Plumbing Maintenance Tips
you know the basics of plumbing, you can avoid being at the
mercy of a contractor and your
house will be in tip-top condition.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a plumbing system:
Keep sink drains and
strainers clean by
regularly removing food
and pouring a
pot of boiling water down drains every month.
Keep drains and the
dishwasher free of fat, grease, and coffee
grounds. Also, never
pour paint or chemicals into drains.
To prevent odor and to
keep garbage disposals clean,
flush with one pot of
hot water and a half-cup of baking soda each month
through the system.
Replace any patched
pipes, since patches
are meant to be only temporary.
Tubs, sinks, shower
stalls, basins, and toilets should
be checked periodically to ensure that they
are free of cracks, rust, and other forms of surface damage.
Caulk and putty seals
should be in good condition to
prevent water damage. Fixtures should be
firmly attached to the wall or floor.
Have the water heater
inspected annually and
check it for rust or leakage periodically. However,
do not mistake condensation for leakage. If there is water in
the relief drain valve, it should
be checked immediately by a plumber.
Drain a few gallons of
water out of water heaters every
six months to prevent sediment buildup.
Sump pumps need to be
connected to surface grade or to a storm drain.
Sump pumps should not be
connected to a septic tank or to a sewage system because these
systems are not capable
of handling large amounts of water. Also, all sump pumps
should have a dedicated outlet.
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A strip of toilet tissue or cleansing tissue
also can be held near suspected leaks on a
breezy day. The tissue will flutter where
Another good test, done at night
inside lights turned off, is to have someone
go outside and shine a
flashlight at points
of suspected air leaks. Where the flashlight’s
light is visible,
weather-stripping is needed.
Stripping for windows and doors must be
carefully. The stripping must be
durable and well attached to withstand
opening and closing. Special
heavy-duty weather-stripping also is
overhead garage doors. This is
especially important if the garage
is attached to the
Doors leading to unheated or poorly heated
areas, such as garages, attics, and
basements, should be given the same
tests as exterior doors.
can purchase foam pads for electrical
outlets and switch plates on exterior walls,
which can be sources of drafts.