10 Spring Cleaning plumbing Tips For Your Jupiter Home
Spring is here and its time to start doing some DIY work around the house. Most homeowners forget their plumbing system needs to be maintained to prevent major problems in the future. So, here are a few handy tips to make sure your plumbing sytem is working properly.
- Emergency Water Shut Off – Knowing where your emergency water shut off valve is one of the most important things a homeowner should know. If one of the valves inside your home should break or come off of the pipe, that would be 10 gallons of water per minute flowing into your home. The main water shut off is usually located outside your home, against the wall near a hose bibb. Turn the valve all the way off and all the way on to make sure it will work properly when you need it.
- Check your toilet – Toilets are the biggest contributors to wasting water. The flappers inside the toilet can get old and hard preventing a good seal inside the tank. To see if your toilet is leaking and wasting water, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Make sure the water in the tank is noticably a different color, then wait about an hour. If after an hour, the water inside the bowl has turned color, you have a leaking toilet. By replacing the flapper with a new one, you will be saving water, money, and potential major water damage.
- Water Heater – Check to see if there is any water coming from your hot water heater. Any water around your tank is a sure sign that your tank is leaking and needs to be repaired or replaced. A leaking hot water heater wastes money not only on your water bill but on your electric bill also. Another task you can add is to flush your water heater. Simply attach a garden hose to the drain of your water heater, let the hose drain outside away from plants or run the hose into a tub and open the valve. This will flush the sediment and build-up that has accumilated on the bottom of your tank. Flush the tank for about a minute or until the water flows clear. BE CAREFULL, the water is very hot.
- Shut Off Valves – Each fixture in your home has at least one shut off valve, one for cold water and one for hot water. Look inside cabinets, behind toilets, and in closets for these valves. Turn these valves on and off to make sure they work. If there is ever a leak, you can turn off the valve and make the repair or call a local Jupiter plumber.
- Check Your Bathtubs and Shower Valves – Over time, bathtub and shower valves can get stuck or leak if they have not been used recently. Your plumbing system always works best when everything is used as much as possible. So, check that guest bathroom or the cabana bathroom for leaks and proper operation. Your guests will appreciate it.
- Hose Faucets – Look around your home for all the hose faucets. Some can be hiding behind plants or downspouts from gutters and can be leaking causeing you hundreds of dollars every year on your water bill. Make sure these do not leak even when turned on. The most common leak for hose faucets is from the stem. Snugging up this stem nut can save water and keep your hands dry. Consider installing a vacuum breaker on each hose faucet. This will prevent contaminated water from entering your your home.
- Drains – Check all drains in the house. Run the water at each fixture for about a minute. The water should go down the drain almost instantly. If it starts to back up, chances are you have a minor clog. Avoid pouring liquid or gel drain openers down your drain as most of these products contain acid and can eat away at your pipes causeing expensive repairs. Simply go to your local home improvement store and buy a hand-held snake. Feed the snake down the drain, give it a few turns, and see what you pull back. Most clogs are caused by hair, soap scum, and oils. Do this to prevent having major problems later in the year.
- Garbage Disposal – Make sure your garbage disposal is operating properly. Turn on the water and run the disposal for about 10 seconds. Make sure there is no clanking or abnormally loud noises coming for the disposal. Next, see if there is any bad smells coming from inside the grinding chamber. If there is, dump a handful of ice into the disposal and turn it on. Doing this will knock off old food that has stuck to the inside walls of the chamber.
- Leaks – Look inside each and every cabinet in your home. Minor leaks can cause major damage. Run water and look for drips inside the base cabinet. If leaks are found, dry the area and inspect the pipes and fixture. Leaks can attract insects and cause mold. Such a simple task can prevent a huge issue.
- Install Water Monitors – Water monitors are little battery operated devices that sound an alarm when water is detected. These devices should be placed under every cabinet, near your water heater, and even near your air handler for your A/C. These devices can be found at your local hardware store and are easy to install.
Well, that’s it! Adding these 10 plumbing tips to your spring cleaning list will save you time, money, and keep your family healthy throughout the year. So, test your plumbing and don’t be surprised to learn a few things alone the way. You can brag to your friends about it later.