As a homeowner, you have many tasks to take care of on a regular basis. From mowing the lawn to cleaning the street, there are many things to include on your list.
Although it may not be obvious initially, you must also perform regular plumbing maintenance to keep your pipes clean and water flowing well.
It is extremely important to maintain your water system well by preventing clogs, checking for leaks, reducing pressure and keeping drains clear.
If you’re unsure where to start, this is the ultimate water system maintenance checklist for you.
Plumbing issues often appear suddenly, and the consequences can be very severe when this happens.
Thankfully, you can easily avoid costly repairs by regularly inspecting your most important plumbing fixtures. Regular maintenance and inspections can stop the development of serious problems or even prevent them from becoming emergencies.
So, here’s what you should include in your plumbing inspection.
- Checking for leaks in pipes, faucets, and fixtures. Leaks are some of the most frequent plumbing issues in households that can cause huge messes. Make sure you regularly inspect your pipes, faucets, and fixtures for signs of leaks. In order to avoid more serious problems, you should catch the water leaks while they’re still minor because they can easily become a bigger issue in no time. Take on-time actions, like inspections, for signs of mildew, puddles, moisture, water spots, or something else that indicates an active water leak.
- Inspecting water supply lines and valves. Homeowners often forget about checking the water supply lines and valves. But if you ask a qualified plumber, he’ll definitely advise you to add them to your checklist. You should regularly check they are functioning properly. If not, you must address this issue as soon as possible. Replacing them before the problem gets worse will prevent potential blowouts.
- Evaluating the condition of seals and gaskets. Regular evaluation of the condition of the seals and gaskets can prevent serious disasters. Check for any cracks, or damaged rubber, so you can replace them before the problem worsens. Caulk seals aren’t actually ‘’plumbing,’’ but a non-functioning seal can allow the water to get behind walls or under the floor, which can result in real disasters.
Water Heater Maintenance
The maintenance of the water heater requires professional care. It is an important appliance that requires specialised knowledge in its maintenance.
You should do regular water heater maintenance whether you have a new or an old water heater. It’s hard to tell when this appliance might start leaking or develop another issue.
- Flushing the water heater to remove sediment. Flushing the water heater is a good technique that should be practised at least twice a year to avoid sediment buildup. For this purpose, you must completely drain the water heater to eliminate any floating particles. Shutting off the electricity is crucial! Sediment buildup can cause irreparable corrosive damage.
- Testing the pressure relief valve. Your water heater will work much more efficiently with regular maintenance. This also includes testing the pressure relief valve. Different kinds of rust, mineral salt, or corrosion build-ups can make the pressure relief valve freeze or even become non-operational. In the worst-case scenario, if the pressure-relief valve has been blocked by sediment – it might even explode.
- Inspecting and cleaning the burner or heating element. If your water heater is electric, it relies on a heating element to heat the water. Inspecting and cleaning this heating element is crucial because corrosion and sediment build-up can easily affect its operation and longevity, resulting in higher electricity bills.
Drainage System Maintenance
There comes a time when drainage system maintenance is necessary.
Like any other system in your household, it can experience wear and tear over time. But you can help it continue working efficiently with on-time maintenance and cleaning. Undoubtedly, it’s a dirty job, but there are good reasons why it needs regular maintenance.
- Clearing clogged drains and pipes. If neglected for too long, clogged drains or other blockages can cause serious damage to the pipes and fixtures in your home. Over time, soap waste, hair, grease, food, and other substances can build up in the drains and pipes. Clearing and maintaining regularly your drains and pipes is a simple and effective way to prevent more serious plumbing issues.
- Inspecting and cleaning drain covers and grates. Prevention is always better than cure. Many things can clog your drain cover and grates. So, inspecting and cleaning them regularly will help you ensure very little debris remain there. You can also extend their lifespan simply by cleaning them on a regular basis.
- Checking sump pumps and drainage systems. If you want to prevent your home from floods and expensive repairs, remember to check the sump pumps and drainage systems annually. The sump pumps are usually located at the lowest level of your home, in the basement. It is usually found in a basin below the basement floor. To access the pump, you’ll have to remove the basin. Checking their condition is essential if you want to avoid serious water damage.
Water Quality Testing
There are a number of factors that contribute to the quality of the water. There are also many ways to test and determine the water quality. To ensure your family’s health and well-being, there are proper standards that should be maintained.
Here’s what you should know about water quality testing:
- Conducting tests for pH levels, hardness, and contaminants. pH is one of the most important indicators when it comes the water quality. Conducting tests for pH levels, hardness, and contaminants is essential for maintaining good water quality and health. There are different water test kits you can buy to conduct these tests. All you’ll need is a small water sample.
- Monitoring water pressure and flow rates. Water pressure or flow rate issues can reduce the pipe’s longevity or cause leaks or other main breaks. Regular monitoring can prevent pipe failure and other major bursts, preserve the quality of water, and reduce operational costs. Low flow could be caused by a clogged faucet, old corroded pipes, or another plumbing problem, even when the water pressure is normal. So, remember to check these regularly.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of water treatment systems. Make sure you add evaluating the effectiveness of water treatment systems on your checklist because these systems improve the water quality by reducing health hazards or helping remove nuisance problems. Regularly maintaining the water treatment systems is essential if you want to consume water with good quality.
Water Filtration System Maintenance
If you’ve invested in a water filtration system, that’s great. You’ve provided clean and healthy water for you and your family. But maintaining it regularly is something you mustn’t forget if you want to keep fresh water from your faucet.
Here’s how to perform adequate water filtration system maintenance:
- Changing filters regularly. It’s normal for the performance of your filters to decrease over time. That’s why it’s very important to change them regularly. They’re supposed to have an approximate lifespan of which you must keep track. Normally, it’s 6 months. But depending on the water quality in your home, you might have to replace them sooner.
- Cleaning filter housings. The filter housings are there to hold the filter cartridges inside the system. Usually, every single cartridge has its own housing. It’s normal, though, over time, dirt and other contaminants build up inside the filter housings. Even more, the moisture that’s inside the housings creates a pleasant environment for the development of mould and other bacteria. So, cleaning the housings with some warm, soapy water is essential to ensure their efficient operation.
- Inspecting and maintaining reverse osmosis systems or water softeners. The reverse osmosis systems are responsible for removing the minerals and ions in the water and for providing fresh and clean water for the family. The maintenance and inspection of these systems are essential to ensure the water in the household is contaminants free and safe to use. It is recommended to clean or replace them every 6 to 12 months.
Exterior Water System Maintenance
Outdoor plumbing systems must also be inspected regularly to catch any potential problems before they become catastrophic.
If you have sprinklers or other outdoor plumbing projects, make sure you pay attention to them too. Because the best way to ensure you don’t end up with costly repairs is to ensure the outdoor systems flow seamlessly.
- Inspecting and cleaning gutters and downspouts. Don’t neglect your gutters and downspouts because if they happen to have any issues, they can cause water surplus, erode soils, or even affect the stability of the foundation of your home. They need regular maintenance by cleaning them and checking for any damages, such as cracks or holes.
- Checking outdoor faucets and hoses. Inspecting all your outdoor faucets and hoses should also be included in your regular outdoor water system maintenance. You need to check there are no clogs affecting water from flowing seamlessly. If you notice a leaky hose, this could be a sign of a cracked pipe.
- Assessing sprinkler systems for leaks or malfunctions. Maintaining sprinkler systems for leaks or malfunctions is also necessary to ensure the best water application. Poorly operating sprinkler systems can waste lots of water, and without regular checks, they will surely fall into disrepair.
Water Conservation Practices
This precious and limited resource needs to be conservated efficiently. You can easily learn how to save water and apply the best practices for the purpose.
Because by saving water and minimising water waste, you’re not only helping the environment but also helping your family budget.
Here are the best water conservation practices to apply at home:
- Tips for reducing water consumption. There are several straightforward things you can start doing at home to reduce the consumption of water. For example, you can start taking shorter showers and turning the water off while using shampoo. The same goes when brushing your teeth or shaving – simply turn off the water. Also, turn on the dishwasher or the washing machine only with full loads. Don’t forget to fix leaky toilets too.
- Installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances. Another great water conservation practice is installing high-efficiency toilets, faucets, and water-efficient shower heads in your bathroom.
- Harvesting rainwater or implementing greywater systems. Graywater harvesting is another amazing practice to help you grow beautiful landscapes without chemicals or energy. Implementing graywater systems will help you minimise your potable water use, power use, and utility bills.
Emergency Preparedness is an integral part of managing your water system. In case of routine operating emergencies such as broken pipes, power outages, and other plumbing emergencies, you need to know how to respond adequately and keep things under control. Here’s how to achieve that.
- Knowing the location of the main water shut-off valve. If a plumbing emergency occurs, it’s important to know the location. In other words, to know how to turn off your water supply. Every home has at least one shut-off valve. You can check your property inspection report to help you find it. Usually, it is located in the basement near the wall that’s closest to the street. Or look around your water meter, although not every home has one.
- Creating a plan for addressing water system emergencies. This step is something everyone should have in their home. Having a plan for addressing water system emergencies can really help you out in case of a plumbing outburst. You’ll want to create an emergency contact list, create maps of your system, list potential emergencies, identify communication protocols, and more. Knowing your risks and how to act in case of an emergency can really save your home from severe damage.
- Keeping emergency contact information for plumbers or water utility services. After you’ve figured out what the emergency is and where it’s coming from, you’ll need to call somebody. That’s why you must keep emergency contact information for plumbers or water utility services in your local area.
If you’re a person who cares about your water, your home, and the environment, then it’s essential to keep a checklist of how to maintain your water systems successfully.
To ensure its efficient operation, remember to do regular maintenance checks. And it’s not a bad idea to keep the contact of a qualified plumber close, just in case.