With a new year dawning, it’s time to make some new year’s resolutions! We’re not talking about your endless resolutions to lose weight, eat better, quit smoking, etc. Those are hard! We’re talking about much more practical resolutions that will save you money and trouble, are easy to make good on, and will protect your plumbing system. Let’s call these your new year’s plumbing resolutions!
- Get your plumbing system inspected by qualified plumber. If you’ve gone five years or more without having a plumbing inspection, you’re probably running on borrowed time. We’ll come out and do a safety inspection of your system from top to bottom. We’ll even flush your hot water tank as part of our evaluation, something that should be done every year. By the way, a plumbing inspection for an elderly relative makes a great gift and can give them a lot of peace of mind.
- Promise to be nice to your toilet. Your toilet is nice to you – it’s about time you show some mutual respect. About the only thing you should be flushing down the toilet is toilet paper. Anything else can cause clogs, especially baby wipes, floss, Q-tips and sanitary products. Dispose of these in the trash can rather than flush them down the toilet. A clogged toilet is almost always avoidable, so make sure to properly dispose of materials other than toilet paper.
- Get a battery backup for your sump pump.It seems like every time we have a major thunderstorm or prolonged period of rain, our phones ring off the hook from people whose sump pump has failed. A flooded basement is a nightmare, one that’s often caused by a power failure. Don’t let your sump pump quit just because the power went off. A battery backup will keep your pump working through a storm, which in turn will help keep your basement from flooding.
- Take better care of your garbage disposal.Always run cold water when using the garbage disposal. More importantly, be aware of what you’re putting into the disposal. Not everything in the kitchen is meant to go into the disposal. For example, fats, oils and fibrous foods like celery, corn husks and onions can play havoc with it. Keep bones and anything not biodegradable out of it entirely. If you’re not sure if your disposal can handle something, play it safe and throw it away.
- Protect your pipes from freezing. You can do this by insulating your pipes that are close to the outside or in crawl spaces. Exposed pipes where there is little heat can freeze and burst. We see it all the time! Fortunately, this mishap can be easily avoided by wrapping your exposed pipes in insulation. You can buy it at any big box home improvement store or at your local hardware store. It’s inexpensive and easy to install, and it’s worth your time to get this done.
- Label your main shutoff valve and show everyone in your family where it is. We hope you never have the kind of plumbing emergency that requires a total system shutdown. But if a pipe bursts and water is flooding the area, you and every member of your family need to know exactly how to turn the water off quickly. Tag it if you must, but do whatever it takes to make sure everyone knows how to cut the water off in an emergency.
- This summer, check your lawn for wet spots. Chronic wetness could mean a broken pipe underground. We’ve seen this where the water line from a well to the house corroded completely through over a period of 20 years. Low water pressure and wet spots in the lawn could indicate a broken water line or a problem with a sewer. Or you could simply have a low spot that could be dried out with a French drain. The earlier you get to these problems, the better. So be sure to walk your property this summer, even if you have a landscaper on contract to cut the grass.
That’s our list for 2020. There are plenty of other things you can do to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape, but these are a good start. Do these and chances are you’ll enjoy the year trouble-free.
But if you do need an emergency plumbing repair, call The Plumbing Source’s 24-hour hotline at 877-768-7239. We’ve been solving plumbing problems in Northeast Ohio for more than 30 years. Call us when you need fast, courteous, and affordable professional plumbing service. You’ll be glad you did!
Happy New Year from all of us at The Plumbing Source!