Check Your Pipes: A Guide for Preventative Plumbing Maintenance

Check Your Pipes: A Guide for Preventative Plumbing Maintenance

Getting into a habit of performing preventative plumbing maintenance in and around your Portland-area home can save you money by avoiding costly plumbing repair jobs. Preventative plumbing maintenance breaks down into a few simple tasks: inspecting plumbing, tinkering, and poking around (though you may use more sophisticated descriptions when bragging to friends and family).

Inspect

  • Look for water stains and puddles beneath exposed pipes and where pipes pierce walls or foundation
  • Look for signs of mildew, caused by standing water
  • Look for corrosion, such as green stains on brass and copper pipes, or yellowish and orange stains on steel pipe
  • Look at the rate of flow from faucets and spigots to get a sense of your Portland-area home’s water pressure; low pressure could mean sediment build-up at the aerator or shower head
  • Partially fill sinks and tubs with their stoppers in place, and then allow them to drain, to check the speed of drainage to diagnose clogs or build-up in the pipes
  • Look for cracked or loose tiles around the shower enclosure; this may indicate a water leak behind the wall that can lead to a plumbing emergency.

Tinker with the Works

  • Remove shower heads and sink aerators to clear any sediment, which could cause a drop in water pressure
  • Flush the toilet, jiggling the handle to ensure it is tight (the nut often loosens inside the tank)
  • Remove the tank lid and check parts inside to ensure nothing is broken, rusted or dislodged

Poke Around

  • Gently pick at caulk around the bathtub, sink and toilet to see if it has dried out and lost adhesion
  • Give the toilet a nudge to see if the tank rocks or moves on the bowl, or if the bowl moves around on the floor
  • Poke and squeeze your clothes washer and dishwasher hoses to make sure nothing is cracked, dry rotted or brittle

By limiting yourself to these three gentle steps when performing preventative plumbing maintenance, you avoid causing a genuine plumbing emergency.

For more help with preventative plumbing maintenance for your Portland-area home, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.

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