5 Ways That You Can Protect Against Plumbing Problems

Construction & Contractors Articles

Modern homeowners often make the mistake of waiting until plumbing problems become obvious before doing anything about them. By this time, there is usually a significant amount of repair costs involved as well as substantial personal inconvenience. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to maximize your chances of keeping your plumbing in good working order. 

Use Professional Grade Plumbing Fixtures

Don't be tempted to use bargain-priced, off brand fixtures -- they may wind up costing your more in the long run because they're more likely to malfunction, and it is frequently impossible to get parts for them. Even if their exteriors look exactly the same as their more costly counterparts, the interior workings are entirely different, and their exterior finish is often substandard. Go for brand-name fixtures that have solid reputations and warranties.

Plan for Your Water Heater to Wear Out

Conventional water heaters typically last 10-13 years. As they near the end of their life span, they may spring leaks, and mineral deposits can build up inside. Because the mineral deposits will eventually corrode the steel that the water tank is made of, leaks are basically inevitable at some point. Water damage can be expensive to repair, so consider replacing your water heater when it nears the end of its life rather than waiting for leaks to develop. The water heaters on today's market are significantly more energy efficient than their older counterparts, and you can maximize savings on utility costs by purchasing products that qualify for an Energy Star designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Turn Your Water Pump Off When Gone for More Than a Day

This simple action will protect your property in the event that a leak develops in your plumbing system during your absence. Turning off the main water pump only takes a few seconds and is well worth the effort even if you're only going to be gone overnight. Most water pumps can be turned off either by a switch located near the pump itself or on your home's electrical panel. It's also important for you to know where this is located so that you have the ability to shut off your water supply quickly in the event of a plumbing emergency such as a burst pipe.

Get a Free Plumbing Checkup

Ask your local plumbing contractor if they provide residential customers with free plumbing checkups. Many do, and this can be an excellent way to locate potential plumbing problems and deal with them before they become plumbing disasters. During this simple walk-through, the plumber should explain the basics of your plumbing system to you, including the location of essential shutoff valves and how and when to use them. The plumber should make you aware during this time of any risks or potential problems in your plumbing system and should definitely apprise you of any existing code violations.

Install an Alarm in Your Sewer Ejector Pump

Installing an alarm in your sewer ejector pump will alert you to possible malfunctions, giving you time to shut the system off before serious flooding or other problems occur. The most common result of a failed ejector pump is sewage becoming backed up in your basement, which is another costly and messy repair. Ejector pump malfunctions are higher when water softening systems are in place that drain directly into the sewer line.

Keep in mind that a combination of awareness and knowledge is your best defense against plumbing fiasco. Always keep an eye out for small signs of impending malfunctions such as leaks, and remember that it's more cost effective to pay a plumber for a minor job rather than waiting until the situation can no longer be ignored.

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28 May 2015

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