When problems occur in your household or residential plumbing system, they can lead to the need for repairs that end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. However, not all of the issues that produce such major expenditures may seem like a big deal when you first encounter them. In fact, some of the most expensive plumbing problems may not register on your radar at all until it’s too late. In every potential situation, there is one key factor in addressing the health of your plumbing system and saving money: regular and informed preventive maintenance.
Leaking pipes in your home or business can cost you money for a couple of reasons. First, when water leaks from your plumbing system, it can lead to collateral damage in everything from nearby drywall and wood framing to the quality of your indoor air. The damage happens because contact with moisture can soften wood and make drywall fall apart. Also, constant moisture can provide a perfect breeding ground for various species of mold, including toxic black mold.
The second source of primary costs associated with leaking pipes is utility-based. Even if it doesn’t lead to structural problems or mold-related issues, an undetected or uncorrected leak can potentially result in a significant increase in residential or commercial water usage. In turn, over the long haul, this needless increase in waste, can drastically boost your monthly water bill.
As part of your plumbing maintenance routine, you should regularly check for signs of leaking pipes, including wet spots and telltale dripping sounds. In addition, you should consider having a plumbing professional make periodic leak checks. In combination, these actions can easily end up saving you thousands of dollars — or even more — in needless household or business expenditures.
Faucet and Toilet Leaks
When faucets and toilets in your home or business leak water, they can potentially produce the same costly structural or mold-related concerns as a leaking pipe hidden behind a wall or beneath a cabinet or vanity. If not recognized or corrected, they can also lead to the same types of increases in monthly utility costs. In addition, unaddressed faucet and toilet leaks place a strain on the wider community by wasting a precious resource.
Leaks in faucets or toilets are frequently glaringly obvious. If you notice these issues, you can often maintain the health of your system with a do-it-yourself repair or replacement. However, for the sake of convenience and guaranteed quality of the work performed, you may want to turn instead to a plumbing professional.
Clogged Water Heaters
Everyday of the year, water heaters play a vital role in making residences and commercial buildings comfortable and inhabitable. Unfortunately, over time, a residential or commercial heater equipped with a conventional storage tank can gradually decline in performance as sediment from the local water supply accumulates in its lower end. Eventually, this sediment accumulation can produce problems severe enough to call for an expensive replacement. Modern tankless heaters don’t store water. Still, they can develop similar issues when minerals dissolved in the water supply build up on critical system components. And if anything, a modern tankless setup can cost even more to replace than a unit equipped with a conventional tank.
If your building is outfitted with a conventional storage water heater, your regular maintenance routine should include periodic draining and flushing of the main tank. All tanks have accessible valves specifically designed for this purpose, and most experts recommend undertaking this job about once a year. You should also periodically flush out your tankless hot water unit. The amount of time required between cleanings will vary according to the number of minerals circulating in your municipality’s water lines. A plumbing professional like Orange Coast Plumbing can perform all required water heater maintenance.
The drains in your kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms are designed to channel used water into your building’s sewer system. However, they are not designed to accommodate such things as hair and large food particles. When you don’t keep your drains properly covered, you seriously increase the odds that various items will enter your sewer lines over the months and years. In turn, an accumulation of debris inside these lines sets the stage for major clogs. When such clogs form, your only remedy may be an expensive repair process that includes the destruction or dismantling of nearby structures or materials.
At various times of the year, make sure that all of the drains in your home or business are properly covered. You can easily replace missing covers, or install covers in new locations. This simple step can save you thousands of dollars later on.
Improper Waste Disposal
As we’ve already noted, the drains in your home or business have just one intended function: the channeling of used water into the appropriate sewer lines. With the exception of certain kinds of food waste that get thoroughly broken apart by a garbage disposal, nothing else should enter the system. Despite this fact, everyday of the year, homeowners and business owners and employees attempt to use kitchen, bathroom and utility room drains to dispose of other types of material, including such things as fat and grease.
Also, they attempt to flush items such as paper towels, tissues, and feminine hygiene products down toilets. Inevitably, these practices make sewer line clogs much more likely to occur. As a result, they also make it much more likely that you will eventually face a multi-thousand-dollar plumbing repair bill.
As part of your maintenance preparations, you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with the types of materials and substances you can safely introduce into your building’s drains or flush down your building’s toilets. Some of the things to avoid may seem like common sense. However, for one reason or another, many homeowners and business owners and employees make false assumptions and end up attempting to dispose of something improperly. If you have any doubts about what qualifies as safe or unsafe, a quick conversation with a local plumbing professional such as Orange Coast Plumbing can help you sort out the difference. Once you know the rules, follow-up by communicating them to everyone in your household or on your company staff.