PREVENTIVE PLUMBING MAINTENANCE NOW MEANS FEWER EMERGENCIES LATER
A little tender loving care for your larger plumbing fixtures goes a long way toward extending their lifetimes and avoiding big, messy and expensive catastrophes. Only a qualified professional plumber should perform detailed or dangerous maintenance, however, homeowners like you can do a few things to extend the life of your indoor plumbing. Doing so can reduce emergency plumbing situations, costly repairs and replacements.
Water heaters get more action than most people realize. Every time you take a shower, turn on a faucet, do laundry, or even just brush your teeth your water heater is working hard. Every six months to a year, you should flush out your water heater. Sediment accumulates at the bottom forcing the water heater to heat water through the muck. That means more strain to the unit and more gas to heat, which drives up utility costs. Unless cleared away occasionally, the sediment can travel up through pipes and create clogs in aerators and shower heads.
Flushing your water heater is pretty simple:
- Make sure other plumbing fixtures are turned off.
- Attach a garden-variety garden hose to the drain. It’s down by the gas control valve. Lead the other hose end to the floor drain.
- Be careful during this step. Older model water heaters often have plastic drain spouts, while newer models have brass. Plastic gets brittle due to the constant heat exposure. If you have a plastic version, be careful not to break off the piece. If yours is plastic and feels brittle, consider calling a plumber out to handle it for you.
- Give it a few minutes, allowing all the sediment to drain out of the bottom till water is running clear.
- Remove the garden hose.
- If you have a bathtub, open its faucet wide and let the water run to clear out any remaining sediment. Your tub faucet has the strongest pressure.
Not only does this simple plumbing maintenance help the water heater, but it also helps keep your floor drain clear. The hot water draining from the unit helps flush out debris from your floor drainpipes. Two birds with one stone!
Pull the lid off and pour some water down the pit to check whether or not it’s operational. It never rains as much as we think or expect, so do this periodically. During heavy rains, you need to make sure your basement isn’t going to flood. Unfortunately, people assume the sump pump works until they have to call their insurance agent and file a claim to clean up and repair their soggy basements. A back-up battery sump pump is a smart investment for those who tend to forget to put plumbing maintenance on their to-do lists.
Is your garbage disposal louder than usual? It could be a sign that it’s simply pumping stuff down the drainpipe, which will lead to a major drain clog. Also, remember to run water down the drain after you turn off the disposer to flush the food debris all the way through the pipes.
Preventive plumbing repair and maintenance is just as important for your indoor plumbing as it is for your car. With that said, sometimes it’s just easier to call a professional local plumber. Give us a call anytime, or schedule an appointment today!