1. Drain Flushing
Gadgets that promise clean drains by attaching them to garden hoses and inserting them into drains usually do not work well. It takes professional hydrojetting to clear problem drains. However, some hot water poured down a kitchen or bathroom sink can clear out soap and grease buildup that is causing slow drains.
2. Shut Off Outdoor Faucets During Winter Months
If there is a threat of temperatures dropping to freezing or below, shut off the outdoor faucets from the valve inside the house. Then, open the outdoor faucet for a moment to drain a little of the residual water in the pipe. Do not leave the faucet valve open. This is the safest route even for so-called frost-proof faucets.
3. Remove Scale on Faucets and Shower Heads
The cleaning chemical department of grocery and department stores carry lime scale and rust removers that work very well to clean the spouts of faucets and shower heads. Follow the manufacturer directions. Faucet ends and shower heads are usually easy to remove by hand or by using an adjustable wrench. Immersion in the lime scale and rust remover can bring new life back to shower heads and also remove hard water deposits that form at the end of faucets and on faucet screens. Rinse thoroughly before use.
4. Fix Toilets Fast
A leaky flapper valve or sticking flush handle can waste hundreds of gallons in a single day! Toilets are simple appliances with internal parts that are easily replaceable by the average do-it-yourself type of homeowner. Most toilet part replacements come with detailed instructions, which makes fixing a leaky toilet an easy project to do.
5. Be Careful of the Garden Hose
Never let any person or pet drink water from a garden hose unless it is marked for potable water use. Many plastic and rubber garden hoses leach toxic substances into the water running through them. This is especially true for water that sits in a garden hose on a hot day. For garden hoses that are used to spray water that will come in contact with a person or pet, choose one rated for potable water use.
6. Turn Down the Water Heater
Not only does it save money on fuel costs for heating water, turning down the temperature on the hot water tank can also prevent dangerous scalds. Hot water from any faucet should never exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 Celsius). Burns are caused by the temperature of the water, length of exposure and sensitivity of the individual. Babies, the elderly and those with illnesses or taking certain medications may be more at risk.
Not every plumbing maintenance chore, safety procedure or ecologically friendly choice requires the intervention of a professional plumber. There are plenty of things regular homeowners can do to keep the plumbing in the home in tip top operational shape.
Information credited to Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating, plumber in Langley.