Prevention is always better than cure, right? Yes, especially when it comes to plumbing!
Sorting out plumbing problems can prove hellish for any homeowner. They’re stressful, frustrating, and sometimes destructive- not to mention expensive. You can expect a flooded basement, for instance, to set you back a whopping $43,000.
Unfortunately, though, these kinds of catastrophes are all too common in Surrey BC! People struggle with blocked drains, burst pipes, and broken boilers on a regular basis.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to stop such issues occurring. Looking for some pro tips from plumbers in Surrey BC to help you do exactly that? You’re in the right place!
Read on to discover all the expert plumbing maintenance tips you would ever need.
Be Able to Turn off the Water
The water in your pipes is a bit like the blood in your veins.
It’s something of an emergency when large quantities of it start gushing out! And, just like suffering a wound that starts to bleed, you need to know how to stop the flow ASAP.
Honestly, there’s nothing quite as distressing as seeing large amounts of water flood your home. As we saw in the intro, bad floods can cause serious damage that costs thousands of dollars to fix.
Knowing how to turn off the water to your property is vital if you’re going to prevent that eventuality.
Locate the water shut off valve in your house before such an emergency arises. It’s probably somewhere in your basement or a utility area. Turning it clockwise will close the valve, cutting off the supply of water to your home.
Regularly Perform Essential Checks
Regularly inspecting key parts of your plumbing system is a great way to keep it in good condition. It’ll help you spot problems before they develop and act in time to reduce potential damage.
However, you need to know what you’re looking for first!
Two particularly pivotal things to check are your property’s pipes and water pressure.
Start by examining any exposed pipes in and outside your home. Pay attention to possible signs of deterioration, such as water droplets or rust that’s formed. Both issues could suggest that a leak’s formed (or is forming), in which case you should call a plumber to investigate.
Check the water pressure in your home too. In an ideal world, this should sit somewhere between 60 and 80 PSI. Much higher and you can expect to suffer a range of issues, including burst pipes (especially in homes with older piping).
Do a Dye Test for Leaky Toilets
Want to see if your toilet’s leaking water and costing you money each month?
Do a dye test to find out once and for all.
Remove the cover from your toilet’s tank, pour some coloured dye inside, and wait for half an hour or so. You know you’ve sprung a leak if the coloured water has seeped into the toilet bowl at that time. Replacing the toilet’s flapper valve should solve the problem.
No issues so far? Well, don’t celebrate just yet! Without flushing the toilet, pour some more dye into the bowl and leave it for another half hour.
This time, you know there’s a problem if the coloured water appears on the outside of the toilet or around its base. Wiping down the surface of the toilet with a white cloth/paper towel should reveal if that’s the case.
Check for Leaks Using the Water Meter
Springing a leak is never good and must be dealt with ASAP in order to avoid the damage they can cause. Unfortunately for homeowners, though, they aren’t always obvious! Some minor leaks can go unnoticed for days or even weeks.
One way to catch these ‘hidden’ leaks is to check the water meter.
First, though, turn off all the fixtures and faucets in the house. If the little dial on the water meter’s still going up, then something’s obviously amiss.
In theory, you shouldn’t be using any water, right? But the dial’s telling you otherwise. There’s a chance you’ve got a little (or large) leak to blame. The best thing to do is to contact a Surrey plumber to identify and resolve it.
Organize a Pre-Purchase Plumbing Inspection
Anybody thinking of buying a house should consider hiring a plumber to perform a comprehensive inspection of its plumbing system.
Now, the home inspection you get anyway should provide a reasonable overview of the situation.
But it’s unlikely to delve into the drainage system/sewage line, which can hold all manner of nasty surprises. Those drains might have severe blockages and broken sections, for example. Fail to look inside and you could end up with a house full of plumbing problems that’d cost thousands to resolve down the line.
In reality, though, everybody stands to gain from such plumbing inspections. Whether you’re buying a home or living in one already, they’re great for identifying issues and/or providing peace of mind.
Get Rid of Grease the Right Way
Most people don’t think twice about what they put down their drains.
They’re treated like trash- literally! Everything from coffee grinds to meal leftovers gets funnelled, poured, and pushed down them.
Yet of all the things that shouldn’t go down but often does anyway, grease is one of the worst.
We know, it’s tempting to pour any leftover oil/fat down the drain when you’re cleaning up after a meal. But it’s a recipe for trouble! The grease gathers and hardens in your pipes, causing bad clogs to form over time.
Do your best to stop that happening by clearing out the oil from your pans with a paper towel first. That should reduce the amount going down the drain and prevent any clogs from occurring.
Be Wary of the Hairy
It’s best to keep your drains free from long hair as well.
Like the grease we just described, it can clump together and collect in the drains, quickly clogging them up in the process.
Fishing out a gloopy mess of sodden, soapy hair from the plughole isn’t the nicest of tasks! But it’s a worthy sacrifice! You’ll keep the drains clear and avoid those clogs we talked about.
FYI, you can make your life easier here by using a drain strainer. These handy items fit over the drain and stop any hair from going doing in the first place.
Only Flush the Right Stuff
Be careful with what you flush down the toilet too.
It might seem like the perfect way to dispose of your unwanted items! Everything from cosmetic wipes and sanitary pads to dental floss and cotton swabs end up down there.
But it’s worth remembering that toilets are only designed to flush the ‘organic’ stuff. Too much of anything else can easily block them up and, in some cases, cause flooding and back-ups.
Even items that claim to be ‘flushable’ are best kept clear of your commodes. They usually take far longer to disintegrate in the drains compared to standard toilet paper. The result?
More clogs and blockages!
The likelihood of suffering such issues increases as toilets become more water-efficient as well. Basically, modern loos use less water to do their job. And that, in turn, means there’s less force behind the flush.
Clear Clogs With Vinegar and Baking Soda
Keeping drains free from grease, hair, and other debris will stop them from blocking as often as they otherwise would. Yet even the most diligent homeowners suffer the occasional clog!
Thankfully, you can clear them away with a classic combination of vinegar and baking soda.
Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. That’ll elicit a chemical reaction that corrodes the clog. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes while it works its magic and then wash it all down with boiling water.
This age-old formula has been cleaning pipes for decades! Try doing it every week to prevent any blockages from occurring in the first place.
Avoid using heavy-duty chemical drain cleaners though. These can actually do more harm than good - corroding your pipes and threatening their structural integrity.
Clean Your Shower Heads with Vinegar
Tired of the mineral deposits on your showerheads limiting the flow of water?
Well, before you rush to the store to buy new ones, try cleaning them with vinegar. The natural corrosiveness should clear those deposits away, facilitating water flow in the process.
All you need to do is remove the showerhead and place it in a bowl/bag full of vinegar for about a day. With any luck, you’ll end up with a gleaming, high-powered showerhead again.
A quick tip: you can do the same with any faucets that have suffered the same fate! The vinegar will work in the same way to get them back to full working order.
Fix Any Dripping Faucets
Drip. Drip. Drip.
You might not be worried by the water dripping from your leaky faucets. Indeed, many people see it as nothing more than an annoyance - a frustrating sound that’s forever in the background.
But the reality’s very different.
For instance, a house with two faucets dripping at a rate of 10 drips per minute will waste 694 gallons of water each year. It’s literally like sending money down the drain!
Strive to fix those faucets as soon as they start to drip. In the meantime, you could collect the water in a bucket to use on something productive.
Don’t Overtighten Your Taps
Did you know that overtightening your taps can actually cause them to drip?
It’s somewhat ironic! After all, most people overtighten their faucets to stop them from dripping. In the process, they damage the washers inside, which allows even more water to come out.
A vicious spiral emerges, where the apparent solution to the problem exacerbates its source.
The best way to stop it happening is to avoid overtightening your faucets in the first place! However, you’ll need to replace the washer and/or faucet if the situation’s already gone too far. A plumber in Surrey will be able to do this for you in no time.
Think Twice About DIY Plumbing
DIY’s more popular than ever before, which can make it tempting to tackle plumbing problems without professional help.
Think twice about taking that tack though!
Remember, plumbers have all the training, experience, and plumbing tools required to do the job safely and proficiently. Alas, the same can’t be said for most ordinary homeowners.
Anybody that takes the DIY approach faces all sorts of risks.
For one thing, you can end up making a bad situation worse; creating more damage and even costlier repairs. But then there are the health and safety considerations too. With an ever-present threat of bursting pipes and scalding water (among other things), hiring professional plumbers keeps you safely out of harm’s way.
But Check If They're Licensed!
Not all plumbers in Surrey BC are created equal. Some even promote themselves as professionals without actually having the requisite training and qualifications!
That’s why it pays to check that the plumber’s licensed before hiring them. Doing so should ensure that you’re in safe hands, working with a bona fide pro.
Of course, it can also help to read the online reviews about their service. Seeing the feedback from past customers is a great way to see if the plumber in question is right for the job.
Remember These Tips From Expert Plumbers in Surrey BC
There’s nothing fun about suffering a preventable plumbing problem.
After all, they can damage your property, ruin your things, and leave a grand old mess in their wake. Throw in the stress and expense involved with sorting them out and you’re in for a torrid time all around. Needless to say, they’re best avoided!
Hopefully, the tips in this post will help you do exactly that.
Are you looking for expert plumbers in Surrey BC? Get in touch today for prompt and professional service!