A Plumbing Maintenance Plan Can Help Prevent Costly Water Problems!
Water related damages cause millions of dollars in property losses each
year. Because the plumbing in our commercial , business property or home generally works, and for the most part is “out
of sight out of mind”, we have a tendency to overlook the potential for significant problems and out of pocket expense.
The bottom line is that the smart property owner will have a Plumbing Maintenance Plan that is reviewed and
followed throughout the year.
Maintenance Plan: Except for the deductible, property insurance
generally covers water damage if it is sudden and accidental. It generally doesn’t cover damage caused over time by
the lack of plumbing maintenance. A water damage claim can be a red flag to insurers, and the visible results of water damage
can be a signal to a property or home inspector of hidden problems when you get ready to sell. It is, therefore, a GOOD idea
to have a Plumbing Maintenance Plan to reduce the risk of increased insurance premiums and reduced marketability. It is always
best to respond to plumbing problems quickly, they will not go away and will only get worse.
Water Bill: As part of the plan, frequently check the water bill
for spikes that can tip you off to a potential problem.
Winterizing: The majority of plumbing problems occur during the winter months.
Water and Drain
Lines and Shut off Valve:
- Insulate pipes in unheated spaces or wrap them in heat tape to prevent freezing.
- Where possible and practical, shut off pipes leading to outside
hose bibs. At the least, the hose bibs should be insulated to protect them from freezing.
- If a hard freeze is coming, let inside pipes connected to vulnerable pipes drip slightly. This keeps the water moving
and reduces the chance of freezing.
- Minimize the potential
of water damage by making sure that the appropriate employees and, in the case of a homeowner, all family members know where
the water shut off valve is located and how to shut off the water.
- Make sure you know where water and drain lines run before driving nails into the walls.
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV): Check frequently the
designed water pressure for the property. Excessive pressure can lead to problems down the road. For the homeowner, an inexpensive
water pressure gage can be bought at the home supply store. Attach the gage to an outside faucet and turn the water on full
force. A normal reading will be between 50 and 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Residential supply lines are designed to withstand
80psi. If the pressure is higher than this, the PRV installed on the main water line may have failed and needs to be replaced
by a professional. More importantly, excessive water pressure can reduce the life span of your water heater and void the manufacturer’s
check under and around sinks, lavatories, toilets, urinals, water coolers, ice makers, water filters and garbage disposals
for signs of leaks. Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, as much as 150 gallons a day! In the crawl space,
check under all fixtures to make sure water and drain lines are not leaking and damaging the wood underneath them.
- Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanities are clear and open to prevent
water damage to floors and ceilings.
a. Where possible use one ply or thin two ply toilet tissue.
b. Caution all users not to flush
baby wipes, diapers, paper towels, feminine products or “flushable” toilet cleaning wands down the toilets.
c. Keep small children out of the
bathroom without parent or adult supervision.
Toilet leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year add red food coloring to your home’s toilet tanks and
check them later for leaks. If water in the bowl is red, water is seeping through from the tank. If a leak is detected, replace
the tank ball or flapper yourself or call (770-717-1945) the professionals at Keever Plumbing.
4. Clogs: To
help prevent clogs and costly plumbing bills, fit your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips,
and clean it regularly. Do not wash liquid fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. These fats will solidify in the drains
and create clogs. Avoid using caustic, liquid drain openers on a drain that is completely stopped up. In many cases, the caustic
ingredients are trapped in the lines and can severely damage them. If you can’t snake the drain yourself, call (770-717-1945)
the professionals at Keever Plumbing.
Heaters: For safety reasons, water heater maintenance is best left to the professionals. They should be checked frequently
for leaks; and at least once every two years, they need to be inspected by a plumbing service technician.
Garbage Disposal: You can extend the life of your
garbage disposal by using plenty of water when running it. Make sure you do not over load it and never dispose of things like
bones, corn husks or cobs.