1. Benefit from the services of an expert plumber
The first advice we can give you to keep a plumbing system in perfect condition and save money may seem self-serving on our part, but it is the most effective and least expensive: Call in an expert plumber at the first sign. of a failure in your system. You will avoid serious problems and major disbursements, and also get useful insights such as the benefits of using copper pipes.
2. Avoid negligence and prevent
The majority of plumbing problems and water damage we encounter are due to negligence. Many of your plumbing problems and major costs can be prevented through prevention.
Keep a regular eye on the lookout for component failures in your plumbing system. Inspect under counters by opening cabinets under your kitchen sink and bathroom sink for leaks or moisture. Listen for any noise from your toilet tank to make sure there is no dripping as well as any seepage from its connection. Inspect your washing machine’s flexible connection hoses, especially if they are a few years old. Being able to inspect the connections and underside of your dishwasher for leaks is a plus.
Inspect your water heater for leaks or rust and make sure you know what its lifespan is at. Also inspect the walls and ceilings under your fixtures and plumbing components for dark rings or moisture where possible.
This inspection will only take you a few minutes but will ensure that you can easily maintain your plumbing system in good condition and at a lower cost.
3. Prevent burst pipes from freezing
If you have water pipes, both metal and pvc, that run along an exterior wall and are visible to you, inspect them in very cold weather.
If you leave your home for a long period in winter or during a prolonged heating failure, take advantage of these few recommendations:
Beware of turning down the heating in your home too much
Leave your cabinet doors under your sink or sink open to maintain sufficient temperature in these confined spaces
Run a trickle of water from your faucets to prevent standing water from freezing in your pipes
Also make sure that your pipes and fittings are well insulated in the unheated parts of your home and your garage.
If you close your cabin for the winter, don’t forget to close the main water inlet and let the taps run to completely drain your pipes. Don’t forget to make sure that your water inlet is well insulated upstream of your main water inlet valve.
4. Check your water heater
The useful life of a water heater is approximately 10 to 12 years. Check the installation date on your water heater if you don’t know it. When your water heater has already been in service for several years, pay special attention to it to ensure that it is working properly. Check for any possible leaks and signs of rust. This way, you avoid major damage that will cost you thousands of dollars, especially if you live in an apartment or a condo.
Regularly check your washing machine and dishwasher hoses. Your clothes washer’s rubberized hoses dry out with age and show signs of weakness through external cracking. You should change these casings at the first sign of weakness or every 10 years. The same goes for your dishwasher hoses, even if they are flexible metal. Always choose quality materials, saving a few dollars at the risk of causing damage for several thousand dollars is not a good saving.
6. Your outdoor faucets
Don’t forget to empty your exterior water supply lines before winter, whether for your swimming pool or your garden hose, unless you have frost-proof faucets. If you have an unheated garage that is supplied with water, also consider protecting yourself from freezing.
7. Act quickly in an emergency
Even if you take all the necessary care to avoid leaks or water damage, breakage can happen. Immediately close the supply valve of the defective plumbing element. This valve is usually located near the item to be repaired, for example, under your sink or washbasin, behind your washing machine, a hatch behind your bath supply or even above your water heater.
If you are unable to stop the leak, turn off the main power to your home immediately. It is usually found in the basement near the wall that faces the street and the municipal power system.
8. Thawing Frozen Pipes
When you run out of water or you have very low water pressure in winter on a particular component of your plumbing system and its pipe runs near an exterior wall exposed to the cold, you probably have a frozen pipe. You have to act quickly before you suffer a blowout.
You need to identify where the frost is forming, usually in a closet or cabinet against an exterior wall when the piping is visible. These are cooler places and can be poorly insulated.
To facilitate the resumption of normal flow, open the faucet on the section affected by the freezing. The most effective and safest way and using a hair dryer. You must distribute the heat evenly up to the frozen part of the pipe and be patient. Other heating elements such as a fan heater, or an electric lamp that gives off a lot of heat can be used. The propane torch is to be avoided. The fire danger is too great and you can damage your piping.
When the pipe is not visible, you must use the same means to heat the environment of your hidden pipe.
If you can’t get the water flowing again, call a plumber quickly so you don’t end up with a burst pipe and the ensuing water damage.
To prevent pipes from freezing in the places most at risk, you can wrap your pipes with insulating foam covers that are available at low-cost hardware stores. A heating wire may be necessary in less accessible places.
9. Prevent clogged pipes with a homemade cleaning product
Pour equal parts baking soda and vinegar down your tub or sink drain once a month. Once the products are poured into the drain, put the plug and let it act for about 20 minutes. Rinse your drain with boiling water. This helps to facilitate the removal of hair and soap that have accumulated in your drain.
Use equal parts half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt that you mix together and empty down your drain. Add boiling water.
These two methods are just as effective and less harmful than the products available on the market while being more natural and less toxic.