The last thing you need in the New Year is a plumbing emergency. But a few maintenance tips can help save you time, inconvenience, and even money on your water bill! Follow these five suggestions to ensure that your water pipes and plumbing operate efficiently all year long.
1. Do A Water Use Audit
As we head into the new year, it’s a good time to sit down and total your water use and costs.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has created a database of purchase and installation costs for water heating equipment and energy-efficient upgrades. Take the guesswork out of water use costs with this helpful guide: NREL Efficiency Database.
If your water heater is broken, over 15 years old, or repairs will cost more than half of replacement, it’s a good time to consider a system upgrade. Talk to a Ben Franklin technician to determine if a repair or replacement is best. Sometimes, simple improvements such as patching leaky pipes or flushing your water tank can make the difference.
2. Check for Leaks
Inspecting for leaks is one of the most simple maintenance steps you can take. Make it a point to check faucets and toilets for any leaks at the start of each season. If you do detect a leak, don’t delay installing new fixtures or repairing the leak — it may even lower your water bill.
After inspecting faucets, inspect accessible pipes for evidence of leaks. These are the visible pipes below sinks and other exposed areas such as hose connections. Florida weather and saltwater air can cause pipes to rust, so check pipes seasonally to help prevent damage caused by corrosion.
3. Check Your Water Heater
The last thing you want is a cold shower — or worse! Look for signs of leakage underneath your water heater. Any water dripping from the bottom of the unit is evidence of internal corrosion and an impending tank rupture that could flood the house. Inspect the temperature and pressure relief valve on the side or top of the water heater for dribbling. Open the valve by lifting the spring-loaded handle and verify that you can see or hear water spurt out, then allow the valve to snap shut. Make sure the valve seals properly afterwards. Report any tank leakage or a dribbling relief valve to a certified plumber.
4. Schedule a Plumbing Tune-Up
An annual plumbing tune-up can prevent costly repairs, detect leaks, and address inefficient equipment. Your Ben Franklin technician will check your water heater, sinks, faucet, exposed pipes, and other critical components of your plumbing system. The new year is a smart time to consider a sewer line inspection to check for blockage, cracks, and other issues that could result in costly repair if not addressed.
5. Consider a Plumbing Protection Plan
How many housecalls did you have to make to your plumber last year? If you find yourself saddled with emergency repairs, DIY projects, broken appliances, and costly utility bills, it might be time to consider a plumbing protection plan. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing offers several tiers of protection that include 24/7 emergency service, annual inspections and water heater flush, free service calls, credit toward repairs, and more!