A little bit of planning could save you from having to file a claim. Properly maintaining and regularly inspecting your home can save you money, extend the life of your home and bring you the maximum enjoyment it can provide.
Do you have a leaky faucet? Did you know: If a drip from your faucet fills an eight ounce glass in 15 minutes, it will waste 180 gallons per month and 2,160 gallons per year? If it’s hot water, you’ve paid to heat those 2,160 gallons!
Many common plumbing problems are entirely preventable by frequent inspections you can perform easily. Most homeowners and renters have a few common tools around that can help cope with minor indoor plumbing issues. If you are handy around the house, you can probably tackle some of these described below. However, know your capabilities and call a professional if you’re unsure.
Here are some things you can do yourself that may save you some grief down the road:
- Check your sink fixtures.
- Make sure they are securely mounted by gently grasping the faucet pipe and attempting to move the fixture. It should be tightly fastened at the base with no movement and no separation of the sealing gasket from the counter or sink top. If it moves, there is usually securing hardware on the underside of the sink. However, unless you are flexible, it is often difficult to reach and may best be left to a plumber.
- Turn both hot and cold faucets on high. Seepage at the base, or from either one of the controls, may indicate washer or O-ring problems which you may be able to repair if you are handy.
- Let the water run for a minute or two. Does the sink drain fully and easily? If not, you may have a blockage somewhere which might be cured by the careful application of a commercial drain cleaner. Follow the instructions closely.
- Look under the sinks. Most homes these days have white PVC drain piping and traps (the U-shaped thing between the drain on bottom of the sink and the pipe that goes out through the wall). Grasp the trap and gently move it a little to determine if any of the trap connections are loose. Most often, drain traps have large PVC securing rings or PVC nuts. If the nuts are loose, gently finger-tighten the connections about ¼-inch past tight. Do not use a wrench or any other tool, and do not over-tighten the connections. PVC is soft and easy to damage.
- Put a knee to the edge of the commode bowl and gently push it a little to see if it moves. Try it from each side and from the front, too. If it moves less that a ½-inch or so, and doesn’t rock up and down or sway side-to-side, you may be able to secure it by tightening the mounting nuts at the base of the commode. These are usually covered by a removable porcelain or plastic cap. Be careful not to over-tighten them. If the commode does lift up or rock more than ½-inch or so, you may need to replace the wax ring seal at its base. You should call in a professional for this one.
Whether you are handy around the house or use a professional, these simple inspection tasks can save you big problems in the future. We here at Freedom Insurance are all about saving you unnecessary expense and inconvenience. Got a plumbing DIY tip? A success story? Maybe a tale of things gone wrong? Tell us in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!