Preventative Plumbing Maintenance

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Be it a minor plumbing emergency or  a  costly repair, no one ever wants to encounter a plumbing trouble. Fortunately for us, not all plumbing issues have to catch you by surprise! Too often, people forget that preventative plumbing maintenance can make all the difference when it comes to sustaining their commodes and keeping pesky problems in check. The following are some easy steps you can take to ensure that your pipes stay safe from bothersome breakdowns long term:

  1. Understand your plumbing system and know where shut-off valves are located

The first step towards preventative plumbing maintenance and ensuring that you are adequately prepared is to familiarize yourself with your plumbing system. This familiarization means understanding how your pipes work, where they are located, and which fixtures they serve. You should also be aware of any warning signs that may indicate a problem, such as slow drains or unusual smells.

One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your home is to know where your shut-off valves are located. These valves are typically located near the main water supply or at individual fixtures, such as toilets and sinks. They are designed to shut off the flow of water in the case of an emergency, such as a burst pipe or leaky appliance.

By knowing where your shut-off valves are located, you can quickly and easily shut off the water supply in an emergency. This preventive measure can help minimize damage to your home, prevent mold growth, and reduce your repair expenses.

  1. Inspect pipes regularly for any signs of wear and tear 

When it comes to preventative plumbing maintenance, inspecting your pipes regularly is a crucial step to ensuring they are in good working condition. Pipes are the main components of your plumbing system and are responsible for transporting water and waste from one place to another. Over time, pipes can deteriorate due to wear and tear, corrosion, rust, and other factors, which can cause leaks, blockages, or even burst pipes. Therefore, it is essential to check your pipes regularly to identify any signs of damage or weakness and address them promptly before they become serious problems.

To inspect your pipes, you can start by checking for visible signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, dents, or discoloration. You can also look for signs of leaks, such as water stains or drips. For pipes that are hidden behind walls or under the floor, you can use a pipe inspection camera to get a closer look at their condition. These cameras are designed to provide high-resolution images of the inside of your pipes, allowing you to detect any blockages, corrosion, or other issues affecting their performance.

Regular pipe inspections can save you from costly repairs and replacements in the long run. By identifying and addressing potential problems early on, you can extend the life of your plumbing system and enjoy uninterrupted water and wastewater services. Moreover, regular pipe inspections are particularly important for commercial and industrial facilities, where the plumbing system may be in high demand and more susceptible to wear and tear. Therefore, schedule periodic pipe inspections with a licensed plumber or plumbing contractor and invest in advanced pipe inspection tools and technologies to keep your pipes in top condition.

  1. Make sure all joints are properly sealed to prevent any leaks 

Proper sealing of joints is crucial in various mechanical, plumbing, and construction applications, especially in preventative plumbing maintenance. Poor sealing can leak gases, fluids or other substances, leading to potential hazards or damage. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all joints are correctly sealed to prevent any leaks.

One of the most critical factors in joint sealing is selecting the right sealing material. The material used must withstand the pressure or environmental conditions it will be exposed to, have a compatible bonding with the joint surfaces, and offer resistance to any hazardous chemicals. Sealants are typically used to fill gaps between joints and should be applied uniformly to avoid air pockets or voids.

When it comes to joint sealing, proper installation is imperative. Careful consideration should be given to the type of joint and pressure it will be subjected to. For instance, the installation may involve heat or pressure to ensure a tight fit. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully and using the right tools for the job is essential.

Ensuring that the joints are appropriately sealed during installation is not enough. Regular inspection and maintenance must be performed to ensure that the seals remain intact and that any damage or wear is addressed promptly. Some sealing materials degrade over time or may shrink, which can cause microscopic gaps that can lead to leaks over time.

Proper sealing of joints is essential to prevent leaks that can compromise mechanical and plumbing systems' safety, integrity, and longevity. Selecting the correct sealing material, careful installation, and regular inspection and maintenance are all critical elements to ensure effective sealing.

  1. Have a professional inspect all connections, such as the water heater, annually 

An annual inspection of all connections in your home's plumbing system, including the water heater, is critical to preventative plumbing failure and ensuring the safety and efficiency of your water supply. The inspection should be conducted by a licensed professional plumber who has the necessary expertise and experience to detect potential issues that could compromise the quality and safety of your water.

During the inspection, the professional will thoroughly examine all connections, fittings, and valves to identify any leaks, corrosion, or damage. They will check the water heater to make sure it's operating correctly, without any signs of wear and tear that could lead to a malfunction. They will also inspect the pipes for signs of blockage, leaks, or any other defects that could cause water pressure or flow loss.

Routine inspections of your plumbing system can help you detect problems early and avoid costly repairs down the line. They can also help you save money on water bills by detecting leaks and reducing water waste caused by inefficient appliances, such as water heaters.

By prioritizing annual inspections and regular maintenance, you can ensure that your plumbing system runs smoothly, providing safe and clean water to your home and reducing the risk of costly plumbing emergencies.

  1. Clean out showerheads and faucets regularly to keep them from becoming clogged  

Regular cleaning of showerheads and faucets is essential in maintaining the smooth operation of your plumbing system. Mineral buildup and scum often collect on the insides of these fixtures, leading to clogs and low water pressure. Ultimately, this can damage the fixtures and cause rust, corrosion, or discoloration. 

Showerheads collect mineral buildup and scum, mold, and bacteria, which can harm your health. These microorganisms thrive in damp and warm environments, and if left unchecked, they can cause respiratory problems or skin irritation.

To keep your fixtures clean, use DIY methods such as soaking them in vinegar or baking soda solutions or simply wiping them down with mild soap and water. However, some stubborn mineral deposits will require harsher cleaning agents that might compromise the water quality. In such cases, it is recommended to use approved products for cleaning and disinfecting your fixtures.

Moreover, fixing your plumbing problems often begins with proper maintenance. Small measures such as cleaning showerheads and faucets are essential in preventing major plumbing catastrophes that may lead to costly repairs. Regular cleaning also helps to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your fixtures, enhancing the overall look of your bathroom. 

  1. Avoid pouring grease or fats down the drain as it can cause clogs

Grease and fat buildup are one of the most common causes of drain blockage. When poured down the drain, these viscous fluids solidify and stick to the inner walls of the drain pipes. Over time, they accumulate, causing a blockage, restricting water flow, and eventually overflowing or backing up.

Besides causing clogs, pouring grease and fats down the drain can also harm the environment. When poured into the sewage system, the fats and oils combine with other chemicals to form a thick, toxic sludge. This sludge affects the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants by clogging filters and reducing bacterial activity. It can also end up in rivers, lakes, or oceans and threaten the marine ecosystem.

The best way to dispose of grease and fats is to let them cool in a container and then dispose of them in the solid waste bin. Alternatively, one can opt for a grease trap, in the plumbing system and collects grease, preventing it from entering the municipal sewage system. In industrial settings, grease interceptors, which are more advanced versions of grease traps, can intercept fats and oils before they enter municipal sewage, preventing environmental pollution.

Investing in preventative plumbing maintenance is much easier than dealing with the fallout of malfunctioning plumbing. Ensuring all connections are secure, inspecting pipes often, cleaning out fixtures routinely, and avoiding grease disposal down drains can help prolong the life of your plumbing system. On top of that, it never hurts to periodically have a professional inspect everything to ensure no sneaky problems arise that could be potentially harmful or costly. Taking the proper steps now can save you a surprising amount of stress later.  So when it comes to your home’s plumbing system don't wait until something goes wrong, call John Plumbing today and ask about our preventative maintenance services!


John Plumbing is a full-service plumbing contractor with 15+ years experience in the plumbing trade. We Serve Northern Utah in Box Elder, Cache, Weber and Davis counties.

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