Installing a high quality plumbing system into your home is a costly affair by any standards. If you want your plumbing to give you optimal service, you have to take the initiative of maintaining it to the highest standards. Even before consulting plumbing experts, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your plumbing is working at its best.
To avoid leakages, ensure that the joints are sealed tightly using the applicable metal or plastic sealant. Sealants can be brought easily from department stores or your local hardware shop. Every sealant comes with instructions which should be followed closely. In most cases, you are required to drain the pipe and remove any water and dry it completely. Apply the sealant as instructed and give it time to dry before resuming normal operations.
Frozen pipes are a major headache, especially during winter. The damages caused are likely to cost you dearly. Fortunately, these adverse effects can be prevented. Any pipes operating from the exterior of the house should be well insulated. To ensure winter does not wreak havoc on your plumbing, disconnect outdoor faucets and drain your pipes. Cover any openings that can allow ice to pass through. This simple procedure will keep you away from facing a hefty repair bill once winter is over.
If some of the pipes freeze anyway, use a hair dryer to melt out the ice. This process is significantly slower given the moderate amount of heat emitted by a drier, but is safer for both you and for the system. It also saves you from calling the plumber and footing the resultant bill.By photo taken by flickr user rick (flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Avoid drain cleaners whenever possible. The ingredient chemicals in these cleaners are highly corrosive, and they gradually wear away the pipes. This reduces the life span of your pipes, and sooner rather than later you may be forced to part with a hefty replacement cost. In addition, the metal particles wearing away may end up in drinking or cooking water, exposing your family to health hazards.
If you have to use a cleaner for clogged pipes, go for an enzyme-based cleaner. Such cleaners use natural bacteria to melt sludge into a liquid, which then flows easily from the pipes. The plumbing is not harmed in any way and the water remains safe.
Do-it-yourself inspections are also essential as they help you track problems early. You do not have to be a professional, this simply involves checking out your system for any unusual sounds, smell, wear and tear or change in performance. Familiarize yourself with the shut-off valve as it’s your first stop in the case of a leakage. Any anomalies noted should be attended to in a timely manner to avoid deterioration.
A well maintained system will save you money which you may have otherwise spent on repairs. Every part will be in service for the maximum period possible and it will be years before a replacement is required. At the end of the day, these maintenance tips will ensure that you get maximum value for your money.
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