Owning a home is a big responsibility. If you don't care for your home properly, it can lose its value due to things like leaky plumbing. It's usually easier to keep up with maintenance rather than let things go and deal with emergency repairs. Here are some steps for keeping your plumbing in good repair.
1. Check For Visible Leaks And Drips
You may want to download a plumbing maintenance checklist or create your own so you can keep track of all your plumbing maintenance. You may want to check your plumbing a couple of times a year or more just to make sure everything is okay.
An easy place to start is by checking every faucet and plumbing connection for drips. Look behind the washer and under sinks so all the visible connections are checked. You may want to use touch rather than just looking for drips.
If a drain or valve feels wet, track down the source of the drip and make repairs if you can, or call a plumbing contractor. A drip might seem minor, but if water drips on your floor long enough, it can cause water damage.
When you're checking valves for drips, take time to twist them open and closed. When you don't use plumbing valves very often, they can freeze in place due to hard water scale, but you can prevent this by twisting the valves occasionally to break up the scale.
2. Observe How Fast Drains Empty
Next, flush all the toilets in your house and run water down the drains. Toilets and drains should empty fast, and if they don't, there could be a clog building. Get out your plunger and try to break up the clog while it's still small. You might also need to fish hair clogs out of the shower drain on a regular basis to keep water flowing.
3. Check Your Water Meter For Leaks
Most of your home's plumbing is out of view. Pipes are behind walls and under the slab of your home. It's very difficult to know when one of these hidden pipes has a water leak, but you can tell by reading your meter regularly. Start by shutting off all the water in your house and then read the meter.
Don't run any water for an hour or two and then read the meter again. If the numbers change, that means water is leaking out somewhere and you need to call a plumbing contractor to figure out where the leak is and make repairs. A pipe that's leaking under your house could cause foundation damage if it's not repaired in time.