their plumbing system. Furthermore, you don’t need to be a do-it-yourselfer (DIY) to qualify. Any homeowner can run through “the ultimate homeowner’s plumbing checklist” to see if any plumbing issues are developing. How do we maintain our plumbing?” First, you’ll want to fix those leaky faucets, outdoor spigots, and runny toilets. Most homeowners can tackle most plumbing issues independently with some knowledge and essential tools. It would help to have a few tools handy, such as a small plumber’s snake, a plunger, pliers, and a few extra tools. License #986152

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What People Are Saying...

I called Big B's Plumbing because I the hot water would not turn off in our master bathroom. I tried to turn the valve off under the sink and it broke off, so I had to shut off the main water to the house. It was noticeable the valves were original to the home. When I called, the rep stated that I would be informed about the service tech and their experience along with services offered "On The Spot". I was on a bit of a time crunch...
Read More on Google My Business


Vill M

Found them on Google and they had good quality reviews. Made the call and set up the appointment for same day. Dispatch called me a few hours later to confirm our appointment and let me know that the technician Mathew was on the way. This was supposed to be an easy job once Mathew arrived. But it turned out to be so much more than that. Without hesitation or a sour look on his face, he dove deep into his van...
Read More on Google My Business


Jeremy T

Randy was very knowledgeable and professional. He helped us figure out what we could do with the space given for our bathroom with our remodel. He picked out perfect fixtures and the work he did was beautiful. The cleaned up properly when they were done and everything was handled in one day! I will be calling for Randy anytime we have any plumbing needs. Thank you for doing such a great job!
Read More on Google My Business


Crystal M

Call Today!
Your Plumber For Life!

Contractors License #986152

Scroll to Top