Buying a new home can be such an exciting time for you and your family. While a certified home inspector should do a look through of the home before you sign any papers or put money on the table, make sure you also look around yourself to see if there are any warning signs of potential problems. Look at issues such as the roof, electrical wiring, floors, walls, and the plumbing in the home. Of the issues that could cause problems if overlooked, plumbing is one of the most devastating, and also is one of the most commonly overlooked in home inspections. It never hurts to have a licensed plumber do an inspection of the home’s plumbing system in addition to the home inspector. A little money up front could save you potentially thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are some common plumbing areas to pay special attention to as you conduct your home inspections:
Throughout the year, a home’s plumbing system gets a lot of use. Frozen pipes, backed up septic systems, and leaks can all be prevented with periodic preventative maintenance on your plumbing. The following are quick and easy things a homeowner can do to maintain their plumbing.
Daily Preventative Maintenance Tips
- Avoid placing hard food waste into the garbage disposal. This includes bones, dense and fibrous plant products, and stringy waste.
- Use cold water to flush the disposal for at least 15 seconds before and after use.
- Never pour grease or oil down the sink as this can cause clogs.
Monthly Preventative Maintenance
- Grind ice cubes and citrus peels. This will clean and sharpen the disposal blades.
- Clean the disposal and pipes by pouring baking soda into the drains and following it with vinegar. Let it sit for an hour or so and flush with running water.
- Check all water connections and pipes leading to the appliances. Make sure there are no leaks and all connections are in good condition.
For many people, the fall season means raking the leaves, carving pumpkins and sipping warm cocoa in front of a bonfire. Although these things are a great way to enjoy the fall season, the beginning of fall is also the best time to prepare your home’s plumbing system for the winter. Here are some plumbing tips that will help you do just that.
Plumbing Tips for Pipe Protection
Both interior and exterior pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting without the proper insulation. One of the most important plumbing tips regarding the pipes is to thoroughly inspect all of the pipes, including those in the garage. The best way to ensure the pipes have sufficient insulation is by having a licensed plumber do the inspection, as well as insulation.
Water Heater Plumbing Tips
At the beginning of each fall season you should drain the water heater, especially if you have hard water. If the water heater isn’t drained, sediment will build up in the tank which can cause rust to form. If you already notice rust on the water heater or if it seems like it takes longer for the water to heat up, it is recommended that you have a new one installed to prevent the water heater from going out in the middle of the winter.