When everything is working correctly, it’s easy to forget about your home’s plumbing, but it becomes impossible to ignore if there are any problems. Water leaks can cause a great deal of damage to a house, so you want to do everything you can to avoid them. This is especially true for older homes with aging pipes that may be susceptible to corrosion. In order to avoid future disasters, here are some tips for making sure your home’s plumbing is working correctly:
- The plumbing in most older homes uses galvanized and cast iron pipes, which can corrode over time. If your home has galvanized pipes, look for breakdown around the joints. If you have cast iron pipes, check to see if they have become brittle on the top portion of the pipe. If you discover any corrosion, be sure to contact a plumber to get the pipes repaired or replaced.
- Many older homes have clay tile sewer lines. Tree roots are strong and can grow right through this type of sewer line. If you haven’t done so in a while, it’s a good idea to do a camera and maintenance rodding to determine whether you have any tree root issues or if you are likely to have problems in the future.
- In any home, the seals around the base of toilets will wear with time and use, and can even leak unnoticeably for years. Check the area around the base of your toilets for moisture, or, if possible, look at the floor from below for leaks.
- Whether you have new or old plumbing, it’s a good idea to regularly exercise your valves. Locate the valves behind your toilets, under your sinks, and on any equipment in your crawlspace or basement. Slowly turn the valves off, then turn them on again. This will keep them from locking up.
- The rubber hoses connected to washers and dryers wear over time, and they are under significant pressure. Replacing them with new braided stainless steel hoses will reduce the possibility of hoses bursting or breaking.
- Ensuring that your home receives the best water quality is not only beneficial to your family’s health, but also for your plumbing and appliances. Too many hard minerals in the water will increase the wear and tear on everything from your plumbing to your laundry. Installing a water softener or whole home filter can improve the quality of your family’s water, which will extend the life of your plumbing and appliances.
- Make sure to keep your pipes from freezing in the winter. The best way to do so is by insulating them and keeping your house warm. For additional peace of mind you can install freeze proof spigots. You can find additional tips here.
- If you have any leaky pipes, they can be replaced with new fittings. Additional parts may be required to fit new pipes to older, existing pipes, but an experienced, licensed plumber will be able to marry the old with the new and get you safely functioning again.
Do you have any questions about plumbing? Every home is unique, and whether your home is older or was constructed more recently, we can help by providing you with the facts you need to make the decisions about how best to fix your issues or make sure you are protected against any future problems. If you want to know more, please contact us or call us at 630-964-1700.
Image Credit: FreeImages.com/Marty Weis