You will certainly encounter a plumbing emergency, but a few simple preventative measures will help you minimize damage and frustration.
1 – Know your valves
In almost any plumbing emergency, the water supply will need to be shut off.
Finding the home’s main water shut off valve should be one of the first things you do when moving into a new home. It is usually located near the water meter, an exterior access or the well pump.
2 – Deal with drips
It’s far better to address the problem early rather than leave it till the problem gets worse. Don’t leave a dripping tap or ball valve. If you don’t replace it, you’ll end up with water pouring out of the overflow or worse.
3 – Machine hoses
The flexible hoses connecting appliances like washing machines should be checked annually for signs of wear. These hoses can suffer from a fair bit of pressure as the water is drawn and closed off. Check the connections at each end of the hoses as well.
4 – Waste outlets
Waste water pipes should be checked and cleaned at regular intervals to keep them flowing freely. Bath and shower waste outlets are prone to clogging particularly from hair. Don’t leave it until they become blocked. If you need to clear an outlet, use a plunger rather than chemicals.
5 – Hard water
If you live in a hard water area, you’re likely to have lime scale deposits build up around taps and shower heads. Use a suitable lime scale remover regularly to prevent the problem becoming too bad. Vinegar is a great alternative to expensive cleaners.
6 – Shut down water when away
As a precautionary plumbing measure, it’s always a good idea to shut off the water to your home when you will be away. Doing so will prevent major water damage that could have resulted from a major leak.
7 – Check out the heater
Regular servicing of your boiler and heater each year is vital. Make sure there are no poisonous gases escaping. Besides, the flame should be a clear, strong, blue flame, a yellow flame would indicate a problem. If you have a pressurised system, check the pressure regularly to ensure it is within the specified range.
8 – Cold weather
Any pipe work exposed to freezing conditions must be properly lagged. If you have an outside tap, isolate it during the cold weather.
9 – Emergency plumbing
Be prepared is an old saying but it certainly applies here. If you know how to deal with a plumbing emergency you could save a lot of stress and expense.
10 – Have a plumber’s number handy
No matter what plumbing emergency occurs, a professional plumber will always be able to offer advice and make any needed repairs.