If you’re a homeowner, it’s inevitable that you will have to deal with a plumbing emergency at some point. But never fear: with the right advice and tools, you can learn how to prevent them.
Use our tips to give you peace of mind and to prevent unnecessary plumbing expenses from piling up.
Pay Attention to Your Plumbing System
Hot and cold water, running toilets, and flowing water are such a ubiquitous part of our lives that it’s easy to neglect plumbing maintenance. But to avoid unexpected plumbing emergencies, it’s a good idea to inspect your pipes and fixtures frequently. Over time, and as you become familiar with your plumbing system, you’ll find it easier to spot and prevent potential hazards.
Here’s a short list of areas to audit regularly:
- Toilets. Make sure they are flushing and refilling normally. Remind your family members not to flush excessive amounts of toilet paper, diapers, hygiene products, or other objects down the toilet drain. Doing so will quickly clog your sewage system.
- Bathtubs and Sinks. Check periodically to see that your drains are functioning properly. This should be easy, since you use these on a daily basis. Only water and food scrapings (if you have a disposal) should be put down the kitchen sink. Bathtubs and bathroom sinks should also drain quickly. Make sure you have a mesh cover or catch-all to collect hair and other objects before they get into the pipes, where they can collect and cause clogs.
- Washing machine and dishwasher. Other often-neglected fixtures are the connections to your washing machine and dishwasher. Check these frequently for leaks, and remember to check for clogs in the drains at the back of the appliance. Both of these appliances use large amounts of water and can cause extremely expensive plumbing emergencies.
Find Your Shut-off Valves
When you experience a plumbing emergency, the first thing you should do is shut the water off. Your main water shut-off valves are typically located outside or in the garage. You’ll also have shut-off valves located near the appliances or fixtures themselves. Use your home’s plans to find them, or ask us to show you the next time we’re in your home.
Keep a Few Basic Plumbing Tools Around
In case of a plumbing emergency, it’s a good idea to keep a plunger in every bathroom and near the kitchen sink for quick, easy access. Other basic plumbing tools to keep in your home are a set of pipe wrenches and various sizes of pliers.
Know Your Limits
Most of us have the “do-it-yourself” spirit, but there are times when DIY can get you into more trouble than expected. If a plumbing emergency occurs, don’t waste valuable time scouring YouTube or reading plumbing blogs to teach yourself how to fix the problem.
It’s much better to admit that you’re stumped and call a professional plumber. You should never attempt repairs unless you’re sure it’s something you can handle on your own.
Establish a Relationship with a Reputable Plumber
Get to know your plumber before a plumbing emergency occurs. A trusted plumber will give your plumbing system a realistic check-up and recommend repairs. And if a plumbing emergency does happen, you’ll have someone who is familiar with your system to call immediately.
Contact Capital Care Plumbing anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’d love to meet you. We’re always nearby and ready to send a friendly face over to help.