Plumbing issues are some of life’s biggest hassles, but fortunately there are preventive steps you can take to make sure these problems are few and far between. Spring cleaning offers the perfect time for you to give the water supply a once over. Make sure to use these plumbing maintenance tips to keep your plumbing running smoothly.
Check for Leaky Faucets
The first thing to look for is any outlet where water is leaking, starting with sinks. A faucet leak might not be as obvious as shutting off the faucet and seeing it drip. Leave a bowl under the faucet for some time and then check for any accumulated water. If you find there’s a leak at the faucet, it can often be fixed simply by replacing and greasing the seat and spring at the bottom of the stem underneath the faucet.
Search Out Hidden Leaks
However, often overlooked are leaks occurring beneath the sink. If you find the area beneath your sink is wet, dry everything and check for any rot. Then, open both the hot and cold taps to see where the leak is coming from. Most likely, it will be from one of the risers, which can easily be replaced, so turn off the water supply to the sink and open the taps to drain the water. Then:
- Remove the defective riser.
- Thread the new riser onto the compression end of the stop valve.
- Connect the other end of the riser to the faucet.
For custom length 3/8″ OD PEX risers
- Cut the pipe to the desired length.
- Push the pipe into the valve to the correct depth.
- Push the other end of the pipe into a faucet connector.
- Thread the connector onto the fixture.
Repeat the process for all the appliances, including toilets, dishwashers, etc., checking for bulges and leaks in the supply hoses and replacing as necessary.
Clean the Drains
Ideally, to avoid total stoppages, you would stick a zip tool down the drain every few months to clear out built up hair and residue. However, for a thorough spring drain cleaning:
- Grab some rubber gloves and set a bucket underneath your sink’s trap.
- Unscrew the slip nuts from the trap connections and pull the trap off.
- Empty the contents of the trap into the bucket, then clear it out with a wire brush and hot water.
- Reconnect the trap to your sink.
Odds & Ends
Check any exposed pipes (for instance, those in the basement or crawlspace) for leaks or compromises. Often, these are short cracks that can be easily repaired using SharkBite couplings.
There are a number of other plumbing maintenance measures you can take to ensure well-functioning supply lines and clear drains, including checking slow leaks by marking any changes on the water gauge overnight during disuse. Whatever steps you take to maintain the plumbing, you can be sure there’s a SharkBite product to get it done efficiently and without soldering or epoxy.
Here are just a few of the things you might need during plumbing upkeep: