Every year we make New Year’s resolutions, most often to improve some aspect of our health. Why? Because health is important to us, and we want to take care of ourselves.
Is your home important to you? Of course! It’s your biggest investment and both a source and a repository of your wealth. Then it makes sense to make some resolutions that relate to your home. Here are seven simple plumbing tips that are easy to follow but extremely important to protecting your home from unwanted, expensive repairs.
1. Fix every faucet that’s leaking, even if it’s only a little leak. Leaking water is money going down the drain, and you’d be surprised how expensive the leak can be over time. Faucet repairs are not difficult, but if you’re not comfortable with plumbing repairs, please call us. It’s what we done for a living for three decades, so we’ve got it down right. Plumbing repairs are in our blood.
2. Put a tag on your main water shutoff valve and make sure everyone in the house knows where it is and how to turn it off. Tagging the valve might take you all of five minutes, right? But if you ever need to shut the water off fast, it will be a life saver! A bad leak or a burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damages very quickly. You don’t want to be researching water valves while water is gushing into your living room.
3. Insulate pipes that are close to the outside or in a crawl space. Exposed pipes where there is little heat can freeze and burst. Unfortunately, we see this all the time, and it’s never a convenient time to have a pipe burst. Your local hardware store sells pipe insulation that’s very inexpensive and easy to install. Best of all is that you only have to do this once for a lifetime of peace of mind.
4. Take a good hard look at your water heater. How old is it? How energy efficient is it? Does it make odd noises? Do you ever run out of hot water? If so, your tank may be nearing the end of its life, especially if it’s more than 10 years old. You can certainly do nothing and just wait for the bottom of the tank to rust out and your basement floods. Or, you can be proactive and get the tank replaced.
Before you buy a new tank, think about what your needs are because they may have changed. If you have any questions about the size of water heater you need at this stage of your life, call us and we’ll help you decide. You don’t want a water heater that is too big or too small –either situation will result in great dissatisfaction with your purpose. We’ll help you identify the right size unit that will meet your needs now and well into the future.
5. Stop abusing your toilet. About the only thing you should be flushing down the toilet is toilet paper. Anything else can cause problems and backups, such as Q-Tips, dental floss, baby wipes and sanitary products. Resolve to dispose of these items properly in a trash can – not by flushing them down the toilet.
6. Be conscious of what you put into your garbage disposal. Fats, oils and fibrous foods like corn husks, onions and celery can play havoc with your disposal. Remember to always run cold water when using the disposal, and be sure to keep bones and anything not biodegradable out of it completely. If you aren’t sure about whether your disposal can handle something, best bet is to play it safe and throw it away.
7. Get a battery backup for your sump pump. A flooded basement is a genuine nightmare, and it’s silly to endure that problem because of a simple power failure. Don’t let your sump pump quit just because the power went out. We can give you all the information you need about backing up your sump pump, so if this is something that interests you, by all means give us a call.
Here is one last bonus suggestion that will give you the ultimate peace of mind. Schedule a check up with a qualified plumber. If you’ve gone five years or more without having a thorough plumbing inspection, you probably running on borrowed time.
We’ll come out and do a safety inspection from top to bottom. We’ll even flush your hot water tank as part of our evaluation, something that should be done every year. At the end of the day, you’ll have the assurance of knowing that your plumbing is in good shape for the year ahead. By the way, a plumbing inspection for an elderly relative or neighbor makes a great gift.
If you 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 service. You’ll be glad you did.