Love Your Pipes! 9 Ways to Avoid Plumbing Problems
18 Feb 2016
POSTED BY: Admin | Comments: 0

By: Don Epp

Water is wonderful!  It was not too long ago when the pioneers of our province would go to the dugout, chop a hole in the ice and collect a pail of water then heat it on the wood stove.  Now, we just turn on the tap and instantly we have hot water.  The access to clean drinking water and easy disposal of waste water is a given in most communities.  Our household plumbing system is taken for granted until there is a problem.

Plumbing problems can become catastrophic in a very short amount of time, or problems can build up over years.  With mindful maintenance, this can be minimized and the occurrence of damaging leaks can be averted.

The following tips are intended to help maintain a well working plumbing system:

  1. Drippy taps should be repaired quickly, as these small leaks may cause further damage to the fixture or faucet if not corrected.
  2. If the aerator on the faucet spout or shower head is slow or sprays unevenly then there may be some mineral deposits clogging the screens and holes.  These deposits can be dissolved with a “delimer” product or with household vinegar.  Soak the aerator or shower head in vinegar for a few hours and rinse.
  3. Check the shut off valves under the sink or behind the toilet regularly, sometimes these start leaking or the hose connecting the valve to the faucet starts to drip.  This should be repaired immediately. Also look at the drain lines and look for evidence of water leaks.
  4. Check the washing machine supply hoses for bulges.  It is recommended to change the supply hoses every ten years, if there are some bulges in the line or if there is a lot of corrosion on the connection.  The best replacements are the stainless steel braided hoses. Also check the corrugated drain hose for cracks and splits.
  5. Check the toilet to make sure that water is not leaking into the bowl from the tank.  A defective flapper valve is usually the culprit.  This type of leak can waste many liters of water a day and can be repaired fairly easily. Take the lid off the tank to find the flapper valve look for anything that is obviously worn or damaged.
  6. In the basement, check the pipes under the toilet and look for leaks or water damage to the sub floor and have the toilet repaired immediately.
  7. As a safety precaution it is always good to know where all the water shut off valves are located and how to turn them off in case of an emergency.  The main water valve is usually by the water meter.
  8. Sump pumps are very important to keep the basement dry.  Listen to the sound your pump makes when it is working as a change in the sound can indicate a problem.  Test your pump every other month to make sure it works, especially before the snow melts in spring.
  9. Prevention and pro-action are huge factors in keeping drain lines clear, you can do this by: 
  • Never putting grease or hair down the drain. Use a garbage can for all food and hygienic products.
  • Avoiding the use of drain cleaners as they can contribute to the clog rather than clear it.  The best way to clear a drain is with a “drain snake”.  The “snake” can remove items that should not be in the pipes or it can break up clogs and send them down the line.
  • Letting hot water run down the drains for 10 minutes or so also helps loosen material stuck to pipe walls and aids in clearing slow drains. This preventive measure could be done monthly, especially in bathroom sinks.
  • Pouring a pail of water down drains that are not used often, such as floor drains, to prevent them from drying out.  A dry drain will let sewer gas enter the house.

Here are some more facts to know on water damage:

Retrieved from:

Water damage can be very stressful to deal with especially considering the amount of time it can take to repair, and the hefty costs. Follow these tips to ensure that water continues to flow without ever needing to use a pail to carry out water!

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