We expect our home to be our sanctuary. That’s why most homeowners don’t think about internal plumbing until there’s a problem with it. See how you can prevent detrimental residential plumbing issues with these 5 tips on protecting your home piping.
1. Keep your pipes safe during cold weather.
Cold climates can lead to frozen pipes. When the frozen water expands, the pipes crack or burst. A flood results when the water thaws—meaning expensive water damage for your home, plus damaged pipes.
Maintenance tip: Insulate exposed pipes during the winter. You can easily apply stick-on/peel-off plastic insulation. For extremely cold weather, open your sink cabinets in your kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms to circulate warm air and prevent pipes from freezing.
2. Always be on the lookout for leaks and corrosion in exposed pipes.
We can’t stress this enough—corroded pipes and leaks can be extremely damaging to your home. The best way to avoid these is to look for common signs of a plumbing issue.
Maintenance tip: Signs of a leak include watermarks on the floor/walls and water puddles. For pipe corrosion, be on the lookout for green strains (for brass/copper pipes) and yellow and orange stains (for steel pipes).
3. Watch what goes down your pipes.
It can be really easy to clog your pipes by putting foreign debris down your toilet, sinks and garbage disposal. Some clogs can be taken care of at home, but tough clogs and buildup require a professional plumber.
Maintenance tip: As a general rule, always dispose of any grease/oil/fat in the garbage. Never flush tissues, paper towels, wipes, medicine, garbage or any other foreign debris down your toilet.
4. Water Pressure
Another easy way to extend the life of your home piping is to control your water pressure. Using a high water pressure can be damaging to the interior of your pipes.
Maintenance tip: Keep your water pressure below 80 psi for showers, toilets, sinks, laundry machines and dishwashers. See how to test for high water pressure here.
5. Aged Pipes
If your home was built before 1986, or is more than 15 years old, consider getting them checked out by an experienced plumber. Often times, you don’t know there’s a problem building underneath your floors or in your walls.
Maintenance tip: Because old pipes can often contain galvanized piping structure or lead pipes, re-piping is recommended for outdated pipes.
If you have a residential plumbing problem, call an SLO plumber immediately. Getting an expert to assess the situation can help save thousands of dollars in damage to your home, and is your best bet for getting your home back in working order as soon as possible.