Avoid Plumbing Emergencies with these Maintenance tips!
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Indoor plumbing – a modern convenience people take for granted. The concept of plumbing is simple, and at its core, it consists of just valves and pressure. But when a plumbing system fails, the solution seems more complex than the system’s make up. By learning how to identify and fix minor plumbing issues, homeowners can prevent catastrophes from occurring.
Fix Problems Now Instead of Later
Small leaks can quickly turn into big problems. Be on the look out for signs of future plumbing failures, such as damp cabinets, dripping refrigerators, leaking faucets and rocking toilets. Issues like a leaky faucet are not only aggravating, but also problematic. The moisture from the leak encourages mold and mildew growth and wears down the sink’s fixtures. Therefore, these problems require immediate attention.
Be Prepared for Plumbing Emergencies
If a broken pipe floods the basement or the laundry room floor is covered in water, it is important to know how to stop the water flow. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the location of the home’s main shutoff valve. They should also learn how to turn off the water flow at all appliances and fixtures, such as refrigerator’s ice maker, sinks, toilets and washing machine.
Tools that are necessary to efficiently shut off any valves should be kept in an easy-to-grab location. This saves time when a plumbing emergency arises. Some of these tools may include a shut-off key, flashlight and channel lock.
Protect Plumbing From Freezing Temperatures
When outdoor temperatures dip below freezing, the water inside a pipe freezes and expands, causing the pipe to crack. After the temperature outside rises above freezing, the water inside of the pipe will thaw, and water will flood from the crack. A frozen pipe is a common, yet major plumbing emergency. Therefore, prevention is key. When winter approaches, homeowners should:
- Insulate pipes exposed to the outdoors with peel-and-stick plastic insulation.
- Open cabinets where sink plumbing is located when frigid weather occurs.
- Take hoses off the spigots, and then put insulating caps on the spigots.
- Trickle water from faucets when temperatures hit freezing.
Despite one’s best efforts, sometimes pipes do freeze. If a pipe freezes:
- Turn off the house’s water supply.
- Turn on the faucet closest to the blocked area.
- Blow heat from a hair dryer onto the frozen pipe, beginning at the tap end, until water starts trickling from the faucet.
- Check plumbing for leaks and cracks after the pipe thaws.