Taking Care of Your Home Plumbing
Now that the weather has turned warmer, you’ve no doubt found yourself doing more work in and around your home. As you spring clean your home, it’s a good idea to also spring clean your plumbing. Here are some tips to help you maintain and clean your pipes and plumbing to help keep them in proper working order.
Every single drain in your home has something called a “P-trap” in it that is filled with water. This trap creates a seal that prevents any sewer gas from wafting up into your house. But if you have drains that don’t get used much, the P-trap can evaporate from disuse over time. This allows sewer gas to creep up the drain and make its way into your home, which is a scenario you want to avoid! Don’t worry; you can easily resolve this problem by making sure you flush any unused drains in your home by dumping about a gallon of water into them periodically.
Check Your Water Meter
Your water meter is more than a tool that allows your water company to charge you the correct amount; it’s also a tool you can use to check for hidden leaks. From time to time, you can check for slow leaks in your home by shutting off the water completely and noting the meter reading. Wait about an hour and then read your water meter again. If the reading has gone up, then you have a leak somewhere.
If this shows you have a leak, you can check it out more in-depth by:
- Looking at exposed pipes – Take a look at all exposed plumbing in your home such as under sinks, behind service panels, or in the ceiling of your basement. Look for puddles under the pipes or signs of corrosion on the pipes. If you find evidence of a leak, it’s time to call the plumber.
- Perform a toilet bowl dye test – Toilet bowls are common sources of leaks, but you can get to the bottom of a leak by performing a toilet bowl food dye test. Drop about six drops of dye into your toilet tank, and then let it sit without flushing for about 15 minutes. If you have a leak, then you will notice dye in the toilet bowl, which means it’s time to replace parts of the toilet tank.
Clean Slow Drains
If you have drains that are slow, then you know you run the risk that they may soon clog up completely. Avoid this scenario by treating your drains to a little TLC by pouring white vinegar down them. Let it sit for about an hour and then flush the vinegar out with hot water.
Just as with everything else in your house, your plumbing requires maintenance to make sure that it continues to work without problems. Maintaining your plumbing and cleaning out your pipes every once in awhile doesn’t take a lot of time nor is it expensive, so make sure you add these chores to your spring cleaning to-do list!