Recognize Early Signs of Potential Plumbing Issues
Regularly monitoring your plumbing system helps avert small problems from escalating into emergencies. Here are some early warning signs of possible plumbing issues in your home:
- Unusual noises - If you hear gurgling, knocking, or high-pitched squeaking emanating from your pipes, this can cause plumbing concerns like partial blockages or buildup of sediment that need addressing.
- Discoloured water - Rusty, brown, or cloudy water are most common signs of plumbing concerns stemming from corrosion, sediment, or contamination in your water line.
- Changing water pressure - Blockages from common plumbing issues can restrict water flow and can also result in lower than normal water pressure. Pressure spikes can indicate leaks or pipe damage.
- Slow drains - Notice the sink emptying slower than usual or water pooling rather than draining? This suggests a partial drain clog is developing.
- Musty odours - Unpleasant smells emanating from drains or sinks can signal stagnant water flow due to soft blockages.
- Leaking pipes - Even minor leaks in your toilet should not be ignored, as they can damage your household and lead to costly repairs from water damage or promote mould over time.
Don’t disregard these subtle signs. Addressing potential troubles promptly can prevent further plumbing emergencies in your home and save a lot of money on repairs. if you suspect an issue is developing, you should contact a plumber immediately.
Develop a Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Routine
Establishing a regular plumbing maintenance schedule can save you from plumbing disasters altogether. Incorporate these key tasks into your routine to manage grease and oil buildup:
- Perform visual checks on all accessible pipes, joints, and valves for leaks, corrosion, or damage. Tighten fittings or replace worn parts as needed.
- To maintain clear drains, pour 1⁄2 cup baking soda followed by 1⁄2 cup vinegar down each drain or consult a plumber for safe alternatives to dissolve grease and maintain clear drainage.
- Check that all pipes fixtures, faucets, and appliances including your garbage disposal are functioning properly with adequate water flow and drainage.
Every 3 Months
- Regularly check the temperature and pressure relief valve on your water heater for proper operation.
- Inspect water metre when no water is running to check for leaks.
- Clean out debris from sink drain traps and screens.
- Have a professional inspect and service your water system supply shutoff valve to promptly shut off water your supply in an emergency.
- Draining and flushing your home water heater is a common and essential plumbing maintenance task to ensure clean water supply.
- Have a professional plumber snake all main drain lines, including those leading to the septic tank if applicable.
- Schedule tune-ups for appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, irrigation systems, and ensure your sump pump is operational if present.
Staying on top of maintenance optimises plumbing performance, extends equipment lifespan, and keeps minor issues from turning into expensive problems. Preventative measures are invaluable, as diligent plumbing care can avert water damage and future complications.
Conduct Regular Inspections and Minor Repairs
Routine inspections and immediate attention to minor issues are crucial to prevent major plumbing disasters. It’s advisable to conduct regular home walk-throughs to keep an eye on your plumbing, spotting leaks or drips early before they worsen. Tighten fittings, replace worn washers, insulate exposed pipes, and make minor repairs as soon as issues arise.
Small leaks that drip slowly can be easy to dismiss, but over time the water damage adds up. A leak of just a few drops each minute from a worn washer can result in over 11,350 litres wasted annually. This not only inflates your water bill but also can cost you more in the long run—acting early can save money and prevent mould growth within the secluded crevices of your home.
Hose bibs and pipes outside your insulated areas like basements or garages are especially vulnerable during cold spells. Sudden burst pipes can release a lot of water, causing significant damage to your home. To prevent frozen pipes during winter months, it’s essential to insulate your pipes properly to prevent them from freezing.
By staying vigilant and tackling routine plumbing checks, you prevent plumbing emergencies and spare yourself the misery and expense of extensive repairs down the road. An attentive, proactive maintenance programme is your best ally to ensure small issues don’t turn into major plumbing disasters.
Properly Dispose of Wastes
Proper disposal of household wastes is crucial to prevent blockages from substances such as grease in your drains and sewer lines. When grease cools and solidifies, it sticks to pipe interiors and accumulates over time, blocking water flow.
It’s imperative to avoid pouring fats, oils, or grease down your sink to prevent blockages. Clearing a single grease clog can be costly, potentially running into the thousands.
Despite labeling, so-called "flushable" wipes are not sewer-safe and can cause blockages. However, they do not break down like toilet paper. Flushable wipes can turn into thick masses when they combine with grease, restricting drain lines.
Dispose of items like wipes, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, and hair in the bin, not the toilet.
Use sink strainers and drain screens to intercept food scraps, hair, and other clog-causing debris before they enter your house pipes. Compost or trash any collected debris. Cultivating proper waste disposal practices can prevent the nightmare of blocked pipes and sewage backups.
Maintain Drains and Pipes
These tips will help you avoid buildups and maintain clean, free-flowing pipes. Follow these essential tips to prevent plumbing issues:
- Install drain strainers in sinks to catch debris such as hair and food scraps, ensuring they go into the trash rather than the drain.
- Pour a pot of boiling water mixed with baking soda and vinegar down sinks and shower drains weekly to break up grime
- Have a professional plumber provide a comprehensive drain service on main sewer lines annually to remove accumulated grease, wipes, and other obstructions
- Consider installing protective sealant lining inside pipes which can prevent corrosion and accumulation of minerals
- Insulate water pipes properly, especially those exposed to cold temperatures
- Replace old steel pipes with longer lasting copper as able
Diligently take care of your drains to protect pipes from deterioration, ensuring a healthy water flow. Clogged drains can quickly snowball into backed up sewer lines, flooding, or water damage if left unaddressed. By maintaining clear, well-functioning drains and pipes through simple, regular maintenance you help avoid emergency blockage clearings down the line.
Monitor Water Pressure and Flow
Regular monitoring of home water pressure and flow is essential to identify and address issues promptly. Conversely, low pressure under 40 PSI indicates partial blockages restricting flow or unseen leaks draining the system. Pressure above 100 PSI can overstress pipes and fittings, heightening the risk of bursts and leaks.
Ideal water pressure typically falls between 45 to 80 PSI.
Perform weekly visual checks on your main water meter when no water is being used. Annual pressure tests on both hot and cold lines are also advised. Install pressure gauges on pipes to monitor changes over time.
Ensure that the dial or flow indicator isn’t moving. Any motion could indicate an unseen leak. Poor flow suggests buildup inside pipes.
By regularly checking your water lines you take a preventative stance, safeguarding against plumbing disasters down the line.
Have an emergency plumber investigate the cause immediately before the issue worsens. Unrepaired leaks can waste significant amounts of water over time, leading to water damage. Observing irregularities in water pressure or flow can serve as an early alert to potential issues.
Prepare for Emergencies with a Plumbing Kit
- Keep an adjustable wrench handy to quickly manage your main water valve in case of emergency.
- Bucket to catch water leaks
- Plunger, which can take care of minor clogs quickly
- Drain snake for clearing blocked drains
- Leak detection dye tablets to find hidden leaks
- Work gloves to protect hands
- Safety goggles to shield eyes
- Headlamp for seeing into dark spaces
- Dust mask to avoid breathing debris
- Knee pads to crawl around easily
- Spare fittings like washers, bolts, screws
- Teflon tape to seal threaded joints
- Rags or towels to clean and soak spills
- Baking soda and vinegar to break up clogs
- Zip ties and pipe insulation tape for repairs
An emergency plumbing kit enables you to quickly shut off water and address issues, offering peace of mind. Know exactly where your main water shutoff valve is located in advance, so your emergency plumber can address the issue without delay. Knowing the right preventive steps, like installing stainless steel hoses on appliances and insulating exposed pipes, is essential to minimise potential disasters.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
Knowing when to seek professional help is crucial, even though some plumbing tasks might be manageable DIY. Consider contacting a licensed plumber in these circumstances:
- Major leaks, floods, or burst pipes causing extensive water damage
- Complete drain blockages not cleared by plungers, augers, or drain cleaners
- Sewer line clogs with sewage backing up into sinks or toilets
- No hot water due to water heater malfunctions
- Significant drops in water pressure signalling unseen pipe leaks
- Strange noises like banging or high pitched squealing
- Any gas leaks - never attempt DIY gas line repairs
Trying home remedies for minor issues could be a cost-effective approach before seeking professional assistance. Cherrybrook Plumbing offers a wide range of services from fixing leaky taps to repairing burst pipes, clearing blocked drains, and conducting gas fitting operations.
Contact us 24/7 on 1300 349 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book an inspection or emergency call out.