One crucial part of home maintenance is the plumbing system. A well-functioning plumbing system delivers clean water, disposes of waste efficiently, and provides comfort and convenience.
Despite this vital role in your home, many homeowners ignore their plumbing system until a problem occurs – often in the drains. With proper preventative care and these tips from Adeedo, you can unleash the power of your drains and elevate your home’s plumbing performance.
- Regular plumbing maintenance is key in protecting your plumbing
- Small habits can keep your plumbing healthier and extend its lifespan
- Plumbing upgrades can improve efficiency and longevity
Benefits of a Functional Plumbing System
How much do you think about your plumbing? It’s easy to ignore unless things go wrong, but there are plenty of benefits to having a functional system:
A functional plumbing system ensures a continuous supply of clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and household chores. Maintaining your pipes and fixtures keeps your water running clean and free of contaminants that can be unpleasant or even dangerous.
Your home’s drainage system is responsible for removing wastewater and sewage from your home. Keeping your drains clean and clear prevents clogs, backups, and foul odors that can affect your home’s waste removal process.
Performing preventative maintenance helps you avoid costly emergencies by identifying problems before they become major repairs. For example, a minor inconvenience like a small leak or a dripping faucet can become a plumbing emergency if ignored, leading to unhygienic conditions and high utility bills.
Health and Hygiene
Having problems with your plumbing can lead to issues with mold growth and other waterborne illnesses. A properly functioning plumbing system reduces the risk of dangers lurking in your water and drains that can affect your health.
If you’re planning to sell your home, having records that show you keep up with the home’s plumbing can add value and build confidence in potential buyers. Repairing or replacing your plumbing is expensive, so buyers can purchase knowing they’ll have fewer hassles in the future.
Preventative Maintenance for a Functional Plumbing System
Prevention is always less expensive and stressful than the cure. This is true of plumbing systems as well. Keeping up with your home’s plumbing maintenance is a key component in elevating its performance.
Learn Your Plumbing Basics
Even if you’re not planning any DIY plumbing, there are some basic aspects of your plumbing that every homeowner should know. These include:
- The location of your water main and how the shut-off valve works
- The location of your sewer clean-out valve
- How to shut off water to sinks, toilets, and appliances
- How to use a plunger for both sink drains and toilets
Routine inspections from a professional plumber like Adeedo is important for identifying potential problems before they become expensive repairs. Your plumber can check for leaks, corrosion, or other problems lurking in the parts of your plumbing you don’t see.
Identifying Hard Water
Hard water can be as minor as white spots on your glassware or as serious as drain clogs and appliance breakdowns from mineral build up. It’s important to know how to identify the signs of hard water – and how to correct it – to keep your plumbing system running its best.
Slow drains and minor clogs are more than an inconvenience. Hair, grease, food particles, and other debris can accumulate in your drains, leading to blockages over time. You can keep your drains flowing freely with safe and eco-friendly methods like baking soda and vinegar. When mixed together, baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that can clear debris from your drains without damaging your pipes.
Pipe insulation protects your plumbing from extreme temperatures and keeps the hot water flowing hot. Installing insulation sleeves is a simple process if you know the circumference of your pipes. Then, all you have to do is cut them to the right length, remove the adhesive backing, and warp the sleeves around the pipe. You should do this in every exposed pipe in your home.
Maintaining Water Pressure
High water pressure puts additional stress on your pipes and fixtures, leading to leaks and other problems. If you have high water pressure, hire a plumber to install a pressure regulator to maintain optimal water pressure throughout the system.
A slow drip or leak may not be high on your radar of things to fix in your home, but you’d be surprised at how much water is wasted in the process. Always fix leaky faucets, pipes, and toilets as soon as you notice them.
Checking for Toilet Flapper Issues
A broken toilet flapper can cause the water in your toilet to run continuously into the toilet bowl. This is a simple DIY for most homeowners, so be sure to check your flapper regularly and replace it as needed to conserve water.
Make Plumbing a Priority in Your Household
Small habits add up. Teach everyone in your home – including children – to be responsible with your plumbing. Discuss bad habits like only flushing toilet paper and waste in the toilet and being careful about what’s put in the garbage disposal.
Consider Upgrading Your Plumbing
Newer plumbing systems have a lot of innovations designed to improve efficiency, conserve water, and alert you to potential problems. Here are some upgrades you can install in your home:
Tankless Water Heaters
Traditional water heaters store a lot of hot water in the tank. Tankless water heaters are smaller and provide hot water on demand, allowing you to enjoy longer showers with more energy efficiency.
Low-flow fixtures like faucets, showerheads, and toilets help to conserve water without compromising water pressure and performance. These fixtures use less water each time, leading to lower water bills and a more eco-conscious household overall.
Install Faucet Aerators
One of the issues with low-flow fixtures is that some compromise the water pressure. Faucet aerators are an option to reduce water consumption while keeping the pressure high and more comfortable for daily tasks.
Smart Leak Detection Systems
Smart leak detection systems use sensors to monitor your plumbing for potential leaks. These systems can alert you to plumbing problems through your smartphone app, so you can schedule an appointment as soon as possible – even before you notice obvious signs. Better yet, if you have a burst or serious leak while you’re not home, you can get it taken care of instead of coming home to flooded rooms.
Grease Trap Installations
If you have a septic system, install grease traps to prevent oils, fats, and grease from ending up in your drains and causing buildup. Over time, this buildup impedes the water flow, causes clogs, and may back up your sewer. When this happens, you’re looking at an expensive repair.
Water Filtration Systems
You can improve the quality of your home’s water with a water filtration system. Depending on the state of your water, the right water filtration system removes impurities, contaminants, and chemicals, providing you with better-tasting and healthier water that’s also good for your pipes.
If you have persistent drain clogs, hydro jetting is a good option to remove the clogs in a way that’s safe for your pipes. This method uses high-pressure water to clear debris and remove stubborn clogs deep in your pipes.
Make Your Home Eco-Friendly
Environmental concerns are growing. Every homeowner can do a small part to improve water conservation and sustainability, including adopting eco-friendly plumbing practices.
Landscaping in drought areas requires some creative landscaping to avoid wasting too much water. Drought-resistant plants can be just as attractive in your garden but minimize water consumption – helping both the planet and your water bill.
Fix Water Leaks
Water leaks are a big waste of water in your home. You’ll not only have higher water bills, but the leak is harming water conservation efforts. Make sure to fix leaks as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary water loss.
Conscious Water Usage
Encourage everyone in your household to be mindful of water usage. Simple habits like turning off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving, using a broom instead of hose for outdoor cleaning, and taking shorter showers can make a big difference.
Many homes are plumbed with copper or PVC and CPVC pipes. While these materials are functional and safe, they’re not as durable or easy to work with as PEX plumbing materials. If your pipes are getting up there in age, consider replacing them with PEX to improve the efficiency of your system.
Gray Water Recycling
Gray water recycling systems repurpose the water from your sinks, showers, and washing machines for irrigation purposes. This water can then be used for tasks other than drinking, such as watering your garden.
Keep Your Plumbing Operating at Its Best
Your plumbing system is the cornerstone of a sustainable and comfortable home. Regular practices like preventative maintenance, eco-friendly habits, and plumbing upgrades can unleash the power of your drains and elevate your home’s plumbing performance.