If you’re a homeowner, your home’s plumbing is not always the first thing on your mind. There are many other in-your-face issues that you face on a day-to-day basis, such as yard work, indoor cleaning, and HVAC maintenance.
So, you might ask yourself: “How important is my home’s plumbing in the grand scheme of things?” We’re here to tell you that it’s really important, and—with proper information, maintenance, and forward-thinking—you can prevent big plumbing problems down the road.
In this article, we’ll discuss our best tips for homeowners who want to keep their plumbing in tip-top shape. We’ll cover everything from your pipes and water heater to your faucets and fixtures.
Install a water softener
Many homeowners aren’t even aware of the problems posed by hard water and the impact they have on your home’s water pipes. There are certain parts of the country where municipal water sources are considered “hard” or even “very hard,” and it is in your best interest to take proactive steps to protect your pipes, appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Some affects you may notice from hard water damage range from water spots on your dishes to more serious problems such as scale buildup inside of your home’s pipes.
If you’re trying to be more proactive instead of reactive with your home’s checklist, you should consider investing in a whole-home water softener. Once installed, this will soften the hard water as it enters your home, and it will prevent scale buildup in your pipes and inside of your water heater. Replacing your home’s pipes or water heater can be a huge out-of-pocket cost for any homeowner, so it makes sense to act fast before a problem arises.
Be mindful of your water heater
Most American homes have a standard tank water heater. These work by heating a set amount of water (that fits inside of the tank) and storing it until you are ready to use it in the shower, sink, or washing machine.
These standard water heaters usually only last about 8-12 years—with proper maintenance—which is part of their downfall. Taking care of the system will obviously make it last as long as it possibly can; we have a few tips and tricks to help your system last longer. First, call your local team here at Southern Air to drain your water heater for you. The purpose of us doing this is to remove any sediment that has built up inside of the tank. This buildup could be causing damage to the tank itself, or your overall water capacity as well—which means less hot water for you.
While we’re there, we will also check your system’s temperature and pressure relief valves. We check these things because when a water tank bursts, the cause is usually water temperature that is too high or an issue with a faulty relief valve. If we notice any inconsistencies, we’ll adjust the temperature and recommend any needed parts replacements.
An important replacement that is critical to extending the lifespan of your water heater is replacing the anode rod midway through the life of the system. The anode rod sits inside of your water heater tank and attracts corrosion away from the tank walls. Over time, it will have too much corrosion on it and essentially be “spent.” Replacing it at this point means you can continue to protect the tank walls from corrosion. Swapping out this rod can significantly extend the life of your standard water heater.
Test the pressure on your pipes
When you call the team at Southern Air, we’ll test the pressure on your home’s pipes. Too high of water pressure can lead to some pretty detrimental effects on your home’s pipes. We’ll bring along all of our professional equipment, including a pressure gauge to measure your home’s water pressure. If it reads anything around 60 PSI, the pressure is probably too high for your pipes. Higher pressure (say around 80-90 PSI) is a clear indication that your pipes, faucets, water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher are experiencing higher wear-and-tear than they need to.
We’ll recommend that you have us install a pressure-reducing valve that will lower your water pressure coming into your home and through your pipes. This is a simple fix to a potentially huge problem for your home.
Don’t wait to address your home’s plumbing issues
One of the most important tips we can give you is DO NOT WAIT to tackle your plumbing problems. They will not resolve themselves on their own and—most of the time—they can’t wait to be fixed. By putting them off until tomorrow or the day after, you’re taking a huge risk for your home and its pipes. There is a chance that your water heater is on the verge of a tank burst, and without having a professional from our team come out and inspect it, you will never know until the damage is already done.
Your home’s plumbing should be on your mind more than it currently is. Check out this infographic from our team for more tips on keeping keep track of your home’s maintenance needs and seasonal plumbing chores.
For even more great tips on how to maintain your home’s pipes, plumbing, and water heater, check out this infographic our team created:
Created by Southern Air Heating & Cooling