MR Plumbing offers these tips:
- Check faucets for drips or leaks and repair parts as needed to save water
- Clean mineral deposits from faucets and shower heads. Unscrew them and soak them in vinegar overnight
- Cycle water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking
- Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent debris from clogging your drain lines.
- Pour about a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
Sump PumpTest your sump pump for proper operation. Pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out the water. Do not pour in more water than the basin will hold. Expect the sump pump to begin pumping out water when the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor.
Washing machine hoses should be inspected for leaks or bulges. If the hoses are older than 10 years, they should be replaced. Consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses.
Check your toilets for cracks or leaks. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.
If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, you may need to replace the tank parts.
Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
If you have a tank water heater, drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.
Ensure there are no flammable materials stored near the water heater or furnace.