Plumbing Maintenance Checklist & Helpful Tips

To ensure that easy to fix plumbing problems don't become expensive repairs or a plumbing emergency in the future, performing routine plumbing maintenance and checks is a good idea for any homeowner.

By performing plumbing maintenance and checking certain parts of your home plumbing system, you can keep your home safe and avoid issues like excessive moisture and water damage. These issues are often caused by the plumbing system and can lead to expensive home repairs like mold remediation, fixing foundation cracks, drywall cracks and much more. 

Here is a plumbing maintenance checklist to learn what you should be inspecting throughout your home.

Plumbing Maintenance Checklist For A Home

Inspect For Water Leaks 

Water leaks not only cause your water bill to go up but if not properly fixed can cause water damage in your home that leads to expensive repairs. One easy way of checking for leaks is by turning off the water in your home and inspecting that the water meter is at 0 or nearby it. If it's not then that can potentially be due to a water leak. 

Inspect For Corrosion

If you see any signs of visible corrosion like green/blue stains or rust on your pipes, then chances are you'll have a leak problem soon. This can also lead to pipe connection issues. Corrosion on your pipes is one way to figure out which pipe is causing leaking in your basements.

Corrosion on pipes can also cause a host of other problems like low water pressure in your sink or prevent water from reaching the faucet

Inspect Toilet Tanks

Make sure that the toilet is working as expected. Some quick things to check is to remove the lid and verify that the water bowl fills up quicky after flushing. Are there any visible cracks or damage? Are the tank and bowl attached tightly to each other?  Do you see any mold? If you do see mold in the bathroom, you will want to take precautions against it like getting a more efficient bathroom exhaust fan to prevent any further mold growth.

Inspect Water Heater

This plumbing maintenance checklist wouldn't be complete without mentioning the water heater tank. You should be checking and performing routine maintenance on your water heater according to the manual by the manufacturer. Check the temperature, pressure relief valve, and verify that nothing needs to be replaced like the anode rod.

Inspect Sinks

Kitchen sinks are one of the most common places for water leaks to occur due to all the usage. Similarly, you might also experience slow drain issues. If the leak isn't too large it can be hard to detect and if not noticed right away can cause water damage that eventually leads to mold.

Immediately fix any leaks in sinks to avoid this problem. It's not a bad idea to clean the kitchen sink drain regularly every now and then to avoid clogging. If you do run into clogging issues then make sure you own a drain snake to clear up clogs.

Inspect Water Pressure

If you have a water pressure gauge at your disposal then use it to verify that the water pressure is at a correct level. If you've noticed that the water pressure is low around the home like for showers, it might not have the proper water pressure level. Otherwise, you might just need to get high pressure shower heads.

Usually, the water pressure in most home's plumbing system can range from anywhere between 35-60 psi. You can always improve the water pressure in a home with a water pressure booster pump.

Check Drains Aren’t Clogged

Drains will clog from a combination of debris, food, and will often rot as well, which is why drain cleaning is essential. You should be routinely clear them out with drain cleaner or home remedies and verify they haven't rotten. You can unclog sink drains by using a drain snake or a combination of baking soda and vinegar. 

Apart from drains being clogged, read our article on things you should never flush down the toilet to prevent clogged toilets. Apart from bathroom drains, you should also regularly clean shower drains. 

Inspect Septic Tank

If your home uses a septic tank, then you will definitely want to routinely inspect it and make sure there isn't any repairs that need to be done on it. Septic tanks should be pumped out at least once every 2 years. If the septic system is close to your foundation, you'll want to make sure your taking good care of it so it doesn't cause any issues.

Inspect Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump in your crawl space or basement, you will want to check it's condition and verify it still works appropriately. The last thing you want is for a flood to occur and find out that your sump pump doesn't work when you need it the most. It's cheaper to pay a couple of hundred dollars to replace it with a new one than to pay potentially thousands of dollars in water damage costs from a surprise flood. If a water pipe breaks, a sump pump can also prevent further water damage caused from it. If you don't have one already, it's also worth installing a battery backup that will keep the pump working incase of power outage.

Routinely performing these checks can help prevent expensive plumbing repairs later down the road. Becoming a plumber isn't easy and takes a lot of training, so surely having one fix any plumbing issues certainly won't be cheap. 

About the author 

Ryan Thompson is a residential and commercial plumber from Miami, Florida. He has over 20+ years of plumbing experience. He is also a huge DIY enthusiast who does all types of improvement projects around the house.

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