Your plumbing will give you fewer problems if you maintain it properly. It doesn't take a lot of work, and you can do most of it yourself, but you may need to call in a plumber for some things. Here are some plumbing maintenance chores you may want to do regularly.
Turn The Shut-Off Valves
Your bathroom sink, toilet, and kitchen sink should all have shut-off valves under them so you can stop water if a leaky faucet develops or if your toilet won't stop running. Being able to turn these valves can help you in an emergency because you won't have to cut off all the water in your house just to turn off water to a single faucet. However, these valves are rarely used so they can get sticky and eventually freeze stuck. You can prevent this by turning the valves occasionally to keep them loose and working.
Clean The Drains
Buy an inexpensive drain cleaning tool at the hardware store that you can slip into your bathtub, shower, and bathroom sink drains to remove hair clogs. By doing this regularly, you'll keep hair out of the drains and prevent a clog. You can also pour hot water down your kitchen drains to melt grease buildup so it slides on down the drain. Also, try pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drains to keep them free from odors. Drain clogs can't always be prevented, but by cleaning drains out regularly, you'll decrease the risk of clogging.
Flush The Hot Water Heater
You may feel more comfortable if you let a plumber perform maintenance on your hot water heater. Ask your plumber how often your heater should be flushed. The frequency might depend on if you have hard water or a water softener. If you see scale or rust in your water, the heater may need to be flushed again. This involves draining the water out of the tank so sediment flushes out with it.
Check For A Water Leak
Since a plumbing leak can be hidden behind a wall or under the floor, it's a good idea to check your water meter occasionally to see if you can detect a water leak. Just leave all the faucets turned off in your house and note the reading on the meter. Then check the meter an hour later and compare the readings. If the second number is higher and you haven't used any water since the first reading, then you have a leak somewhere. When this happens, call a plumber to find the leak and make repairs.