Your Yearly Plumbing Checklist
Being a responsible homeowner means keeping an eye on all of your home’s systems—from the roof to the air conditioner too, of course, the plumbing—and doing whatever preventative maintenance needs to be done to keep everything running smoothly. Implicit in this is the need to inspect your home systems, to keep an eye out for signs of trouble; we recommend that all homeowners inspect their plumbing on an annual basis, carving out a solid chunk of time to really do the job thoroughly.
So the next time you have a spare Saturday morning, poke around in your bathroom, laundry room and crawl space or basement to evaluate the state of your pipes. Some things to look for and do include:
- Look for any signs of leaks, both on exposed pipes and in walls where pipes run through; these signs of leakage may include moisture, water damage, mold, or signs of corrosion. Look for green stains on brass and copper fittings, in particular.
- Check the water pressure; low pressure may point to sediment in the faucet aerator.
- Check the drains to ensure they drain swiftly; if not, you may need to have them cleaned or unclogged.
- Flush all your toilets, then wait two or three minutes to see if they start running or making any other unusual noises. Open the tank and look for any loose pieces.
- Drain the hot water heater to get rid of the sediment that has built up; if you’re not sure how to do this, ask your plumber!
- Inspect tile in your bathrooms, especially in showers and tubs; tap each tile to see if it is loose. If you have any loose ones, it may be rotted backerboard, which may in turn point to a moisture or plumbing issue.
- See if there is mildew on shower curtains or towels; hopefully you launder them regularly enough that this is not a problem, but if so, take care of it before the issue becomes more significant.
- Try to shake your toilet to see if it rocks on its base.
- Turn on all your faucets and look for any leaks.
- Unscrew the showerhead and look for built-up residue or sediment inside it.
- Look for any signs of erosion on your basement floor or at the foundation of your home—signs of possible plumbing issues.
If you spot anything that looks foul, make sure you contact a Vancouver plumbing professional right away!