Before we get too far into this post, let’s make it clear that we strongly recommend the use of an actual, professional plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing once a year. A professional will have the tools and training to find problems that a non-plumber might miss.
However, that being said, you don’t always need a professional plumber to spot common plumbing problems. Also, running your own plumbing inspection once a month or season can help you spot some major problems early so you can get them fixed quickly—reducing the amount of damage they can cause.
Things to Check Every Week:
Every faucet, showerhead, spigot, and other water-dispensing fixture should be tested at least once a week. Turn on the hot and cold water lines for each fixture and check for stuttering, low water pressure, odd noises, or discoloration.
While testing the house taps, all sink and bathtub drains should be checked for warning signs such as slow drainage or foul odors. These could indicate a clog forming in the drain pipe.
Check for odd noises
Similar to a hollow hiss—this could indicate a leaky toilet tank. To verify if a leak is present, flush the toilet, remove the tank lid, and add a couple of drops of food coloring once the tank refills. Wait 10 minutes. If food coloring is present in the bowl, then you have a leak.
Things to Check On a Monthly or Seasonal Basis:
Check the exposed pipes in your home and check for signs of corrosion or damage. Joints in the exposed pipe should be checked for leaks or weak seals. If you’ve insulated your pipes, make sure the insulation is dry and intact.
Emergency Shutoff Valves
It’s important to know where all of the shutoff valves throughout the house are located and to test them from time to time. After engaging each valve, test the faucets the serve and see if those faucets still dispense water. Then, check the shutoff valve where the service line running from your water meter connects with the house and repeat the test at each faucet.
Speaking of water meters, while you have all of the faucets in the home turned off and the main shutoff valve engaged, check to see if the meter is still moving. If the meter is going when the emergency shutoff is engaged, you may have a faulty meter or a major leak. Considering how new most of the meters in Sacramento are, the latter is more likely.
Water heaters should be clear of other obstacles so you can inspect them. Do not touch the water heater’s pipes or the heating element without proper protection (gloves, eyewear, etc.). Visually inspect the pipes and connections of the heater for signs of corrosion or leaks.
This very basic inspection checklist can help you find a lot of the most common plumbing problems. For more detailed inspections of pipes that run under your yard or behind your walls, floors, and ceilings, you’ll probably want to hire a professional to do that inspection for you.
Learn more about common plumbing problems and how to fix them today!