When you own a home, proper maintenance of your heating and cooling systems and plumbing are necessary. It helps you to conserve water and save on energy bills. Having faulty-working plumbing parts cause more expensive issues later, and throw money out of the window. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck as most people do, you cannot afford to spend money unnecessarily.
Plumbing leaks not only affect your pipes and water pressure, but they can also cause damage to your home. Many people fall into the habit of forgetting about their plumbing when it’s working well. This also goes for your air conditioner. If it is working well, then don’t fix it. Then all of a sudden something happens that creates an emergency, and we go into a panic mode. All of that can be avoided by having your plumbing and HVAC systems looked at on regular bases. Preventative maintenance is low-cost to make sure that everything stays in working order.
Know the System
The first thing the new homeowner should do is learn where their plumbing is and how it works. A surprising number of people, for example, don’t know where their septic tank or its drainage field are located. They should have the contractor who installed their plumbing show them where the roof and stack vents are, where the cold and hot water supply pipes are, where the water supply is kept, where the water meter is and where the drains and traps are. The plumber might give them tips on how to winterize their system and do minor repairs.
Some Maintenance Tips
The plumbing in a new home might be pristine, but it won’t stay that way for long. Among the tasks a homeowner can use to keep their plumbing in good shape are:
• Once a month flush the drains with vinegar, boiling water and baking soda. This will help dislodge clogs and is gentler than the harsh drain cleaners that are bought in the stores. It’s also considerably less expensive.
• Flush toilets once in a while and let the water run from faucets and showers now and again if they’re rarely used. This will also keep the pipes healthy.
• Regularly inspect the pipes in the basement, attic or the crawl space beneath the house to make sure there are no leaks.
• Have a plumber inspect the water heater at least once a year.
• Don’t pour harsh chemicals, acids or other damaging substances down the drains because they are likely to kill the anaerobic bacteria that work in most septic tanks. Even coffee grounds and dyed toilet tissue can be problematic.
• Has the septic tank inspected by a plumbing service company every two years or so? The homeowner should keep a record of how often the septic tank has been checked so the inspections can be done at regular intervals.
• Another reason a homeowner should know where the septic tank is is to avoid driving cars or trucks over it. The weight of a car or truck can actually make the tank cave in. Again, the plumber or septic service professional who installed the tank should let the homeowner know where it is.
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