Geoff Burke, our resident plumbing expert and guest writer, wants to help you avoid spending your hard earned cash on an unnecessary house call from a plumber. He’s here to share some tips on “How NOT to call the plumber”. This month, he’s here with six proactive maintenance tips that will help avoid calling him in the future.
How NOT to call the plumber
Hey folks! This month, we’re going to talk about some very easy, minor maintenance you should be doing every so often in your kitchen and bathrooms. Some of it may seem quite obvious, but doing these things will do a lot to ensure you don’t have to call me! Plus, maybe this will act as the kick in the butt to actually get around to doing them 😉
Let’s talk about the kitchen:
Since there is just one kitchen sink, you have no excuse not to take care of this! First and foremost, we need to make sure to prevent blockages in the drain. Prevention from the source is best – using a sink strainer will greatly decrease the chances of unwanted things finding themselves down there. If your drain is already slightly “slow”, try a light duty, home made drain cleaner like baking soda and vinegar. This will help to rid the drains of some unwanted buildup. As we’ve mentioned before, try your best to stay away from chemical drain cleaners as they can cause major damage to the piping system when used too often!
Secondly, I want you to take everything out of the cabinet underneath and check for leaks from all of the drains, water pipe connections, dishwasher connections, etc. I’ve seen way too many ruined cabinets caused by unknown leaks that have been allowed to go on for way too long!
Now on to the bathrooms:
There is a little more to do here, but you’ll thank me when you can avoid an expensive service call!
Starting again at the sink, go through the same process as above – clear blockages, check for leaks, etc. We don’t want those vanities being ruined either!
Next, move over to the toilet. Here, we want to get very quiet for a second and listen to the toilet. As my plumbing sensei once told me, “Be one with the toilet”. Just kidding, there’s no such thing as a plumbing sensei. We need to be listening for hissing or dripping sounds. These are both signs that parts inside need replacing and that you are wasting (and paying for) potentially a lot of unnecessary water. While you’re at it, check around the base of the toilet and make sure there aren’t any leaks.
Lastly, move to the bathtub/shower. As we’ve mentioned before, try to remove any buildup of hair/debris from the drain using a coat hanger or any other similar tool. There are many good products that work to limit the hair/debris that goes down the drain, so if you seem to lose a lot of hair in the shower, it’s a good investment to make! Also, we need to look at the tub spout: when you pull up the diverter tab, does it spray everywhere? If so, it’s a good idea to replace it. I’ve seen many instances of spraying tub spouts resulting in leaks in the floor below – the water will find it’s way into places that it shouldn’t and you’ll be kicking yourself!
That’s all for this time – a very basic reminder of the regular maintenance you should be doing in order to make sure things are running smoothly and hopefully prevent any potential damage.
I hope you have another great week and we’ll see you next time!