Small leaks under sinks, dripping faucets, slow drains and running toilets are small annoyances at first, but without attention, they can develop into major plumbing problems and even cause costly home repairs. One way to prevent unpleasant surprises such as a burst pipe or a hidden leak is through regular maintenance.
Plumbers recommend that you conduct inspections yourself as well as arranging professional maintenance and inspections twice a year. A good way to remember when it’s time for your professional inspection is to schedule it when you change your clocks to conform to Daylight Saving Time.
Plumbing Inspections to Do Yourself
In a sense, you inspect your home’s pipes and fittings every time you run water in the sink, take a shower or flush a toilet. A little attentiveness to how your pipes behave is vital to recognizing a problem when it starts. Note these characteristics of a fully functional system when you use your sinks and showers.
- How quickly does water drain? Drains in good health permit water to leave as quickly as it flows into the sink or tub.
- Does the toilet stop running of its own accord, or do you jiggle the handle to get it to stop?
- Does water flow readily from shower heads and faucets?
- Are visible pipes free of rust, corrosion or mineral deposits?
- Do you see dampness under sinks that might indicate a leak?
Some maintenance tasks are simple enough to do yourself. A pair of slim pliers or tweezers can remove a hair clog that slows a bathtub drain, for example. Removing aerator fittings from faucets and cleaning them of mineral scale is another task you can do yourself.
Other jobs are more involved. To detect a slow leak in your toilet’s flapper valve, add a few drops of food coloring to the clean water in the tank and wait about half an hour, then check the water in the bowl for any sign of the dye. Colored water means your flapper isn’t forming a tight seal and needs to be replaced, a job you can often accomplish on your own. Some do-it-yourselfers might tackle a leaking faucet and replace its washers, but that job can be trickier than it initially appears; when in doubt, call a professional.
Maintenance from a Professional Plumber
Even if you’re handy with a wrench, some maintenance tasks are messy or complex enough to warrant a call to a licensed pro. Some of the professional services that keep your faucets and drains in great condition include:
- drain cleaning and maintenance for faster flow
- garbage disposal cleaning
- water heater tank flushing
- pressure testing of all faucets and shower heads
- intensive cleaning of aerators and showers
Optional services such as video drain inspection and septic tank inspection ensure that everything’s in good condition. If you plan to sell your home within the next two years, having a record of regular pipe maintenance is a strong selling point. If you’re buying, arrange an in-depth inspection before committing to a property in Bradenton, FL. Contact Aqua for your plumbing needs.