Owning a home is one of the biggest financial investments of your life. When it comes to protecting your investment it's important to take the proper precautions with all of the integral systems of your home, including the plumbing system. Which brings us to plumbing tips for homeowners, whether you are just purchasing your first home or have owned your own home for some tip these tips will help you prepare for and prevent future plumbing problems.
#1 Plumbing Inspection
One of the biggest tips for homeowners we can offer is to have your plumbing inspected on a regular basis. As part of your routine home maintenance once or twice a year make it a point to check around for any leaks or abnormalities. Check around the toilet and under the sink. Inspect any exposed pipes for wear and damage. You should also be able to listen for any strange sounds coming from your pipes. Any sounds of rushing water or drips could be a sign that something is amiss and a more thorough inspection by a professional is warranted. Early detection and repair can help save you money in bigger repairs down the road, protect your home from other more serious problems, and prevent any unnecessary stress associated with a major plumbing problem.
#2 Chose Plants Wisely
Believe it or not, the plants that you choose for your landscaping can greatly impact your plumbing system. Which brings us to our next plumbing tips for homeowners; choose your landscaping wisely. A plants root system naturally grows towards water, which is all fine and dandy until they start growing towards your lateral line. The condensation emitted from your plumbing pipes can be a magnet for some plants, so it's important to choose plants wisely. Select trees and shrubs that grow slow. Since slower growing plants don’t mature as quickly they won’t grow straight into your plumbing or disrupt the surface as much, think about those large ficus trees you see lining older residential streets, their root systems grow so fast they have torn up many sidewalks and wreaked havoc on plumbing systems. If you find you want the benefit of fast growing shade with a faster-growing tree, then consider changing out the trees every 10 years or so, or be sure to plant them away from your lateral line. Also, consider landscaping with more Eco-friendly plants like succulents. They require less water which will help you save, look modern, and won't cause problems with your plumbing.
#3 Have the Proper Tools on Hand
Another plumbing tip for homeowners is to make sure you have the proper tools on hand in the event you do have a plumbing emergency. Make sure you have a plunger for the toilet and a plunger for the sink, remember there are several different kinds of plungers that serve different purposes. Also, it's a good idea to have some emergency supplies on hand like rubber gloves and sheet plastic in case there is a water leak and you need to protect the surrounding area. A shop vac and a fan are also good to have on hand to aid in drying out a flooded area.
#4 Know How to Shut Off the Water
In the event that there is a plumbing emergency, a great plumbing tip for homeowners is to know where the water line shut off valve is. If it's localized like under the sink or behind the toilet you can usually find the shut-off valve pretty easy. If its a more serious plumbing problem then you will need to know where the main water line is. The main water line could be located in the basement or crawl space, or along the outside perimeter of your home. Locating the main water line to your home ahead of time can make a huge difference in the event of a plumbing emergency.
Plumbing problems are never fun, but being prepared for one and taking the best precautions against a plumbing problem is the best line of defense. It's also important for you to have the contact information for your plumbing readily available just in case.