Plumbing Maintenance

Plumbing Maintenance

Something as small as a leaky faucet can waste up to 5,000 gallons of water each year. With a little maintenance, you can prevent the little problems as well as the big problems.

Basic Plumbing Tools

Keep these tools around the house for simple maintenance procedures.

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Basin wrench
  • 1/4-in. flat-blade screwdriver
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Teflon tape
  • Assorted washers and O-rings

General Maintenance

Follow these steps to make sure your plumbing is in order.

  • Replace worn hoses on washing machines
  • Inspect water pipes and fittings annually
  • Know where the water shut-off valve is in case a hose or pipe breaks
  • Check the water pressure—normal pressure is 60-80 psi
  • Check grout and caulking around toilets
  • Exercise the angle stop on your main water valve by turning it every 4 months
  • Make sure sump pumps are free of debris
  • Drain water from the bottom of the water heater until it runs clear to get rid of sediment
  • Don’t leave the house with the dishwasher or washing machine running
  • Turn off the water supply to washing machine when taking long vacations away
  • Look for sharp increases in your water bill—you may have an undiscovered leak

Winter Maintenance

Follow these steps to prepare your plumbing for cold weather.

  • Check insulation around indoor, attic, crawlspace, and exposed pipes
  • Wrap exposed pipes with foam insulation or heat trace tape as needed
  • Drain underground sprinkler systems—blow out any and all water left in the lines
  • Cover exposed spigots with a styrofoam cover or with newspaper, a plastic bag, and duct tape
  • Shut off outdoor faucets and drains

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