Well, it’s spring forward and fall back. Whatever the time of year, it’s time for us to check our plumbing. Does it sound pretty crazy to create a plumbing checklist and check it every quarter? Most of us do spring cleaning but have you ever thought about winter, spring, summer, and fall plumbing checklist? It sounds absurd, but it can save you big on future plumbing problems. You will never know if a sink has a small leak until you see mold or a soggy bulging particle board shelf. Why wait until there is a major plumbing problem when you can catch it early? Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
10% of The Homes In The U.S. Have A Plumbing Leak, And They Don’t Know It
Did you know according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10% of homes in the U.S. have a water leak, and they don’t even know it? The water wasted by those homes totals one trillion gallons of water a year. That number doesn’t include the damage it may have caused before the leak was ever discovered. Unfortunately, some of us are cavalier when it comes to plumbing issues. Toilet can run for days without repair, and in some cases, you may see puddling around your sprinklers only to put it off for another day. Even the smallest plumbing leak could end up being severe.
Older Home Are Most At Risk For Plumbing Issues
Older homes are most at risk of plumbing issues, but newer homes are not off the hook. We found that newer homes with plumbing issues are usually caused by poor installation. Most maintenance-like problems require very little out-of-pocket and can usually be repaired by someone in the family.
we Will Call This Our Fall Plumbing Checklist
Slow-Moving Drains: Check all the sinks in your home to ensure water flows quickly down the drain. If you have a slow-moving drain, you can start by using a good branded drain cleaner such as Liquid Plumbr gel or Draino Gel. Most plumbing companies would never advise using a drain cleaner. However, these cleaners earned the good housekeeping seal; they’ve been scientifically tested and have served us well for nearly 60 years. Follow the directions carefully.
Replace Your Aerator: Unscrew the aerator on your faucets and clean or replace them. This is an easy fix. The aerator is the small screen that controls the flow of water coming out of your faucet. Every year you should remove it and clean off the hard water deposits. You can soak it in a bag of vinegar, and the deposits usually fall off. On the other hand, you can buy a new one for less than five bucks.
Check Under Your Sink: Take a flashlight and remove all objects from under your sink and run an inspection. Use a flashlight to look for hard water stains on your pipes or mold of any kind. In both cases, if it shows signs of a leak, make the necessary repairs. Make sure the bottom of your cabinets or pipes shows no signs of a leak.
Lubricate Your Shut-Off Valve:
- Lightly spray WD-40 on your shut-off valves, also known as angle stops.
- Gently move the handle back and forth.
- If the angle stop doesn’t move, consider calling your plumbing expert in Murrieta, CA.
Some angle stops have been in the open position for many tears. When you go to close them, they start to leak, and you need to get prepared. As a word of advice, angle stops should get replaced every 8 to 10 years.
Inspect Your Toilet: Inspect your toilet bowls for cracks and leaks, and any toilet pre-1992 should get replaced with the latest 1.6 or 1.28 gallons per flush.
Toilet Check: Check around the base of your toilet for any moisture or discoloration of tiles. If your toilet moves even slightly, your toilet needs to get reinstalled using a new water ring.
Use Food Coloring: You can add food coloring to your toilet tank (2 or 3 drops). If the color shows up in your toilet bowl, your toilet is leaking. Chances are you’ll need a new toilet flapper, which is less than 15 bucks, and the average homeowner can replace it.
Check Your Water Heater:
- Complete a check of your water heater every quarter.
- Look in and around your water heater for leaks, rust, mold, or mineral deposits that build up in compromised areas.
- If your water heater is more than ten years old and showing signs of age, consider replacing it, especially if it has rust or is leaking.
New heaters have seen significant advancements over the past ten years. Water heaters built today are as much as 34% more energy efficient than heaters built ten years ago.
Look Around Your Home: Check around your home for puddling. Puddling around your home could signal an irrigation leak or a broken sewer line. In both cases, quick repairs are needed.
Water Leaks: If you want to get serious about your fall plumbing checklist, then it’s time to check for water leaks. First, remove the top from your water meter and open the lid to the meter itself. For many of us, our water meter is a creepy place to reach your hand into. You might be more comfortable spraying inside the meter with some bug spray before reaching in with your hand. At the same time, wipe off the glass in your meter. Then turn off all the water in your home. There is a very small spinning wheel or triangle called a leak indicator. If your leak indicator is spinning while all the water is off, then your home has a water leak.
Homeowners Can Handle Minor Plumbing Issues
The homeowner can take care of minor plumbing issues. But quite frankly, some would rather hand it off to plumbing professionals. If you have a list ready for your plumbing technician, minor plumbing problems will usually cost a little more than a service call. Maybe you feel something is just not right with your plumbing system on the home front. We can run a full home plumbing inspection at Big B’s Plumbing. Call today and get the service and value you deserve.