When plumbing emergencies arise, it always seems like the issue just sprang up out of nowhere. However, the truth is many plumbing emergencies are the result of smaller issues that went unnoticed until they became much bigger problems.
Avoiding a plumbing disaster is actually a lot easier than you might think. It’s all about knowing the warning signs and taking the proper preventative measures to ensure problems don’t get out of hand.
Know Where Your Main Water Shutoffs Are Located
Locating your main water shutoffs could save you a lot of damage down the road. For instance, let’s say a leak springs up in your bathroom or kitchen. Being able to stop the supply of water to that part of the house will help buy you some time until the plumber can arrive to fix the issue. Otherwise, you may end up with a flooding house on your hands.
Once you know where the main water shutoff valves are located around your home, you’ll want to map out the fastest route to get there, just in case you find yourself dealing with an issue you need to stop immediately.
Buy a Leak Protection System
Many plumbing leaks start out small enough that you may not even notice them at first. This likely means you’ve got a problem that keeps getting bigger and bigger. Mold could be forming and spreading, or a small leak could be getting slowly bigger until one day you’ve got a full gusher to deal with.
A leak protection system could help you avoid this issue. These systems vary in features and functionality, from basic to advanced. The most popular systems have an automatic shutoff feature that turn off the main water supply when a leak is detected. Other systems may also include an alarm that will let you know when there’s a leak.
Treat You Garbage Disposal Well
The garbage disposal is a real workhorse in the kitchen, but it isn’t invincible. Pouring grease down the disposal or cramming it full of fibrous foods such as celery is a sure-fire way to end up with a nasty clog on your hands, along with a burned out motor in your garbage disposal. Remember to run food slowly down the garbage disposal while running water.
Get Your Hoses and Pipes Checked
You don’t have to wait until something ruptures to call a plumber. Consider having your hoses and pipes checked out as part of a preventative maintenance program. Remember, all those hoses that connect you dishwasher and washing machine to the water supply only last about five years. It might be time to ask a plumber how yours are holding up.
Stop Using Liquid Drain Cleaners
For starters, liquid drain cleaners don’t really do a very good job of clearing the drains. They can also cause damage to your pipes and the chemicals are dangerous when handled incorrectly. If you want to get a blockage cleared up correctly, call in a plumber.
Don’t Ignore Water Heater Issues
Storage tank water heaters will start throwing off some warning signs if repair, replacement or service is needed. For instance, if you find that your hot water doesn’t last as long as it used to, your storage tank may have less capacity due to buildup of sediment, which needs to be flushed out.
These tanks will also corrode over time, so if you notice the tank itself is starting to leak, it’s time to invest in a new water heater. You don’t want to wake up to find the entire tank of water has gushed out onto your floor.
Get a Plumbing Tune-Up
Much like your car, a plumbing system needs a good tune-up every now and then to ensure it’s working at its peak. The services included in a plumbing tune-up will vary depending on the contractor you choose to perform the service.
A good tune-up will include drain line treatment, water pressure test and a thorough inspection of several elements, including the water heater.