Best Ways to Maintain a Plumbing System 

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to your plumbing system. A few simple preventative measures can go a long way in avoiding costly plumbing disasters.

For example, every home should have an easy-to-find and operate main water shut off valve. Individual toilets, sinks and fixtures should also have their own shut-off valves. 

Check for Leaks 

Besides the obvious health hazards, leaking pipes can lead to flooding and costly repairs. Small leaks can add up to gallons of water lost each day and may even cause major structural damage to your home. To detect leaks, inspect all exposed pipes and fixtures regularly. Look for rust, discoloration and cracks. Make sure to check the back of cabinets, under basins and behind appliances like your washing machine for signs of leaks. 

To further prevent leaks, add pipe insulation in cold areas of your home such as the basement and crawl spaces. This will help reduce freezing and shorten the time it takes for your water to heat up. Also, avoid planting trees or large shrubs near plumbing lines as their roots can infiltrate and cause damage or blockages. It is best to call a plumber in Melbourne if you find signs of a leak, such as wet spots or unexplained increases in your water bill. 

Clean Drains 

Clogged drains put extra pressure on pipes and shorten their lifespan. Watch what goes down your drains to avoid plug-ups. Food scraps should go into the garbage disposal, hair in the shower drain, and anything but sewage and toilet paper in the toilet. 

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For serious drain clogs, use a power auger (available for around $20 at most hardware stores). Plug the auger and push it down the drain until you feel resistance or hear the motor bog down. Once you’ve removed the clog, flush with hot water. 

To prevent clogs in the first place, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a quarter cup of vinegar. The chemical reaction will break up grease and hair clogs, and the baking soda will neutralize any odors. You can also buy products that contain potassium hydroxide or thioglycolic acid to dissolve stubborn clogs. Avoid using corrosive drain cleaners like lye, which can damage pipes. 

Tighten Faucets & Valve 

A leaky faucet can waste a significant amount of water and lead to costly repair bills. It’s essential to get small problems fixed right away. Even a few drops of water can cause rust or corrosion in pipes.

Leaks and other plumbing issues can also be caused by trees and shrubs that grow near your plumbing lines. Planting trees and shrubs far enough away can help prevent these issues. 

A worn valve stem can also be a source of leaks. It’s easy to fix this by wrapping the stem with teflon pipe thread tape. Turn off the water supply underneath your sink to prevent leaks while working on this. Then, remove the handle by loosening the screw in its center. Some handles have decorative caps that must be removed before loosening the screw. Once the handle is removed, the valve stem is exposed and may be held down by a retaining clip or nut. This must be removed before tightening the nut. 

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Schedule Regular Inspections 

Just like a car, a plumbing system needs routine maintenance to work properly. This will help avoid expensive repairs and nightmare scenarios such as burst pipes and flooding. 

Leaks are a common problem that can lead to costly water wastage and damage your property. Leaks should be addressed immediately. Regular inspections can spot leaks in early stages and prevent them from getting worse. 

Another issue that needs to be fixed right away is excessive water pressure, which can strain your pipes and cause pipe corrosion over time. The best way to solve this issue is to get a professional plumber to assess your pipes and install a pressure regulator. 

Aside from identifying potential problems and preventing them, routine plumbing maintenance will also extend the lifespan of your plumbing systems. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your home is safe and sound for you and your family. 

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