Taking care of your home’s plumbing is essential to keeping the clean water flowing in and dirty water flowing out. This valuable system comprises about 15% of your total home value.
Clearly, your plumbing system is quite an investment!
Plumbing maintenance is key to keeping your pipes in working order to save yourself time, money, and messes.
What Is Basic Maintenance for Plumbing?
There is never a good time for a backed-up toilet, a clogged sink, or a lake in the kitchen.
Basic plumbing maintenance can help you catch plumbing problems before they turn into a big mess.
- Keep an eye out for water leaks: Most leaks start out so small we don’t notice them until water is spraying everywhere. You can look for leaking faucets, damp cabinets, rocking toilets, or dripping refrigerators to spot symptoms and take action quick.
- Know how to respond to overflows: If (and when) water does start gushing, know where and how to shut off the main valve for the home water supply.
- Shutting off appliances: Know how and where to shut off the water to individual sinks, toilets, washing machines, and any other appliance that uses water.
- Know your pipe material: Are your pipes galvanized iron, PVC, copper? Knowing this will go a long way. Many homes in the Louisville, KY area may have galvanized iron while more modern homes likely use PVC.
- Repair problems early: Don’t ever assume a plumbing problem will go away on its own, it won’t. It also doesn’t serve you to assume it’s not a big deal, it probably is. When you notice a problem – take action.
- Turn on each water faucet in your home: Check each outlet regularly to ensure water is not coming out of the handles or valves.
- Clean your lint traps on your washing machine: This can lead to clogs and leaks in your washing machine.
There are four main branches of the plumbing industry; commercial, sewer, water heater, and drains. Each area has specific plumbing maintenance needs.
We are going to break down each area to provide the best practices for your plumbing maintenance.
Commercial Plumbing Maintenance
A commercial plumbing problem in Louisville, KY can mean a serious loss of income, so it’s important to find and repair small problems with adequate plumbing maintenance before they turn into major business emergencies.
During a regular maintenance check, there are seven areas that should be examined:
- Active Leaks: A thorough inspection looks for active leaks, water spots, increased moisture, or signs of mold/mildew.
- Signs of Corrosion: Corrosion or collection of limescale can indicate wear and tear on the pipes.
- Water Pressure: The water pressure should be at the correct level to get adequate use while staying within appliance guidelines to avoid equipment failures.
- Valve Operation: All of the safety and shut-off valves should be tested and any broken valves should be replaced.
- Inspect Water Heater: The water heater should be checked for proper temperature, leaks, and to ensure all safety mechanisms are in place.
- Check Drains: The drains throughout the building should be tested for their flow rate.
- Backflow Testing: Backflow testing is required by law in some states and should be conducted annually.
Our plumbing maintenance plans for commercial buildings in Louisville, KY takes care of each of these areas to reduce future repair costs and improve current plumbing performance.
Chances are, your sewer lines are the last thing on your mind, but if they fail – it’s an unavoidable disaster of sewage in your living or working space. Regular plumbing maintenance ensures your lines are clear today and free from damage over time.
- Annual Visual Inspection: Any sewer line maintenance program in Louisville, KY should include a complete interior camera inspection of all pipes to locate and mitigate potential issues before they develop into serious problems.
- Remove Trees and Avoid Roots: Because roots can penetrate the sewer line, it’s important to remove trees planted anywhere near the sewer line and only plant trees with shallow root systems like ash, maple, willow, and oak trees.
- Keep the Drains Clean: Use grates on yard drains to keep them free and clear of debris.
- Clean the catch basin: A thorough cleaning of the drain catch basin also reduces the chance of mud accumulation in the sewer line and should be a routine part of good sewer line maintenance.
- Do not dump grease: Any type of non-biodegradable items, or large food items should not be put down the disposal and into your drains and pipes.
Water Heater Maintenance
A little maintenance can go a long way in extending the life of your water heater. There are a few things you can do at home to protect your water heater:
- Keep the temperature setting at 120° Fahrenheit.
- Test the water heater’s pressure release valve by lifting the lever and allowing it to snap back. It should allow a burst of hot water into the drain pipe.
Further plumbing maintenance on a water heater should only be done with the assistance of a professional in Louisville, KY, and should be scheduled annually.
- Flushing the system, and draining the tank to clean and collect sediment. This process reduces corrosion and increases efficiency.
- Test the pressure-relief valve and install a new valve if necessary.
- Check temperature gauge for accuracy and safety
Drains are meant to eliminate excess water and waste and nothing more. When they get filled with all kinds of other things, it causes a problem.
Adequate plumbing maintenance for your drains includes these important prevention steps:
- Never put grease or oils down the sink.
- Always turn your water and disposal on before adding food.
- Never put fibrous or stringy food wastes down the disposal, like banana peels, celery, potato peels, and other foods that are difficult to grind up.
- Always allow the cold water to run for at least 15 seconds after using the disposal. This ensures food wastes are flushed down the main line.
- Run your dishwasher at night to conserve hot water and maintain good water pressure throughout the day.
- Don’t use too much toilet paper.
- Make sure kids understand the toilet isn’t a toy and shouldn’t flush toys.
- Reduce your use of oils and greasy products in the shower or bath.
- Installing screens over the drains to prevent hair from going down the drain
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can.
- Wait about 10 minutes between showers to help maintain proper water pressure.
- Avoid using chemical clog removal products that can corrode your pipes!
Plumbing Maintenance FAQs
How do I test if my toilet is leaking?
Open the toilet tank and put a few drops of food coloring into the water. Return after 15 minutes to see if the color inside the toilet bowl has changed. If the color has changed, your toilet has a leak, but if the water’s still clear, you do not have a leak.
What is the white substance around my shower head and faucet?
The unsightly buildup is mineral deposits. One way to remove this buildup is to allow it to soak in vinegar overnight. For more tips on how to remove it, give our team a call!
How do I prevent my pipes from freezing?
There are several things homeowners can do to help prevent their pipes from freezing. The next time the temperature is about to drop, give these techniques a try.
- Keep garage doors closed
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors
- Let the cold water drip from a faucet
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature
- If you plan to be away during cold weather
- For the long term, add insulation
Schedule Regular Maintenance With Our Team
Families across Louisville, KY wake up every day to a plumbing disaster in their home. Most of the issues we see are completely preventable. Plumbing maintenance is a great way to catch small leaks and repairs before they turn into costly nightmares.
We recommend homeowners in Louisville, KY take the steps necessary to care for their plumbing system on their own, but the only way to maintain adequate plumbing maintenance is with the tools, knowledge, and expertise you can only get from a plumbing professional.
The best course of action is to schedule and set up regular maintenance checks of your plumbing system with our team. Give us a call today!
Blackburn and Davis, Inc is located Louisville, KY, but it proud to also service the cities of Prospect, La Grange, Crestwood, and surrounding areas.