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Don't Let Small Issues Become Plumbing Nightmares

This time of year, when the cold air settles in for good, and the fun outdoor activities are more about keeping warm than soaking up the sun, many families like to spend time visiting and eating hearty meals together.

Much of these meals are best enjoyed when shared with out of town guests or friends that come for a long-term visit. When you are looking forward to having more people in your home, it is important to be thoughtful of how your plumbing system will hold up.

Most people go through their day-to-day routine without thinking much about their plumbing system. Maybe the showerhead has some build-up on it or the bathroom sink drips a little but, all of that can be worked around, right? Wrong.

It really isn’t a good idea to let any small plumbing issue go without being repaired – especially if you’re going to have company and your plumbing system will be getting used more. Here are some typical areas of concern that you should take a look at before your loved ones arrive:

  • Toilet. Around the floor of your toilet is a seal that keeps it connected to the flooring. This seal is often made from some kind of polymer and, over time, can become dried out, cracked, with pieces missing. If the seal around the base of your toilet has seen better days, take a minute to run a bead of new polymer sealant around it. Many toilets will ‘sweat’ or collect condensation if the shower runs without the fan going and that condensation will drip down the side of the toilet bowl and into the floor – if the sealant is not in good shape.
  • Showerheads. If you haven’t done so already, use this time to install low-flow showerheads. There are several different styles, and certainly one that will match your décor. Low-flow showerheads are great for keeping the water usage down. For every person that takes a shower in your home, two gallons of water are used per minute.
  • Water heater. Make sure that your water heater is in good shape. This is a good time of year to have it inspected to make sure that all of the mechanisms are working properly – especially the pressure valve. Not only will your water heater incur more usage this time of year but, the cold weather is harder on your water heater than anything else.

As you are making your list of groceries, linens, and household goods that you need to buy before your visitors arrive – make sure to put these useful maintenance checks on the list as well. Just a couple of hours of plumbing maintenance will save you significant time and stress in avoiding plumbing emergency.

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