How much do you know about general plumbing maintenance? While there are many differences among specific home plumbing systems, this chapter is designed to give an overview of general plumbing maintenance that applies to most homes, regardless of which water system they rely on.
Drain clogs can happen in all homes. However, by understanding how drains work and taking a few simple steps, you may be able to prevent severe clogs, resulting in costly repairs.
Clogs happen, even if you use the above preventative measures. These clogs can come from natural buildups or foreign objects. While there are options for clearing drains on your own – like renting a jetting machine and sewer line camera, there are potential risks that accompany them.
Before deciding how to proceed, it’s best to review online tutorials to assess your comfort level. Many home maintenance tasks can be performed on your own, but assessing your abilities and knowledge of the situation beforehand is critical. If you don’t feel comfortable, there’s nothing wrong with calling a professional, which could end up saving you money in the long run.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with a clog is that it’s best to take action as soon as signs of trouble occur and before the clog becomes worse or a complete blockage takes place.
Plumbing is confusing. For those who are non-professionals, the thought of the systems of pipes that help keep homes functioning at their best can be overwhelming. In case you’ve wondered how to clean water pipes in your home or how long certain pipes last, below is basic information to help you move in the right direction.
There are differences between how long copper pipes last and how long cast iron sewer pipes last, and understanding these lifespans may be beneficial. You don’t need to be overwhelmed. Just check out the lifespans of various pipe types below, along with additional plumbing information to keep in mind.
Take the time to become familiar with the pipes in your home and match them against the year your home was built. By understanding the lifespan of each type, you can be more proactive in your maintenance approach. If a certain piping system is coming up on the end of its expected lifespan, additional checks may be warranted.
If you’re buying an older home, even one built through the 1990s, there’s additional information to keep in mind. Between the 1970s and 1990s, polybutylene piping was used in certain homes. The piping is prone to breakage and can cause major damage. If you’re purchasing a home built in that time frame, or are unsure of whether polybutylene piping was used in your home’s construction, an inspection may be helpful. If it’s found, it should be replaced.
Additionally, homes built in the early 1990s may have lead pipes. These pipes were used due to their long lifespans, but they can contaminate drinking water with lead. If you want to know whether or not this dangerous mineral is affecting your water, visit your local hardware store to get a lead-testing kit. Results showing more than 15 parts per billion are a serious problem, so contact a plumber as soon as possible if your results reflect an issue.
Along with other standard household appliances, fixtures and systems, replacing a water heater can be costly. While this is sometimes unavoidable, especially after the water heater reaches a certain age, both one-time tasks and annual checkups could help extend its useful life – saving you money in the long run.
Certain actions could extend the life of your water heater and/or save you money. These include:
While regular maintenance is critical, sometimes unexpected problems may arise. Signs your water heater may need attention include:
Like with other home systems, if something seems off, it’s best to contact a professional to investigate the cause as quickly as possible.
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