Checkup for Plumbing Systems

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Maintenance Checklist

 

 

 

  • Plumbing System

Identify and tag the water supply turnoff valve for the entire system.  Then look for the turnoff for each fixture.  There should be a turnoff for each toilet, one for the cold water inlet for the water heater, and there may be turnoffs under the sinks.  Identify the main gas valve turnoff and each appliance turnoff.

Periodically, all faucets, hose bibs, and other valves should be checked for leaks.  Run the water, look under the sink cabinets for leaks, then go into the basement or crawl space to determine if any leaks exist there.

Water closet flushing systems are frequent wasters of water.  Remove the top of the flush tank of the toilet periodically to check its operation.  These leaks are usually inexpensive to repair.

Check the toilet bowl to see that it is tight to the floor.  If the toilet bowl is loose, a new wax seal may be required.

In cold climates, drain exterior water lines, hose bibs, and sprinklers.  Turn the valve to the hose bib off on the inside of the house and turn the outside hose bib valve on.

Locate the water heater and read the instructions in the booklet or on the side of the water heater.  Depending on manufacturing specifications, drain 2 or 3 gallons of water from the heater every 3 or 4 months to remove any sediment that may have accumulated in the bottom of the tank.  The pressure relieve valve located near the top of the water heater should be opened periodically to see that it is in operating condition.  If either of these valves have not been opened in some length of time they may not seal properly when closed and a new washer may be required.

All valves in the home should be operated periodically.  If these valves appear corroded, they should be cleaned and checked for leaks.  If they are corroded, there is a good chance that they may leak after you clean and operate them.  Therefore, it would be wise to start at the main water turnoffs to the house and water heater, and then approach the individual valves.

  • Water Softener
    If you have hard water, it is recommended that a water softener be installed.  This will extend the life of water heaters and pipes in addition to providing soft water for washing clothes and bathing.

  • Sump Pumps
    You may or may not have a sump pump in your home.  There are different uses for sump pumps.  A clear water sump pump removes ground water that accumulates around the house.  There is usually a drain tile system that runs into a sump pump crock.  The sump pump discharges the water through a pipe to the exterior of the house.  Most communities do not allow this water to be discharged into the sewer system.  A sanitary sump pump is used to discharge ray water into a septic or sewer system.  This is usually water from a washing machine or basement sink.  This type of sump pump system is most likely to be present when a home uses a septic system.

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