Summer can create problems with your plumbing systems, particularly because of the hard work it’s been doing all season. Between dirtier-than-usual children and pets, your family has likely been taking more showers and baths, and you may be doing more laundry. Having more people at home during the summer often means that all your plumbing systems get more of a workout. Now that the kids are going back to school, it’s time to check on your plumbing systems and complete some routine maintenance that could help save you money in the long run.
Plumbing Maintenance for Bathroom and Kitchens
First, start with some of the hardest working areas in your home: your bathroom and your kitchen. Do the following:
- Check for leaky faucets. Generally, leaks occur from a loose washer or seal. While leaky faucets rarely cause structural damage, you still waste lots of money on your water bill each month (not to mention the environmental impact caused by water waste). What’s more, leaky faucets can encourage the growth of mildew and mold. Fix any leaking faucets to save serious money in the months to come.
- Since your toilet has been working overtime thanks to more people at home, now is also a good time to check it for leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring to your tank and wait for about half an hour. If the color appears in your toilet bowl, you have a leak.
Service Your Heating Devices and Appliances
Your water heater has been getting a workout this season, and its use will likely increase in the winter months. Now is the time to service it by draining some water to remove any sediment that could affect its smooth operation. To reach the optimal temperature more quickly, set your water heater around 120 degrees. If you have young children in the home, consider setting it a little lower to reduce the risk of scalding injury.
Next, check the hoses that connect to your washing machine and dishwasher for leaks. These can be sneaky sources of water damage, but they’re simple and cost-effective to replace. The price of ignoring the problem can be much higher.