7 Common Plumbing Maintenance Errors and How to Avoid Them

Are you interested in reducing your water bills and keeping your pipes in good condition?

If you want to learn how to do a plumbing maintenance routine, then you need to avoid several common mistakes. This article explores a few common plumbing maintenance errors that you need to avoid.

Continue reading to keep your pipes working efficiently for years to come.

1. Ignoring Leaks

Small leaks may seem insignificant at first, such as a dripping faucet or a slowly leaking toilet, but these leaks waste an incredible amount of water and can also cause extensive property damage. To avoid these troublesome leaks, it’s important to check for signs of leaking across the entire home, including sinks, toilets, showers, and any other plumbing fixtures.

If a leak is found, a qualified plumber should be consulted to diagnose and repair the issue. Additionally, homeowners should periodically take steps to inspect the property’s water lines and sewer system, looking for any signs of leaking, corrosion, or other wear and tear.

2. Overuse of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Overuse of chemical drain cleaners is one of the most common plumbing maintenance errors. This can do more harm than good, as chemicals are too harsh and can damage pipes, septic systems, and the environment.

Instead of using chemical drain cleaners, it’s best to use natural and safer products. Vinegar and baking soda are an effective mixture for unclogging drains and are safe for your pipes. Plungers also work well for small clogs, and drain snakes should be used for more stubborn clogs.

Pouring boiling water down the drain can also help break up tough clogs. Regular maintenance should also be performed by having drain lines inspected, pipes flushed, and lines descaled to prevent build-up.

3. Flushing Inappropriate Items

Common plumbing maintenance errors include flushing inappropriate items such as cotton swabs, grease, sanitary items, and paper towels. These items cannot be broken down in the sewage system, leading to a buildup of material and causing the pipes to clog.

To avoid making this mistake, you should only flush what the manufacturer states are suitable for flushing and avoid flushing items that are not meant to be flushed. If you need to dispose of large items or items that are not meant to be flushed, you should dispose of them in a waste bin.

4. Neglecting Water Heater Maintenance

Homeowners sometimes forget to check the pressure relief valves, which can cause dangerously high temperatures or pressure in the tank. To avoid this, make sure to check the relief valve regularly, about twice a year, for any clogging or debris.

In addition, annual flushing of the tank is important to keep rocks, sand, and sediment from collecting inside the tank and causing other damage. To flush, disconnect the cold water line and open the hot water until the flow from the tap runs clear.

Finally, keep a close eye on the age of your water heater. Most water heaters last around 8-12 years on average. Taking the time to perform regular water heater maintenance can save time, money, and potential disasters in the future.

5. Not Checking Water Pressure

Unchecked water pressure is a common plumbing maintenance error that can lead to problematic plumbing conditions. Insufficient water pressure could mean low water pressure for showers, toilets, and faucets, or it could also result in too high water pressure, which can lead to leaks or ruptured pipes.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to routinely inspect and check the water pressure of the pipes. An easy way to check pressure is to use a gauge that you can attach to the faucet. If the pressure is too low, contact Licensed Plumbers as soon as possible to inspect, adjust, or repair the pipe system.

Regular maintenance checks and inspections can go a long way to prevent plumbing issues, and checking water pressure should be at the top of the list for any homeowner.

6. DIY Plumbing Repairs

Common plumbing maintenance errors are quite common when attempting DIY plumbing repairs. For example, homeowners often fail to properly inspect the pipes and fittings before attempting fixes. In addition, failing to turn off the water supply at the front before starting any jobs is an often overlooked but critical error.

Another common mistake is working on parts of the plumbing system that are beyond their level of expertise. Instead of replacing a leaking pipe, for example, someone might try to seal it with duct tape, which simply won’t hold up. 

In order to make sure that you don’t make these errors, it’s important to always inspect the plumbing beforehand, double-check that the water is off before making any repairs, and call a professional if anything seems out of its depth.

With careful inspection, preparation, and the knowledge that you can always call in for help, DIY plumbing repairs can often be successful.

7. Forgetting to Shut off the Water

Whether you are making repairs or performing simple maintenance, it is important to remember to shut off the correct water valves in the correct order. You should always shut off the main water supply first and then any other valves connected to specific plumbing fixtures. 

To avoid this error, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the water supply shutoff locations in your home. Make sure you understand how to properly operate the valves.

Additionally, it is a good idea to test the valves periodically to make sure that they are able to turn on and off the water supply without any problems. Taking the time to learn and understand water shutoff locations and procedures can save you time and money in the long run.

Avoid Common Plumbing Maintenance Errors Today

The key to keeping your plumbing in great shape is to stay on top of maintenance and to know when to call a professional. Common plumbing maintenance errors are easily preventable with regular maintenance and inspections.

Keep your plumbing operating at its best by checking pipes, fixtures, and plumbing systems. Make sure to tackle small problems before they become big ones. Call a professional plumber if you need help.

Take action today, so you don’t have to worry about your residential plumbing system!

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