Basic Plumbing Tips for Homeowners

Dishwashers, Ice Makers and Washing Machines

  • Run your dishwasher and washing machineat nightor at off-peak times to conserve water temperature and pressure.
  • Check allsupply hosesfor bulges, leaks or signs of weakness.
  • Clean out thelint trap, if you have an olderwashing machine, and put a wire trap or a piece of pantyhose over the end of the hose that drains the washer.
  • Check to make sure that allconnectionsare tight and leak free.

遗传算法rbage Disposals

  • Neverput hard-to-grindwasteinto thedisposal(e.g., chicken skins, bones, carrots, celery or banana peels); they will clog the drain.
  • Run cold waterdown the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the disposal to flush waste down the main line.
  • Turn on the disposal beforeadding food waste.


  • Don’t pourfatsor cookingoilsdown the drain — they will harden in the pipes and create clogs.
  • Make sure that all drains havestrainersto prevent hair, soap and debris from clogging the drain lines.

Floors, Basement and Walls

  • Slowfloor drains should be snaked to make sure they will carry away water fast if there is a flood.
  • If you have asump pump, make sure it works by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water, and then shut off without any problems.
  • Install a battery-operatedflood alarm.
  • Check around the base of the toilet for signs of water damage (rolled vinyl, black or white stains, etc.)
  • Check for leaky orloose wall tilesby pressing on them where they come in contact with the bathtub. If the wall is soft, there might be some water damage.


  • Make sure yard drains,gutters and downspoutsare cleaned out, open, andfree of debris.
  • Check faucets andhose bibsto make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips or if it leaks inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
  • Standing wateris a common problem caused by a leaky or broken pipe. Excess water in a yard might come from a damaged sewer line and contain waste from the home. This is unhealthy for children and pets, and is a breeding ground for insects and germs.


  • Neverflush cotton swabs, cotton balls, hair, facial scrub pads, diapers, wipes, sanitary products or similar items down the toilet. These items will not easily dissolve and are responsible for most clogs.
  • Check toilets forhidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
  • Inspect the tank and bowl forcracksor leaks.
  • Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush orjiggledto stop the water from running, you may need to replace worn tank parts. They're inexpensive and you'll notice a lower water bill once they're replaced.
  • Check to seehow fastthe toilet flushes.


  • Regularlyexercise(open and close) water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.

Water Heater

  • Check thetemperaturesetting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  • Carefullydrainseveral gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
  • Check the date of yourwater heater. The first four digits of the serial number on the water heater are the month and year. Any heater over 12-15 years old is a candidate to be replaced.
  • Make sureflammablesare not stored near the water heater or furnace.
  • Arusty water tankis a sign of impending problems.必威备用 to inspect it ASAP.

Updated December 10, 2017.

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