With the chaos of the New Year behind us, now is a great time to consider what would be the best plumbing maintenance strategy heading into 2017 for your home, commercial or investment property. There are many factors which go into deciding a plan of action for your property. We provide you with a handy plumbing checklist which you can use throughout the year to keep plumbing emergencies to a minimum, and ultimately, running costs down.
Firstly, let us explain why it’s better to have a maintenance schedule you can refer to. If you’ve ever had a burst pipe, or a blocked drain – you will know what kind of trouble plumbing ‘surprises’ can bring. A simple burst pipe can leave you with water damage; emergency call-out fees, and the inconvenience of losing water to your home prior to repairs. What could have been a fairly routine mixer replacement in your bathroom sink, has now led to an insurance claim, and expensive emergency call out fees to boot.
Most emergencies can be avoided. There are many jobs which are great to schedule with your professional maintenance plumber and gas fitter. Or rather, browse the range of home maintenance jobs you can tackle yourself to keep your plumbing working well right through the year.
The Plumber’s Best Plumbing Maintenance Strategy Revealed
If you ask your plumber, he would tell you to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your plumbing. But how do you do that? Here is a great checklist to help reduce nasty surprises.
JOBS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF:
ONCE A MONTH
- Remove build-up. A cost-effective and environmentally safe way to do this is with vinegar. You can use it to clean showerheads, as well as run a cup through your dishwasher and washing machine.
- The best plumbing maintenance strategy when it comes to your drains in your sinks, bath and shower it to keep on top of minor blockages, before they create problems. To prevent clogging, you can install screens over your drains in your shower or bath to catch hair. You should also reduce the level of oil going down your drain, and ensure dishes are scraped into the rubbish before rinsing. A regular rinse with hot water and vinegar also helps keep your drain clear.
- Take a walk around your property and look at gutters and downpipes. Remove leaf litter from your gutters, and make sure downpipes are connected. Blocked gutters and downpipes can cause rain water to flow back towards the house, which in our Queensland storms can lead to water damage.
- Run some warm water through your outdoor drains to clear them and prevent back-ups if a storm hits.
- Give your hot water system the once-over. Ensure there are no leaks and check for rust, particularly in coastal environments like the Gold Coast.
- Inspect around fixtures in your bathroom and look for water pooling which can indicate a problem. A simple tap washer replacement may be all that’s required.
- Take a look under sinks and check pipes, and that fixings are not looking worn or damaged. This could indicate the need to replace.
- Inspect your electricity bill when it arrives. A higher-than-usual bill can indicate you have a slow leak around your home.
JOBS FOR PROFESSIONALS:
- Water pressure adjustment. Your plumber can help increase the life of your fittings and pipes by checking your water pressure for you and releasing valves when necessary.
- Hot water system maintenance. Your plumber can also service your hot water system for you regularly, releasing valves and checking for potential leaks.
- Replacement of tempering valve or service of TMV. Tempering devices need regular attention to ensure they are working correctly.
- General plumbing maintenance checks. If you’re not handy, or you own an investment property you don’t see regularly, a quarterly plumbing check is a good way to stay on top of maintenance. Your plumber can work out the best plumbing maintenance strategy for your unique home or business. They can probably detect issues you may not have been aware of, as well as carry out low-cost replacements of fittings when necessary.
- Gas inspections. A qualified gas fitter can inspect and test your gas appliances to ensure there are no leaks from your appliance or along the lines.
With a little bit of forethought and attention to maintenance, you can pre-empt most costly plumbing emergencies before they arise.