Tips for keeping plumbing in good shape
Last updated 12/18/2008 at Noon
If there’s one thing you undoubtedly need in your home, it’s a working plumbing system. If you develop a leak, everything can go wrong and you’ll suddenly realize what it’s like to try to live without water – unbearable.
Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the many facets of your plumbing: the drains, the faucets, the toilets and more.
Your drains are a vitally important part of your plumbing. You want to keep them clear so that water drains property.
This means you must keep what shouldn’t go down away from them. Avoid putting too much food or grease from the kitchen down them. The same goes for too much hair or soap from the bathroom.
Periodically clean the drain. Pop out the stopper and remove all debris from it, the drain body and the tailpiece.
And don’t just focus on the drains in your sinks; the bathtub needs to be cleaned as well. It accumulates just as much, if not more, hair and soap and is just as likely to clog.
Once your drains are free and clear, move up – to the faucets. The faucets are relatively easy to take care of. Your primary concern is whether there is a leak, and if there is, what part of the faucet is causing it.
Generally, it’s a washer or cartridge. Replacing either will take care of the leak and return you to full working order. Occasionally you will have to replace an aerator.
Just remember, before you do anything, turn off the water. Not doing so will only give you more work than necessary.
The third aspect of your plumbing is the toilet. As with drains, have family members be cautious what they flush down a toilet.
This includes paper towels, hair, and feminine products. Stick with toilet paper and only toilet paper.
If, when flushing, water leaks into the bowl but not the overflow pipe, you probably need to realign the rods between your flush ball valve and flush handle. Make sure that the ball drops straight down.
Further problems with your toilet could mean you need to replace some equipment or seek professional help.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore a drip, rust or clog. The contents of a toilet are not something you want stopped up or oozing out.
If you monitor your plumbing system regularly, your problems may be limited to the occasional drip and minor clog.