Even a minor plumbing problem can be frustrating and some of the most common issues homeowners face (such as clogged drains, leaky pipes, low water pressure, running toilets, and water heater failures) happen fairly often. When you’re trying to balance home, work, and social life, you may wonder how to deal with plumbing problems on top of everything else.
Waking up to a cold shower or discovering a sunken pond in your front lawn are unpleasant situations even if you don’t have a hectic schedule. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to reduce the occurrence of trouble and to reduce your anxiety when emergencies do occur.
One: Take Preventative Action
The first step in dealing with trouble somewhere along your plumbing system is to implement routine maintenance. This usually starts with an inspection and a tune-up from a technician. The professional may recommend further repairs for minor trouble that could cause more expensive damage. Routine inspections, completed by experts, can alert you to pipes that have been worn down, areas of corrosion, and components that have become too old. Correcting these issues tends to be much less expensive than waiting until unwatched pipes spring a leak or aging components seep contaminants into your water supply.
During a preventative inspection, the plumber may visually inspect your faucets, toilets, appliances, water heater, drains, shut-off valves, and supply line. At the end of the inspection, the expert may provide you with a list of repairs to complete or give you advice about how to keep your system in good working condition. An added bonus to routine visits is that the plumber will become familiar with your system and could be more prepared when responding to emergency calls.
Two: Catch Problems When They’re Small
Too often, expensive and serious plumbing issues could have been prevented if they were noticed earlier. Sometimes, homeowners notice a problem, but don’t do anything about it. For example, they may notice that the toilet continues to run long after it has been flushed. They may recognize a dripping sink or spy discoloration on the ceiling. These situations and others may not be causing obvious damage, but they have the potential to cause significant issues down the line.
These issues are often the result of a more serious, but less obvious, issue. For example, that dark spot on your ceiling could be caused by moisture leaking from your swamp cooler. Your leaky faucet is often a very expensive annoyance; that tiny drop adds up to three gallons of water in a single day. Imagine how much you’ll waste by ignoring that problem for months. After doing everything you can to prevent problems, pledge to call a professional immediately when you spot even minor issues with your plumbing.
Three: Stay Safe by Calling Professionals
Plumbers assemble and install equipment, repair pipelines, alter mechanical control systems, and perform the upkeep for sinks, air conditioners, and the water lines under your front lawn. They purchase equipment and supplies, understand blueprints, stay up-to-date with building codes and community regulations, and help train other professionals. When you hire a plumber, you get the benefit of this training, but you are also able to avoid some serious health and safety issues.
According to safety experts, plumbers are exposed to asbestos, mold, lead, sulfur dioxide, and other carcinogenic materials. These professionals face the risk of burns, poisoning, infections, and injuries. As an untrained homeowner, you could suffer health problems because of any of these risks, not to mention other common hazards, such as working in wet conditions, with hot water, on unstable ladders, or injuries because of working in a confined space.
Reduce the likelihood of plumbing problems by taking preventative action, resolving problems when they are small, and trusting professionals. You’ll find that these three steps are much easier to handle than a plumbing emergency, especially one that takes place in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend!
Have you had to deal with plumbing problems in your home?
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