10 Preventive Plumbing Maintenance Tips For Your Home

Hear a drip? That could mean trouble. Keeping your plumbing in good shape is easier than you think. Below are eight simple tips to prevent leaks, clogs, and wear. With a bit of attention, you can save water and money and avoid stress. 

1. Regularly Check for Leaks

Leaks are sneaky. They drip away your water and cash, bit by bit. Checking your house for leaks is important for keeping your home from flooding. 

  • Weekly Checks: Once a week, make it a point to inspect pipes, toilets, and appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators for any signs of damage. A simple crack or unusual drip could indicate it’s time for repairs.
  • Water Bill Spike?: Have you noticed your water bill climbing unexpectedly? This could be a sign of a leak you haven’t spotted yet. It’s one of the most common indicators that there’s a problem hiding somewhere.
  • Use Leak Detectors: Leak detectors are invaluable in these scenarios. A leak detector can pinpoint leaks and automatically shut off water to minimize damage. Some leak detectors are DIY-friendly, but others will need professional installation. Their upfront cost is a small price for the protection and savings they offer.
  • Leaks Can Hide: Some leaks aren’t where you can see them. They hide in walls or under floors, causing damage or drawing pests. If you think there’s a leak but can’t find it, it’s time to call in a plumber. They have the tools and experience to track it down.

If you catch those leaks early, your home and wallet will thank you.

2. Keep Your Drains Clear Of Debris

Keeping your drain clear is important if you want your plumbing system to run without issues. Here’s how to keep them free-flowing and clog-free:

  • Use Strainers: Fit all sinks and showers with strainers. Strainers trap hair, food, and other solid objects which prevents them from clogging your drains.
  • Natural Cleaners: Skip the harsh chemicals. Use a mix of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda instead, which can break up buildup safely. It’s gentler on your pipes and the environment.
  • Regular Maintenance: Use the natural cleaner above to clean your drains monthly. It will keep things moving smoothly and can help avoid blockages.
  • Seek Professional Help When Needed: If your drains are still slow after these steps, it might be time to call in a professional. A plumber can address deeper issues beyond the reach of DIY methods.

Implementing these practices into your routine can significantly improve the efficiency and longevity of your plumbing system. 

3. Watch What You Put Down Your Drains

What goes down your drain directly impacts the health of your plumbing. To keep everything running smoothly, you must be cautious about what you dispose of in sinks and toilets.

  • Kitchen Sink Care: Your garbage disposal is not a trash can. Fibrous foods, uncooked starches, coffee grounds, potato peels, eggshells, fruit pits, and bones can damage and clog your drains. Grease can cause big issues with your plumbing system. It may start as a liquid but quickly solidifies, causing stubborn clogs. Always dispose of grease in the trash.
  • Toilet Guidelines: The toilet is only designed for human waste and toilet paper. Flushing anything else, even items labeled as “flushable,” can lead to clogs and potential overflow. You should never flush air, food waste, grease, wipes, and sanitary products down the toilet.
  • Shower Drains: A simple hair catcher can save you from future clogs. Hair and soap scum are the usual suspects in shower drain blockages. By using a catcher, you’re preventing these elements from forming clogs.

Always be mindful of what goes down your drain to maintain a healthy, efficient plumbing system. 

4. Check Your Appliances Regularly for Leaks

Your home’s appliances, like washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters, are essential for daily life. They’re also connected to your plumbing system, which means they can be sources of leaks. Here’s how to keep them in check:

  • Regular Checks: Watch appliances for signs of leaks. Water stains or puddles near appliances can signal you have a problem. Catching these signs early can prevent further damage.
  • Monitor Water Usage: An unexpected spike in your water bill could indicate a hidden leak in one of your appliances. Monitoring your bill can help you catch these issues before they turn into a flood.

Inspecting your appliances regularly can catch leaks early, reduce water waste, and avoid the inconvenience of major repairs. Plus, you’ll extend the life of your appliances and your plumbing system.

5. Test Your Water Pressure

Water pressure in your home is like the Goldilocks principle: it needs to be just right. Too low, and your showers turn into a trickle; too high, and you risk damaging your pipes and appliances. Here’s how to ensure your home’s water pressure is in the optimal range:

  • Check Pressure Regularly: An easy way to monitor your water pressure is by using a pressure gauge on an outdoor hose bib. This tool will show if your pressure is within the ideal 40-60 psi range.
  • Be Aware of the Signs: Signs of high pressure include banging pipes, leaky faucets, or a sudden surge in water bills. Low pressure is noticeable when the water flow slows down significantly.
  • Install a Pressure Regulator: A pressure regulator can be helpful if your pressure readings are consistently too high. Installing a pressure regulator where the main water line enters your home ensures that water pressure stays within a safe range, protecting your plumbing system.

Regular monitoring and adjustments to your water pressure can prevent leaks, extend the lifespan of your plumbing, and keep water usage costs manageable. If you prefer to avoid adjusting your home’s water pressure yourself, ARC Plumbing is here to help.

6. Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a common worry for homeowners in colder climates, leading to potential bursts and costly damages. But unexpected cold snaps can catch your plumbing off guard even in milder areas. Here’s how to guard against this chilly challenge:

  1. Insulate Your Pipes: Wrapping pipes in insulation helps keep them warm in winter, especially in unheated areas like basements, attics, or garages.
  2. Let Faucets Drip: Allowing a slight drip from faucets during extreme cold can prevent pressure buildup from ice blockages, reducing the risk of a burst pipe.
  3. Seal Leaks: Check around your home for leaks that allow cold air in, mainly where pipes run through walls or foundations. Sealing these gaps can keep the cold out and your pipes safe.
  4. Keep the Heat On: If you plan to be away, keep your home’s thermostat set to at least 55°F to help ensure the pipes do not freeze.

Frozen pipes can cause a lot of trouble, so ARC Plumbing has extensively covered this topic in its article “How to Unfreeze a Frozen Pipe.

7. Know How to Shut Off Your Water

Knowing how to shut off your water is an important part of home maintenance. If a pipe bursts or you have a serious leak, turning off the water quickly can keep you from having a lot of damage. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Main Shut-Off Valve: Your house has one main valve controlling the entire home’s water flow. You can usually find it where the main water line enters your house. Knowing its location is important for emergencies.
  • Fixture Valves: Many smaller fixtures, like sinks and toilets, will have their own shut-off valves. You can use these for minor repairs or leaks, so you don’t have to cut water to your whole house.
  • Test Valves: Every so often, check these valves to make sure they turn easily and work properly. A sticky valve can be a problem in an emergency.

Being prepared and knowing how to shut off your home’s water supply quickly can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs.

8. Schedule Professional Inspections

You can handle many of these maintenance tasks on your own, but there are times when a professional inspection is necessary. A professional inspection can catch and address potential issues early, preventing minor problems from turning into major repairs.

  • Why Professional Inspections Matter: Plumbers have cameras that can spot issues that are hidden from the untrained eye. They can assess your system’s overall health, offer maintenance recommendations, and perform repairs beyond your capabilities.
  • When to Schedule Inspections: It’s smart to have your plumbing system professionally inspected at least once every two years. If your home is older or you’ve encountered several plumbing issues in the past, you might want to opt for an annual check-up.

ARC Plumbing Is Here to Help

At ARC Plumbing, we know how important your plumbing system to your life. Our plumbers can help you with thorough inspections and high-quality maintenance services. If you’re having an issue or you are just due for a routine check-up, we’re available to keep your plumbing system in top condition.

Maintaining your plumbing system doesn’t have to be difficult. If you keep up with these preventive measures your homes plumbing system will continue to function for many years.

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    2406 Waco Commercial Ct.
    Fuquay-Varina 27526


    6720 Good Hope Church Rd.
    Cary, NC 27519