Tips for Regular Plumbing Maintenance
The team at Priority Plumbing and Heating has been serving homeowners of Long Island for over 25 years. In that time, we have seen every type of plumbing job, from minor repairs, routine maintenance, to new boiler installations and drain cleaning. Customer service is our top priority. We want to ensure that your home is functioning properly all of the time. Because we care about your plumbing, we want to offer you some basic plumbing maintenance suggestions that might help you avoid costly repairs in the future. Read on for some basic plumbing maintenance tips.
Plumbing Maintenance Saves You Money!
One way to prevent costly repairs to your home is a regular maintenance schedule. Because many issues with your pipes sneak up on you, a thorough inspection is the key to catching small problems before they grow. Hidden leaks in sink drains or below water heaters are more than just a nuisance; over time, they can cause structural damage. Water that seeps into sheetrock or plaster can contribute to mold growth. Porous tile or wood flooring can discolor or warp when wet.
Regular Maintenance Tasks
Many routine maintenance tasks are simple do-it-yourself jobs. An inspection is the foundation of any maintenance schedule. You may use your sinks and tubs daily, but you might not notice minor concerns unless you set aside time for an inspection. Go through your home and take a look at your plumbing. Examine all exposed pipes, including under sinks and behind toilet tanks, for any signs of moisture. On a humid day, some condensation on a cold metal pipe is normal, so note any dampness and check the pipes again when the home is cooler. Check for signs of corrosion on brass or copper fittings; corrosion occurs more rapidly on damp metal, so corroded connections could reveal a slow leak.
Turn on water faucets in sinks, showers and tubs to monitor water pressure. Some variation between different faucet styles and purposes is normal, but all of them should have a steady flow. Note how quickly the water drains after you test the faucet, too; slow drains could mean a clog waiting to happen. While you’re making your rounds, flush toilets to ensure they don’t run or leak at the base, a sign of a faulty wax seal.
Professional Inspections Help Save Money
Inspections from one of Priority Plumbing and Heating certified plumbers will provide you with a more in-depth look at your home’s pipes and drains. Your inspector will check the water heater, garbage disposal and every area of your home’s plumbing system. More thorough assessments might include remote video inspection of pipes, lead testing and filter system inspection. Our team will always be happy to explain what we find, so you can keep abreast of all of your home’s plumbing needs.
Dripping Faucets can Lead To Big Problems!
If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep with a dripping faucet in the next room or wrestled with a kitchen sink that didn’t know when to stop, you know how annoying this common problem can be. A dripping faucet also drives your water bill higher. A single faucet can send hundreds of gallons of water per year down your drains a drop at a time.
Water entering your home is under pressure to move it through the pipes. When you turn off the tap, rubber or silicone-based washers form a watertight seal that prevents more water from pushing its way through the pipes and out of the faucet. Over time, washers can become stiff, torn or dislodged, allowing a tiny trickle of water through and creating that annoying drip. While you can replace washers yourself, the repair job can be more of a challenge than you might expect without specialized tools. If the leak has gone on long enough, the valve seat may have become worn or corroded, necessitating a more involved repair that’s best left to the professionals at Priority Plumbing and Heating.
Is Your Toilet Running?
If you’re tired of jiggling the handle to make your toilet behave after flushing, it might be time to replace its inner workings. Toilets typically run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl no longer fits properly, the float is imbalanced or the fill tube comes loose. Toilet repair kits work for most models and require little effort to install. Occasionally, though, toilets run for more complex reasons. If you’ve replaced the flapper, float apparatus and fill tube, you may have sediment that’s affecting proper flushing and filling. Higher water bills could also indicate a silent leak. To detect a silent leak in your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring to the upper tank and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Look in the bowl for any hint of color; if you see tinted water, your flapper valve isn’t working as it should. Keeping your toilet maintained is a great way to avoid costly repairs in the future!
Whether your regular inspection reveals a puddle under a pipe or you get an unpleasant surprise when you reach under your sink, leaks can be a costly nuisance. Leaks usually happen at joints, which is why commercial joint fillers and fitting compounds occupy plenty of shelf space in your local hardware store. These products are a temporary fix, though; a permanent plumbing repair may mean replacing a length of pipe or its fittings.
Although replacing a leaky U-joint under your sink isn’t a complex repair, it is a messy one. You may want to have a professional handle it for you to save the clean-up time. Until the plumber can get to your leak, use a compression clamp and a rubber sheet or leak tape. These temporary repairs keep water from spraying but are easily removed when it’s time for a permanent solution.
Slow or Clogged Drains
When the water that goes into your sink, tub or toilet won’t go out, you probably have a partial or complete clog. In many cases, your trusty plunger can fix the problem. Plungers use air pressure to dislodge a clog, but they can’t remove it entirely. Commercial drain cleaners and clog removers are safe for most drains for occasional use, but these caustic materials can damage some pipe materials if used too frequently. If you’re dealing with clogs on a regular basis, it’s time to call a pro.
Even if you don’t have a complete clog, debris in pipes can slow drainage to a trickle. Shine a flashlight into the drain and see if you can spot the problem. A pair of pliers or tweezers might be able to reach a clump of hair or fallen bottle cap that’s obstructing your pipes. Installing drain screens can prevent detritus from finding its way into drains. If your drainage problem seems too complex, definitely call one of the professionals at Priority Plumbing and Heating. We might need to perform some more intricate drain cleaning for you.
Priority Plumbing and Heating: Your Plumbing Pros!
Although it is important to know how to handle some small plumbing inconveniences, we truly believe that calling in the professionals is usually the best option. For over 25 years Priority Plumbing and Heating has been serving the plumbing needs of all Long Island Homeowners. Don’t hesitate to call us for help on any plumbing job, big or small!