Plumbing problems and repair costs have a way of coming up at unexpected and inconvenient times. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid plumbing damage and prevent problems like leaks. Knowing what you can do to protect your plumbing can help you avoid costly problems that can lead to repairs down the road. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do.
1. Protect Your Drains
Drains can get clogged with food, stray hair, and lint. Use drain filters or strainers to prevent clogs from occurring. To prevent clogs in your shower drains, use a bathroom hair catcher.
Does your washing machine drain into your utility sink? This is common in older homes where washing machines were installed after the house was built. Lint from your washing machine can clog the drain in your utility room sink over time. Protect your utility room sink by working with a plumber to install a plumbing line where water can drain out of your washing machine without pouring into your utility room sink.
2. Protect Your Pipes From Cold Temperatures
Chicago gets cold in the winter. Hopefully your home has adequate insulation to protect your pipes. Even if you live in a drafty house, you can still protect your pipes by insulating exposed pipes.
If you choose to do this yourself, you’ll only be able to reach the pipes that are out in the open. A plumber can insulate pipes in harder to reach places, especially during remodels and renovations, when your pipes are exposed. Ask your plumber to install insulation on your pipes every time your plumber opens your walls or exposes pipes that are normally hidden.
Even if you’re not remodeling, work with your plumber to install insulation on pipes in your crawl space and other difficult to reach places. To further protect your pipes, maintain a temperature of 55 degrees or greater when the weather outside gets very cold.
3. Get Permits When Remodeling
Building permits are required for a variety of home improvement projects, including some plumbing projects like construction of a bathroom addition. Some homeowners choose not to get permits when remodeling their home, because they want to save money on remodeling costs. While this may save money during a remodel, it can cost money later on.
The purpose of getting permits is to ensure that there is inspector oversight during major renovations and improvements. Once a permit is pulled, the job cannot be completed until the inspector has signed off on the work. This helps ensure that the home is properly remodeled.
Get permits when they’re required, even if this means you’ll have to spend more money on your plumbing project. This will help you avoid expensive (and unexpected) plumbing problems later on.
4. Regulate Your Water Pressure
High water pressure is consistent water pressure that exceeds 80 PSI. Some of the signs that you have high water pressure include:
- Banging pipes
- Water sputters out of faucets when they’re first turned on
- Toilets run easily
- Faucets leak easily
If your home seems to have high water pressure, ask a plumber to measure your water pressure. If the water pressure is too high, have your plumber install a water pressure regulator. High water pressure that goes unregulated can lead to problems like leaky pipes that must be repaired by a plumber. High water pressure can also shorten the service life of your water heater and dishwasher, which can also be costly to repair.
5. Winterize Outdoor Spigots
Outdoor spigots can freeze if temperatures drop down very low. You can protect your spigots from extreme cold in winter by storing your hoses indoors for the winter. If your home has an in-ground sprinkler system, have them winterized by a professional. Water left in the pipes can freeze and cause pipes to rupture. Work with a professional to empty your sprinkler pipes and avoid ruptures over the winter.
6. Use an Experienced, Licensed Plumber
Some budget-conscious homeowners choose to hire unlicensed plumbers to do their plumbing work, while others choose to DIY their own plumbing work. Sometimes this is tempting because licensed plumbers may charge more than a person who is not licensed or trained to do the work. However, working with an experienced licensed professional helps ensure that the work is done right from the beginning.
If you need to do plumbing work around your home and you’re on a budget, save money by shopping around for a plumber with fair rates and a good reputation. Don’t hire someone who isn’t qualified to do the work, and don’t do the work yourself if you haven’t been trained to do it. Working with a plumber will save you money in the long run by helping you to avoid plumbing mishaps and leaks.
At Windy City Rooter, we can help homeowners like you avoid expensive plumbing probalems. To make an appointment for a plumbing repair, contact us today.