Did you know there the average American family of four goes through approximately 400 gallons of water daily?
While this statistic is quite mind-boggling, what may be more shocking to you are the common plumbing maintenance mistakes made by homeowners unaware of the damage they can cause. The most guaranteed way to avoid plumbing issues at your home is to be proactive with your plumbing maintenance.
If you are wondering what common plumbing maintenance mistakes to avoid, this short and simple guide is for you.
1. Not Turning Off the Water While You’re Away
It might seem like a good idea to leave the faucet running while you’re not home so the pipes won’t freeze or burst, but this causes more damage than good.
Running water through the pipes creates pressure changes in the system, which wears down your pipes. This can lead to plumbing maintenance costs down the road.
2. Not Replacing Your Water Heater
The lifespan of a water heater is about 8-10 years, which means it will need to be replaced before then. If you notice that your water is not heating properly or if it takes longer than usual to warm up, then it might be time to replace your water heater. This is a common plumbing issue many homeowners face.
3. Not Staying on Top of Minor Plumbing Issues
If you have an ongoing problem with your pipes or drains that doesn’t get resolved quickly, then it may be time for professional help.
If you wait too long, then the issue could become more serious and costlier than if you had gotten help earlier. For example, if there is a leaky faucet in your kitchen sink and you don’t fix it right away, then that tiny drip can turn into a big problem, causing major damage under your sink cabinet.
4. Not Changing Filters Regularly
One of the easiest ways for homeowners to keep their plumbing systems running smoothly is by changing filters on time. Filters help keep debris out of your water heater or dishwasher so that neither one becomes damaged from buildup.
If you haven’t changed your filters in months or years, then you should get them changed as soon as possible. They could cost you more than just money.
5. Not Flushing Out Sediment From Water Heater
Water heaters hold a lot of sediment and debris in their tanks. This can clog up the pipes, which can lead to water heater failure.
To prevent this from happening, it is important to flush out the sediment at least once every two years by running cold water through the pipe of your water heater for several minutes.
6. Not Changing Faucet Aerators Annually
Aerators are part of faucets that help regulate the flow rate and pressure. Over time, these devices become clogged with minerals in your water supply, which causes them to reduce flow rate significantly or even stop working altogether.
The best way to avoid this problem is by replacing aerators every year or two rather than waiting until they become clogged with mineral deposits.
7. Not Replacing Hot Water Heater Elements As Needed
Replacing the heating element in a water heater is one of the most common maintenance tasks, but many homeowners forget to do this until the device stops working. This is a mistake.
Water heaters last for many years, but they’re not indestructible. If you don’t replace your water heater elements regularly, you may find yourself without hot water in the middle of winter.
8. Not Cleaning Up Debris
You might think “out of sight, out of mind” applies here. After all, why bother cleaning up debris that could clog your drains if it doesn’t look bad?
Unfortunately, this is a big mistake for plumbing maintenance. Failing to clean up debris regularly can cause clogs and backups that will cause serious damage to your home’s pipes and make you hire a plumbing service to repair them.
You should clean up debris from your drains regularly, whether or not it looks bad.
9. Not Flushing Your Toilet Regularly
You can easily clog toilets when you flush something down them that shouldn’t have been flushed. This includes paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and even baby wipes.
Even if these items don’t clog your toilet immediately, they can lead to other problems down the road, such as slow drainage or mold growth inside your pipes. Make sure you always flush these things down the toilet and never leave them sitting on top of the rim where they might fall into the bowl itself.
10. Not Checking for Leaks Regularly
Leaking pipes can cause a lot of damage if they aren’t detected early enough. Leaks can also waste a lot of water, which can end up being costly over time, especially if you live in an area where water is scarce.
The best way to check for leaks is by using a leak detection solution, which is at most hardware stores. Follow the instructions on the bottle carefully and make sure you don’t get any of it on your skin or clothes, as it could stain them.
11. Not Flushing Out Your Drains Once a Month
Routine drain cleaning will help keep your drains clear of debris and prevent clogs from forming. This helps prevent sewage backups into your home or basement during heavy rainstorms or snowmelt when drains get overwhelmed by excess water flowing through them.
You should do this every month at least once, but more often if you have pets or small children who sometimes drop toys in the toilet bowl.
Plumbing Maintenance Mistakes: Keep Your Plumbing in Tip Top Shape
Plumbing is a system that can be tricky to maintain, but it’s important to keep up with. Avoiding these common plumbing maintenance mistakes will go a long way in ensuring that your plumbing system lasts for longer and performs better overall.
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