Not every plumbing problem costs a fortune to repair.
Some problems may go unnoticed for years, yet they can be costly if left unchecked.
Here are nine easy fixes that you can make at home to save yourself money on plumbing repairs:
1. Clean your drains often
Soap scum and other debris will build up in your drains. To keep them flowing freely, use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clean out your pipes. Cover shower drains with a screen to catch hair and other debris.
2. Check for leaks regularly
Check your toilets, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures for any signs of a leak. Wet spots or puddles may indicate a problem leading to damaged floors and cabinets. Tighten connections, replace washers and other parts as necessary, and continue to monitor the area. Have a plumber repair leaks inside the walls and outside under the patio slab.
3. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners on clogs
Drain cleaners aren’t always effective and can harm your pipes. Instead, use a plunger or a drain snake to remove blockages. This will keep your lines intact and save you money in the long run.
4. Keep an eye on water pressure
The pressure regulator on your water line should be set at 50 psi (pounds per square inch). If your pressure is too high, you can damage fixtures and appliances. If it fails, you might experience bursts of water and other problems. Have a plumber check the pressure regulator periodically to ensure it’s working correctly; even better, install an in-line pressure gauge to regulate the water pressure in your home.
5. Flush your water heater
Water heaters should be drained and flushed at least once a year to prevent rust and sediment build-up. If you live in an area with hard water, flush your heater more often. Also, check the temperature setting; if it’s higher than 120°F (48°C), lower it to reduce energy costs.
6. Check for toilet flapper problems
If you have an older toilet, the flapper may be worn out or damaged, contributing to internal leaks. Replacing a worn flapper can save money on your monthly water bills and extend the life of your toilet.
7. Invest in a water softener
Hard water can accumulate minerals over time and cause pipes to corrode faster than usual, leading to costly replacements. Investing in a water softener will reduce the hard minerals that build up in your system. Pipes will last longer, and leaks will be less of a threat.
8. Replace worn-out washers and seals
Old, worn-out washers and seals will cause water leaks from fixtures and appliances, wasting water and increasing utility bills. The small amount of money saved by not replacing these parts can add up quickly. Leaks can also cause significant damage to floors, walls, and ceilings if left unchecked.
Also, when valves wear out, they can become difficult to open and close. Old washers and seals may lead to a decrease in the overall performance of your plumbing system.
9. Replace old fixtures with more efficient models
Replace old plumbing fixtures like toilets and faucets with new, low-flow models to help conserve water. Plus, newer models are often easier to maintain.
When to Call a Professional
While some plumbing problems can be fixed with some DIY know-how, others require the help of a professional plumber. Here are some situations beyond the skillset of most plumbing DIYers, where you should call a professional:
- Burst pipes: If you have a burst pipe, turn off your water supply and call a plumber immediately.
- Sewer backup: Sewer backups are a threat to your home and health. Call a plumber.
- Gas leak: If you smell gas, leave your home immediately. Call a plumber and your gas company.
- Drain problems: If the plunger or snake can’t solve your drain problem, it’s time to call a plumber.
- No hot water: A plumber can quickly diagnose and repair the problem or replace your water heater with a new one.
Simple fixes, such as cleaning drains, checking for leaks, using a plunger or drain snake instead of a drain cleaner, and replacing worn-out washers and seals, can help prevent more expensive problems in the future.
Investing in a water softener and replacing old fixtures with more efficient models will help conserve water and save money on utility bills.
Orange Coast Plumbing is available 24/7 to provide emergency plumbing services to keep your home safe and running smoothly. So if you’re experiencing a plumbing problem that requires professional attention, don’t hesitate to contact us today.