6 Tips for Taking Care of Your House Plumbing
Having running water is considered normal today, but it is still a commodity that should not be taken for granted. Poor maintenance can easily deprive you of water available at a turn of a tap. If you want to be sure you’re taking proper care of the plumbing inside the house then definitely check out these 6 tips we have compiled for you.
Reducing The Pressure
If a person has high blood pressure, then he is in risk of a heart attack. The same principle can be applied to plumbing as high water pressure hurts the pipes. All the valves, joints, and faucets will have a shorter work life if the water is constantly pumped through them under high pressure. This is why you shouldn’t turn the tap all the way every time you shower or wash your hands.
Another benefit of controlling the pressure is the prevention of leaks. If a valve suddenly breaks due to metal fatigue caused by stress, you will have a huge problem in the form of a potential flood of the bathroom area.
Soften The Water
A common reason for high water pressure is magnesium or calcium deposit in the pipes. They are caused by hard water, which is a type of water rich in mineral content. Many countries, including Australia’s biggest city Sydney, have this problem, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t and couldn’t be tackled.
Not only does hard water increase the water pressure, but it can create clogs which can lead to pipes bursting. As if that was not enough, it also corrodes the area around fittings and joints, significantly shortening their life span.
Luckily, hard water can be softened by specialized water softeners that are either sodium-based or electronic. The latter type uses electromagnetic pulses to break apart the accumulated minerals.
The Kitchen Area
While most plumbing is located in the bathroom, the kitchen does have some peculiarities of its own. Since there is a lot of food leftover going around the sink, you should use a drain cover. A simple plastic one will do the job of stopping the food before it gets into the drain and clogs it.
Also, oils and grease do not belong in the sink and should definitely not be poured into it, as many people make the mistake of doing. Once in the drain, they stick to walls of pipes and are impossible to get rid of unless the whole system gets disassembled. Just as those pesky mineral build-ups, they increase water pressure and can result in a formation of a clog.
Dealing With Leaks
Water pressure and hard water most frequently result in leaks. In Western Australia alone, billions of gallons of water are lost each year because of leaks in the old pipelines. In houses, valves, fittings, and faucet handles are the most likely places for the leaks to occur, but in reality they can develop anywhere along the network.
If you see mold forming accompanied with a musty smell, then you are most certainly dealing with a water leak. Just detecting it can prove to be hard, let alone fixing the leak yourself.
Keep a plumbers’ contact ready at hand, but make sure they offer a 24/7 emergency service, like most Sydney plumbers do, as the problem is persistent there. You never know when a simple leak might decide to turn into a deluge and the whole pipe crack open.
Always Be Prepared
Even if you take all the precautions, mechanical damage is always a possibility. Movers can accidentally hit a shut-off valve while installing a new washing machine, for example. In such cases, being prepared and knowledgeable is of crucial importance. You need to know where the next emergency shut-off valve is placed in the grid and rush to close it as soon as physically possible.
In many cases, they are located in manholes outside in the street so you have to have the means to access them. Never underestimate the power of water under pressure, especially when it gets out of control.
If you have a tap outside, it too requires care. The period when it is most needed is in winter when the tap is not used. Freezing temperatures can do damage to the pipes so you should shut off all the valves well-before the cold spell. This way, the pipes will have time to dry on the inside so they don’t freeze. Also, make sure the spigot has insulation from the elements during the winter months.
As you are probably aware by now, taking care of indoor plumbing mostly consists of timely prevention. Regular visual inspections are the best precaution against your house becoming a Noah’s Ark when something goes wrong. Also, you have to learn about the piping in your area: where are the all the valves, and more importantly, who to call in case of a problem, especially if it’s an emergency.