How to Prevent Expensive Plumbing Problems: Save Money, Prevent Water Damage, and Keep Your Plumbing System Working Longer
Most common plumbing problems can be easily prevented if you inspect your plumbing systems on a regular basis. Not only will this save you money by keeping them working longer, but it’ll also prevent expensive water damage.
Inspecting for Common Plumbing Problems
Most of us take our plumbing systems for granted. Even though we use them regularly, it’s easy to overlook issues that could turn into costly water damage, mold, sewage backup, or other problems if left unattended. You can detect most plumbing problems with a simple visual inspection or with a simple test of that item.
Inspect all visible plumbing for signs of corrosion, mold, and leaks. From sinks to toilets, check that they are working properly and not leaking. Test all shutoff valves to ensure they work properly.
Run faucets and showerheads to check for clogs and leaks. Listen for the sound of drains filling up, as this could mean you have a partial clog somewhere. Flush toilets to make sure they are working properly.
Check walls and other structural materials near plumbing systems for signs of damage in the walls. Damp or deteriorating building materials, water stains, and mold could mean you have a leak or other plumbing issue.
Specific Plumbing Systems to Check
Hot water tank failures can be expensive and cause significant water damage and flooding. Visually inspect your tank for corrosion, rust, and leaks. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, consider calling a professional plumber for a detailed inspection.
Your sump pump is often the last defense against storm flooding, so it’s critical to keep it in proper working condition. Check your sump pump at least once a year. This ensures that it works as intended during heavy rains.
Most washing machines use 30 to 40 gallons of water per cycle, so it’s important to check both supply lines and wastewater lines every few months. If your washing machine drains to a utility sink, check the sink and floor drains for clogs as well.
Toilet components can wear out over time, causing higher water bills or even flooding and water damage. To inspect your toilet, remove the lid on the tank and flush the toilet. Make sure the flapper, flush valve, and ballcock are all working properly and in good condition. To check for a toilet leak, add a few drops of food coloring to the tank. Wait a few hours, then check the bowl for dye. If you see dye, you know you have a toilet leak.
Sink seals and washers can deteriorate over time. Not only does this waste water, but it could potentially causing mold problems. Check cabinets under sinks for damp spots, deteriorating materials, musty odors, and visible mold. Tighten the connections on sink drains as well as replace the gaskets as necessary.
Bathtubs and Showers
Bathtubs and showers are often the most heavily used pieces of plumbing in your home. Not only should you check faucets, shower heads, and drains regularly, but also inspect seals around the tub and on bathroom walls. Additionally, the deterioration of tile ground and caulk could lead to mold behind walls.
Get Professional Water Damage Restoration
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If you need immediate, call 1-888-443-3110 to talk with the on-call water damage contractor in your area. Our on-call water damage companies offer 24-hour service, immediate response, and a free, no-obligation estimate.