Preventative plumbing maintenance might seem daunting at first, a little basic knowledge and diligence can save a great deal of stress and expense in the future. The following guide will cover some of the most steps to help you avoid flooding, leaks, blockages and unnecessary loss of water.
Memorise the location of your main shutoff valve.
This valve controls all new water coming into your home plumbing system. In the event of a burst pipe or emergency leak, closing it will quickly prevent further damage and leave you free to isolate the problem.
It can often be found on the ground floor, outside wall or basement. Label it clearly – ideally with instructions – so anybody can easily close it at a moment’s notice. Make sure everybody in your household knows where to find it, and consider a “trial run” to avoid future panic.
Regularly clean your kitchen and bathroom drains
Routine maintenance will minimise the risk of blocked drains.
In the kitchen, pour a few liters of hot water down each sink from time to time. This will melt and force out any fat that might have hardened – one of the most common causes of blockages.
In the bathroom, use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner (if available) to dislodge the hair and grime that can easily build up over time. Dedicated drain cleaning products will do the rest, provided you’re careful to use a chemical cleaner that won’t corrode your piping.
Use the economy setting on your dishwasher
If you stack your dishes conservatively (upright, with plenty of space for water to travel and dishes to “breathe”), you may find the shorter-timed settings are more than enough for a thorough clean.
Check for toilet leaks the easy way
To detect one of the biggest causes of everyday wasted water, just place a little bit of dye or food colouring into the toilet tank. If you see traces of it in the bowl the next day, it’s time to take action.
Usually, this will simply mean replacing your flush valve – a relatively easy DIY process. As they’re far from expensive, it’s generally a good idea to purchase one next time you visit a hardware store. This will save a significant amount of stress if an emergency replacement is needed on the spot.
Regularly check your laundry.
One common source of flooding is the laundry, especially when water enters the washing machine via rubber hoses more prone to breaking or becoming dislodged. Regularly check for signs of blistering or cracking, and for additional peace of mind, consider upgrading to metal alternatives.
As a cautionary measure, it’s also worth turning off this valve before leaving on holidays, just as you would any other appliance.
Specializing in Toronto Area sewer repair, drain cleaning, and emergency plumbing, Mister Plumber uses the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem and offers a fast response and free estimates. Call us 416 939 1530 or fill the form for Online Free Estimate.