A properly installed and well–functioning plumbing system is a critical part of every home. Without it, you don’t have clean drinking water, clothing, or dishes. So, it’s important that you invest enough time and energy into maintaining your system to keep it operational at all times. Here are some tips to help you cut down on repair costs and maintain your system.
One of the easiest things you can do to maintain your system is to flush the drains on a regular basis. Do this by running warm water down them, even when not in use. Because all drains integrate a simple trap to block the backflow of noxious gasses and dirty water, they require a small bit of water in the trap at all times. If the water evaporates, your fixtures can start to smell, or worse emit fumes that will make you and your family ill.
To supplement your flushing, add a pot or two of boiling water for each of the drains in your home. This will break up any unwanted residue that has built up in the interim. Many times, things like hair and grease will build up and start to clog the pipes. A simple flush with hot water will remove a large percentage of that debris.
One of the most common complaints heard from homeowners is noisy pipes. Loud banging, squeaks, clanging and other noises are common with pipes and a lot of people have no idea how to make it stop. For banging, the most common issue is loose pipes. Water moves through your pipes rapidly, so they will move if not secured. Check the area where the banging occurs and make sure everything is properly secured.
Because hot water pipes expand, make sure they are properly cushioned so the metal doesn’t squeak either. Finally, there is the issue of clanging or hammering noises. These are often due to air chambers that have filled with water. To make sure enough air is present in your pipes, turn off your water at the main valve and run it dry. The air chambers will refill and you can then use your water without worrying about the hammering noises.
Water costs money, especially when you waste it. It’s a great idea to invest in money saving technology for your plumbing system. You can do this by swapping out water wasting fixtures like your toilet or shower head for low flow variants.
You should also install aerators where possible to minimize how much water is used when the faucet is turned on. Your hot water heater is another place where money can be saved. While most hot water heaters are set to 140 degrees F, you can actually turn yours down to just 120 and it will work just as well without costing as much.
Don’t use chemicals in your plumbing system if at all possible. Not only are they dangerous for you and your family, they can cause damage to your plumbing system. A simple drain cleaner has a tremendously negative impact on your pipes – corroding surfaces and increasing the likelihood of a leak. The small gain you get from cleaning out those pipes right away is not nearly worth the extensive extra cost that comes from pumping so many chemicals into your plumbing system.