Most people would likely agree that spending a little time and money periodically to prevent a future plumbing disaster is well worth it. Preventive plumbing maintenance can help save you a lot of money and stress by preventing expensive plumbing disasters from occurring.
Cleaning drains is a common request of a plumber, however there are simple steps that you can take on your own to help maintain the drains in your home. Items that are typically known to clog drains include hair, grease, and other debris. When these items build up over time, they can easily clog your drains. Consider getting a drain screen to stop hair from going down your shower drain in the first place. You can also unclog many drains by pouring boiling water mixed with some suds down the clogged drain. Or you may opt for chemical solutions available that can be poured down the drain to help breakup debris. Don’t be surprised when you find the occasional drain where chemical treatment doesn’t open the line. Since these chemicals can be quite caustic, just make sure to inform your plumber that you’ve placed chemicals in the line prior to having him get started.
The costs of repairing frozen pipes can range from the inexpensive to the very expensive depending on whether and how many bursts occur because of the freeze up. To save yourself from a pricey repair, make sure to turn off all indoor shut-off valves to any outdoor hose bibbs and sprinkler systems once the cold weather season approaches. Also, be sure to completely drain and detach your garden hose from the house – a frost-free hose bibb will not function with the hose still attached. Though insulating your pipes for the winter months is a simple task, it can save a lot of money in the long run. But it isn’t a panacea, as insulating alone may not be enough. A pipe with exposure to any cold air from outside will often freeze and burst even if it is insulated. If you find any pipes that are more susceptible to freezing; look for and seal against cold air intrusion first and then apply 110 volt heat tape prior to adding insulation. On the coldest of days, crack open your faucets to establish a trickle of water flow. This will reduce the chances of a frozen water line by allowing warmer water from the city main to slowly move through your piping.
Having an experienced plumber annually check your plumbing is a wise decision. Once you become familiar with what your plumber checks for, you may be able to recognize any potential problems and catch it before it becomes worse.
Some of the issues your plumber may inspect include:
Many plumbing disasters can be avoided by taking preventative measures. By knowing the signs of trouble and what to look for, you may be able fix the problem before they become very expensive.