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Homeowner’s Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

Plumbing MaintenanceHomeowners can catch minor problems before they become a major mess with some simple plumbing maintenance tips. It is the best preventative measure you can take for your pipes and it all starts with a visual inspection.

Inspect

  • Check faucets in the kitchen and bathroom for drips or leaks.
  • Look at your outside faucets for leaks, too. Although pipes are designed for durability, they can still crack under pressure with freezing temperatures.
  • Look for any green, orange or yellow stains on water pipes which could indicate corrosion.
  • Inspect ceiling and walls for watermarks which could indicate pipe leakage.
  • Look around pipes for mildew, mold growth, or musty smells.
  • Inspect the water heater for rust.
  • Look at the toilet tank for corrosion or broken parts.
  • Inspect washing machine hoses for cracks.

If you notice any of the above during your inspection, call Brown’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule your plumbing maintenance and repairs.

Test

Plumbing problems aren’t always visible, however. You must also test the system to see what you’re dealing with.

  • Conduct physical tests on your faucets and handles; when you turn the water on, inspect the handles for leaks.
  • Test the sinks and showers for drainage speed. Look for bubbles which are a sign of a slow drain.
  • Look and listen for proper toilet flushing speed and consistency.
  • Examine caulking around showers doors, bath tubs, toilet bases and sinks. If any spots are dry or missing, remove the old caulk and replace with a fresh application.
  • Run the garbage disposal to test that it’s in good working condition.

Prepare

Your best defense against costly plumbing repairs is to be prepared.

  • Flush your water heater to remove sediment buildup which can lead to corrosion, reduce efficiency and end up shortening the life span of your water heater.
  • For optimal performance, keep the hot water heater temperature set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the garden hose and store away. Cold weather can cause hoses to crack leaving them vulnerable to leaks come spring. The EPA states that one simple leak the size of a dime in a hose can waste over 6,000 gallons of water a month.
  • Clean out p-traps under sinks to protect against clogs.
  • Clean faucet aerators and shower heads.
  • Insulate pipes in the garage, basement, crawl space or other unheated areas.
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure easy drainage as it freezes and melts throughout the fall, winter and spring.
  • Clean sump pumps before cold winter weather arrives and inspect for necessary repairs to prevent a breakdown in the middle of winter.
  • Prevent indoor pipes that may be susceptible to freezing, by allowing the water to run from each valve in your home at regular intervals.

How Often Should You Schedule Plumbing Maintenance?

No matter how diligent you have been with DIY maintenance, over time, your plumbing system will still suffer wear and tear. Just like your car or any other appliance in your home such as the HVAC, they all require (at the minimum) an annual maintenance check-up. We rarely think about the vital service these things provide until they suddenly stop delivering, which is why maintenance is so important.
If you’re constantly dealing with clogs, leaks or a loose toilet, it may be time to call in the professional plumbers. A plumbing professional will be able to inspect things you may not be able to see with an untrained eye. At Brown’s we service residential and commercial plumbing issues including sump pump, water services, gas lines, hot water heaters, camera scope drain lines and drain cleaning.
Contact Brown’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule an appointment or call us at 732-741-0694 to speak with one of our experienced plumbers.