The plumbing maintenance list:

  • Thoroughly check throughout your home for leaks.
  • Test all shut-off valves.
  • Check pipes for corrosion.
  • Watch and listen to drains as they empty.
  • Clean out p-traps.
  • Garbage disposal maintenance.
  • Refrigerator water supply maintenance.
  • Clean faucet aerators.
  • Check for and replace faulty caulking.
  • Check toilet mounting bolts.
  • Check toilet parts for damage or deterioration.
  • Examine washing machine hoses.
  • Check water pressure for both too-low or too-high.
  • Water heater maintenance.
  • Refresh household members on location of main water shut-off, sewage clean-outs.

First Installment: How to find leaks

Indoor Leaks

Sinks:  Take a good look under all sinks for leaks, or signs of leaks, such as discolored paint, loose tiles, curled flooring, stains, mildew, peeling, or warping of wooden cupboard parts.  Sinks can also leak around the rim, which can cause damage to counters and cabinets.  Check for loose countertop material or deteriorated caulk around the sink.  Make sure the faucet base is tight.  Test for dampness on incoming water supply lines and connectors.  Do the same on drain pipes while draining sink.  Any leaks in these areas might require replacement of caulking, fittings, stops, or supply lines.

FaucetsLeaky faucets are pretty obvious.  Many times the leaking faucet only needs a replacement part or a new o-ring.  See Arc Plumbing for Faucets Replacement!

Drains:  Tub/shower drains are often a source of leaks.  The connection from the bottom of the tub or shower to the drain pipe itself can become slightly separated, which will allow draining water to leak onto flooring.

Toilets:  Toilets are more complicated, with the potential for leakage coming from several parts.  Toilet maintenance merits an entire article on its own!  Please seen our next episode for maintenance items for toilets.  Contact Arc Plumbing for Raleigh toilet replacement.

Refrigerators:  Be sure your refrigerator water supply tubing and connection are not leaking.  Leaks from ice makers can become big problems, and are often overlooked.

Laundry:  Examine your washing machine water supply lines.  Hoses can get brittle and crack.  Ensure the connections are secure, and check for any wetness on surrounding walls and floor.

Humidifier or Swamp Cooler – this is an often hidden leak.  These appliances have an overflow drain, which is connected to a waste line.  If the refill valve doesn’t close completely, water will keep coming through, and go straight to the waste line.  To test for this, turn off the unit, while keeping on the water supply.  If the water continues to flow through the drain line, you’ll want to get the valve repaired.

Outdoor Leaks

Swimming pool:  A leak in an in-ground pool is especially hard to notice.  One way to find out if your pool is leaking, is to put a bucket on a step – in the pool.  Fill the bucket to match the water line of the pool, and mark both the inside and outside water height on the bucket.  Leave the pool alone for a day and see if the pool waterline is lower than the marks on the bucket.

Hot tub:  A hot tub has many openings where water can leak.  Like a swimming pool, a leaky hot tub may be hard to notice.  With the power off, feel the pump for dampness.  Examine fittings and pipes leading to the pump.  Check for wetness around fittings and pipe joints.  The jets can also leak, and there are multiple methods to check.  A good overall test for the jets and hot tub shell is to mark the water height, as in the swimming pool test above, and check in 24 hours.

Sprinkler system or irrigation:  Turn on your system and do a walk-about, looking for obvious leaks in the system.  The system can also leak if the water is turned off, if there is a malfunctioning valve.  Some obvious greener/lusher areas of lawn or garden might indicate a leak in the irrigation system at that spot.

More Plumbing Maintenance Tips Coming Soon:

Check our next episode for Toilet Maintenance. Third episode planned will be Water Heater Maintenance, and a final on Miscellaneous Plumbing Maintenance.