Have you ever experienced a plumbing issue that seemed to come out of nowhere? It’s frustrating and inconvenient, but the truth is, most plumbing problems can be prevented with regular maintenance.

Plumbing is an essential part of our daily lives, yet it’s often overlooked until something goes wrong. From leaky faucets to clogged drains, plumbing issues can cause significant damage to your home and disrupt your daily routine. However, with proper maintenance, you can avoid these problems and save yourself from unnecessary stress and expenses.

Regular plumbing maintenance is crucial for keeping your pipes and fixtures in good working condition. By taking a proactive approach and addressing small issues before they escalate, you can prevent major plumbing disasters and ensure the longevity of your system. In this article, we will discuss some common plumbing maintenance tasks that every homeowner should know about.

Create a Preventive Maintenance Schedule

The best way to ensure that your plumbing system functions properly is to create a preventive maintenance schedule. This should include checking for leaks, inspecting fixtures and pipes for signs of damage, and cleaning out drains and other areas. It’s also important to flush your water heater on a regular basis in order to keep it running efficiently. You can either do this yourself or hire a plumber to come out and do it for you. Look at the sections below to create your list and frequency that best fits your schedule.

Inspect for Leaks Regularly

It’s important to regularly inspect all of your plumbing fixtures and pipes for leaks. Check under sinks, in bathrooms, behind appliances, and in other areas where water lines are present. If you notice any dripping faucets or wet spots on the floor or walls, it’s time to call a plumber immediately. You should also smell the area for a musty smell to determine if there may be hidden mold beneath the surface. There may be no sign of water, however if the wood in the area is warped, cracked, or soft, it is a sign of water damage and a leak causing it. Doing this inspection on a regular basis can help prevent water damage and reduce your utility bills.

Check Appliances for Water Leaks

Regularly check all of your appliances that use water, such as your dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, air conditioner, and icemaker. Look for any signs of leaking or dripping from hoses or connections. Test the lines with a flashlight and mirror to make sure there are no hidden leaks. If you find any leaks, call a plumber immediately as they can quickly repair the issue and prevent further damage to your home. Air conditioner’s do not have water hookups but can still have water leaks due to water inside the appliance and if the filter doesn’t get cleared, it can cause frost build up and may melt onto surrounding area.

Check for Toilet Leaks

It’s important to regularly check your toilets for leaks. To do this, flush the toilet and place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the colored water appears in the bowl without flushing again, you have a leak. There could be a broken seal, worn out flapper or valve, or an issue with the fill tube or overflow pipe. Check the water hookup for any leaks or a loose connection. Water on the floor may also be a sign of a bad o ring, which is the wax ring that connects the toilet and the sewer drain.

Clean Showerheads

Soap scum, mold, and mineral buildup can clog your showerhead and reduce your pressure. Regular cleaning can get your pressure back. If your showerhead has white reside, it’s most likely calcium buildup from minerals in your water. If you have high levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water, it’s know as “hard water”. You can clean the residue on your showerhead with a cleaner designed to remove calcium or if you prefer a non harsh chemical, you can clean your showerhead in white vinegar.

Keep Your Drains Clear

It’s important to keep your drains clear in order to prevent clogs and water damage. You can do this by cleaning them on a regular basis using a safe cleaner or natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar. Make sure to pay particular attention to the kitchen sink and bathroom drain since these are most likely to become clogged due to buildup of grease , hair, and food.

Install Mesh Drain Covers

Mesh drain covers are a great way to prevent clogs that can damage to your plumbing system. These covers fit over the top of your drains, trapping any debris or hair before it goes down the drain. This helps keep your pipes clean and clear, and reduces the need for costly repairs or replacements. Installing mesh drain covers is an easy DIY project that requires minimal tools and materials, so even if you’re not a DIY expert, you can still get the job done quickly.

Inspect Your Sewer Drains

Inspecting your sewer drains should be a part of your regular plumbing maintenance routine. You can contact a plumber to inspect sewer drains with an endoscope camera, which will allow them to see any blockages or damage within the pipes. If you notice any clogs, make sure to remove them immediately as these can cause serious water damage, and sewage backups. Look for signs of corrosion or broken seals, as these can be early signs of a much bigger problem.

Check Your Water Pressure

It’s important to check your water pressure regularly to ensure that it is within the safe range and not causing any damage to your plumbing system. Low water pressure can cause fixtures like showers and faucets to work poorly, while high water pressure could be a sign of a leak or blockage in the pipes. To check your water pressure, install a water pressure gauge on your main water line. This will allow you to easily monitor your water pressure and identify any issues quickly.

Flush Your Water Heater

Flushing your water heater is an important part of regular plumbing maintenance. Doing so can help prevent corrosion and buildup of mineral deposits, which can reduce the efficiency and life expectancy of your water heater. To flush your water heater, turn off the power or gas to the unit, then open a hot water faucet near the tank. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and open it to allow the water to drain out. Flush until the water is clear, then close the valve and turn on the power or gas. For a more detailed explanation of the process read our water heater flushing guide.

Perform these regular maintenance tasks to keep your plumbing system in top condition and avoid costly repairs. If you’re ever unsure about how to complete any of these tasks, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Gutter and Sump Pump Plumbing Maintenance

Gutter and sump pump plumbing maintenance is essential for keeping your home safe from flooding and water damage. Gutter systems should be inspected for any signs of clogging or blockages, which can cause water to back up into the eaves and fascia of the roof. Any leaves or debris that have built up should be removed, as this can cause overflow and drainage problems. Additionally, it is important to check the sump pump regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as rust and corrosion, and make sure it is functioning properly.

Outdoors Spigots

What is often forgot about is the outdoor spigot and it could be a hazard in wintertime. In the fall, remove the hoses and clear the water from them and if you can shutoff water from the inside to the outside spigot to prevent any issues with freezing. It is important to check for any signs of rust, corrosion, or leaks from the fixture, as these could cause serious water damage. Additionally, it is important to make sure that all hoses and connections are in good condition and free from any kinks or obstructions.

Check Shut-Off Valves

Shut-off valves are used to shut off the water supply to certain fixtures or appliances in your home, and should be inspected periodically. There is also a main shut-off valve inside your home and it is important that it is in working order in case of emergencies. Make sure that the valve handle rotates freely and is in the open position before turning on the water supply. Also check for any signs of corrosion or wear and tear, as these can lead to leaks or other issues.

Keep Your Sewer Lines or Septic Tank Clear

It is essential to regularly inspect and clean the drains in sinks, showers, and toilets, as well as any other plumbing fixtures. If you notice any blockages in the pipes or slow drainage, use a plumber’s snake or auger to clear out any debris. Additionally, it is important to have your septic tank pumped and inspected regularly to prevent any issues with clogs or backups.

Seasonal Maintenance

Winter and Summer the temperatures change and can bring problems to your plumbing systems. Try to include the seasonal maintenance tasks in your home upkeep plans. These would be checking your insulation conditions to be sure your pipes won’t freeze in the winter, winterizing your spigots as mentioned above, checking for rust or corrosion after winter breaks, checking the hose hasn’t cracked during winter, disconnecting and emptying the hose before winter, and checking for broken gutters due to frozen snow and rain.