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Being a homeowner is not easy. As a homeowner, you have to be responsible for a lot of different things. In particular, you need to be responsible for all the maintenance and repairs that the plumbing needs. If you do not fix problems while they’re still small, you’re going to need to call a plumber when it becomes a major issue. At that point in time, you’ll usually be faced with a rather hefty bill.
There are many different things that you can do every year to maintain the condition of your plumbing so that you don’t need to call a plumber in Chattanooga, TN as often throughout the years. The key is to be consistent. It’s easy to forget to do some of these things after several years. However, if you neglect to maintain the plumbing for several years in a row, you’ll notice that problems will start to creep up and that you’ll need to call for a professional more frequently.
In this article, we’ll look at some easy things that you can do to maintain the condition of your plumbing.
#1. Check the Water Pressure
This isn’t something that many homeowners think about; however, it can make a huge difference to your overall quality of living as well as the expected life of your plumbing.
You want to make sure that the water pressure is neither too high nor too low. If the water pressure is too low, you’ll be barely getting a trickle when you turn on the faucet. This can be particularly annoying and problematic when you want to wash your dishes or even when you’re taking a shower. On the other hand, if the water pressure is too high, you might not notice it immediately. However, the high water pressure will significantly lower the life of your plumbing, as well as your plumbing appliances.
Fixing the water pressure is something that you can fix rather quickly. If you do not have a pressure regulator installed in your home yet, contact a plumber in Chattanooga, TN as soon as possible. The installation should be rather inexpensive. However, if you already have a pressure regulator installed, you’ll want to use a pressure gauge to make sure that it is accurate. If the pressure regulator is not accurate, contact a plumber too.
#2. Check for Leaks
It’s easy to miss small leaks. Unless you’re really looking for them, many small leaks will go unnoticed. The water will slowly drip down from the leaks and onto structural components of your home, like the walls or the floors. Eventually, even the smallest leak can cause significant water damage to your home. By that time, you’re going to need to call not only a plumber but also a contractor to renovate your home.
To check for leaks, look under the cabinets and any areas where the plumbing may be exposed. You also want to look for any plumbing that goes into the refrigerator or the water heater. Joints and fittings can also easily leak. Visible signs of leaks can be water stains on the walls or even puddles of water on the floor. Another thing that you should be wary of is mildew or fungus.
If you notice any leaks, you should fix them right away. Although you might be able to deal with some of the small leaks yourself by patching it up, leave all of the larger leaks to the plumber. You should also get the plumber to take a look at the small leaks as well in order to see whether there is anything that they can do.
You should only look for leaks on the plumbing. You should also look for leaks on plumbing appliances, like the toilet and the showerheads. Trust us. Your utility bills will thank you.
#3. Be Mindful of What You Pour Down the Drain
One of the main reasons why homeowners need to call a plumber is because their drains are clogged. Clogged drains are not only inconvenient, but they can also cause the pipes inside to burst. In order to prevent your drains from clogging, be careful of what you pour down the drain.
For example, you need to be careful of what you pour down the kitchen sink. Many homeowners will toss food scraps and grease down the kitchen sink because it’s one of the easiest ways to dispose of the garbage. They might even use the garburator. However, the garburator is quite useless in preventing clogs from forming. The garburator is not going to remove or break down grease. Instead, the grease will travel down the plumbing. At some point downstream, it will eventually harden into a layer. If you constantly pour grease down the kitchen sink, this layer will become thicker and thicker. Eventually, it will be so thick that it’ll prevent water from passing through.
Another place that gets easily clogged is the bathroom. Many homeowners do not put a second thought into what they toss down the toilet. They also do not use any drain hair catchers. You’d be surprised by how much damage loose hair can do to the drains.
#4. Clean the Toilets, Faucets and Shower Heads
Many homeowners neglect to look after their plumbing appliances. These appliances can get clogged up very easily as well. This is particularly true for those who live in areas with hard water. Hard water contains a lot of minerals like calcium or magnesium. These minerals will slowly accumulate and deposit onto the sides of the appliances. In particular, they easily block the siphon jets underneath the toilet bowl and the jets on the showerhead.
Once a year, you should clean these appliances using a toothbrush in order to get rid of as much sediment as possible. Once you’ve done this, you’ll notice that your appliances will work as if they’re brand new.
If you’ve noticed that you’re constantly having problems with hard water, you might want to contact a plumber and see whether it’s possible for you to install a water softener. If possible, install a water softener at the location where the main water supply line connects with the house’s plumbing system. This ensures that the minerals will not deposit onto any areas of the plumbing.
#5. Flush the Water Heater Tank
Unless you have a tankless water heater, you’ll want to flush the water heater tank on an annual to semi-annual basis. It’s very easy for sediment to collect at the bottom of the tank. If you do not flush the water heater tank regularly, you could overheat the water heater. You could also cause it to run overtime.
Fortunately, you can get a plumber to flush the water heater tank quite easily. This isn’t a difficult job. Since hot water is involved, this isn’t something that you should deal with yourself. A Chattanooga, TN plumber will know how to do the job safely.
While flushing the water heater tank, the plumber will also be able to inspect it in order to ensure that all of the parts are functioning properly. Be able to make sure that the anode is still present and functional, and they’ll also be able to check for rust. Now is also a good time to see whether the jets are functioning properly. If the flame is a blue color, then everything is good. However, the flame is a yellow color, the jets need to be cleaned.
#6. Inspect the Septic Tank
You should also have the septic tank inspected regularly. In fact, you should get the septic tank pumped on an annual basis if possible. It really depends on the capacity of the septic tank and how often it is filled up. If you’re not sure how often you should get the septic tank inspected, you should speak with a plumber.
Regular inspections will help prevent major problems down the road. It’s also a good idea to learn more about what you need to look out for. For example, you should keep an eye out for standing water or large puddles that are constantly around the septic tank. The best time to check for these puddles is on a sunny day because there shouldn’t be any puddles on the ground.
#7. Take a Walk Outside
Many home orders don’t look at the plumbing that’s located outside of their home until the pipes burst. You should take a walk outside your home to see whether you see any puddles on the ground or whether you can see any exposed plumbing. If you see any large puddles, there’s a good chance that there’s a leak somewhere. You should also correlate this with your water bills. If there is a huge leak, your water bills will rise.
Another thing that you should pay attention to is the plants that are growing outside your home. External plumbing is most susceptible to tree root intrusion although the roots don’t have to come from trees. They can come from any plants, like bushes, that are in the vicinity. The roots are attracted to water. If there’s even a small leak in the plumbing, the roots will grow towards the plumbing.
By the time that they reach the plumbing, they will either enter through the leak or will break through the plumbing. It’s a good idea to get the plumber to also inspect your yard. If your plumber is concerned about the growth of any plans, you might want to speak with an arborist. For example, if there’s a tree that’s growing way too close to your home, you might want to move it before it becomes too big of a problem. Once the tree roots enter the plumbing, you’re looking at a very complex and pricey repair job.
#8. Fix Leaky Toilets
Last but not least, you want to look for a leaky toilet. If the toilet is leaky, the water is running into the bowl and not onto your floor. This is definitely something that you should call a plumber for if you haven’t tinkered with the toilet tank at all. Although this isn’t a major problem, you’re wasting a lot of water if you have a leaky toilet. This is because fresh, cold water is constantly running into the toilet. It also increases the risk of a sweaty toilet, which could cause water damage to surrounding areas.
Fixing a leaky toilet is usually quite an easy task. You might not necessarily need to call a plumber. You will, however, have to know how the toilet works and be comfortable with tinkering with the tank. In most cases, a leaky toilet can be fixed by replacing or fixing the flapper. It could also be due to a malfunctioning or misaligned chain. These fixes can usually be completed within several minutes.
Get Regular Annual Services from Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air
By taking care of your plumbing, you’re also doing yourself a favor. Large plumbing repairs and services in Chattanooga, TN can be quite expensive. They can reach several thousand dollars. By putting in some effort every year to take care of your plumbing, you’ll be able to avoid these costly bills. You’ll also be able to enjoy your plumbing.
One of the easiest ways to make sure that you’re on the right path and that your plumbing is in good shape is to get regular servicing from Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air in Chattanooga, TN. Our licensed and insured plumbers will inspect all areas of the plumbing in order to ensure that there is nothing that you’ve missed. In general, a regular service will include drain cleaning services that look at the inside condition of the plumbing. This makes it easy to determine the condition of the plumbing, as well as whether there are any leaks or cracks that need to be addressed right away.
Call 423-250-3502 to learn more about our services and to reach one of our plumbers.