Take These Steps to Prevent Expensive Water Damage
When plumbing systems fail in the home it can be more than inconvenience, it can lead to significant damage. Here are a few of the most common points of failure and what you can do to head off disaster.
Frozen PipesPipes are most likely to freeze when they are located near an exterior wall or in an unheated crawlspace. It's important to seal holes and cracks in the foundation to prevent cold air from entering during cold weather. When very cold weather is in the forecast it can help to open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer interior air to circulate. If the temperature gets extremely cold it can also help to allow a slow trickle of water to flow from faucets. The circulates the water, reducing the chance of freezing and pressure building up inside the pipe.
Washing Machine HosesOne of the most common causes of catastrophic water leaks are burst washing machine hoses. If the washer is on an upper level of the home it can lead to a major flood and expensive damage – one that may not be covered by homeowner's insurance. Inspect the hoses regularly for signs of wear and replace them if they show signs of deterioration. We recommend installing braided stainless hoses for added strength.
Water HeatersWater heaters are another common source of water leak damage in the home. Leaks can be the result of corrosion in the tank, or relief valves and other components failing. Inspect the tank at least every 6 months for signs of leaks and have problems repaired promptly. It's also important to maintain your water heater by flushing the tank regularly to remove sediment from the tank that can lead to corrosion over time.
Sump PumpsA sump pump is an important plumbing appliance that is designed to remove water from a basement or crawlspace in the event of flooding. The sump pump sits inside a pit that is designed to capture the water. When the pit fills up a float switch on the sump pump turns on the pump, which removes the water and drains it outside the home. Test the sump pump regularly by slowly filling the sump pump pit with water. The pump should turn on, remove the water, then shut off. If it doesn't start up, or fails to shut off, contact MR Plumbing to inspect the sump pump.
Hidden Water LeaksWhile significant water leaks rarly go unnoticed for long, hidden water leaks inside the home can cause damage inside walls and to the home's foundation. Water leaks can also lead to unhealthy mold and mildew growth. Signs of hidden water leaks can include a sudden increase in your water bill, a pump sound that occurs more frequently, water stains or mildew on ceilings or walls.
Water Alarms & Automatic Shut-off ValvesThere's a simple device that can provide some peace of mind from plumbing failures: a water alarm/automatic shut-off valve. A water alarm can detect even the smallest water leak by sensing a loss of water pressure. When a potential leak is detected the water alarm sends a signal to shut off the water supply valves. Another place where water alarms can prevent a disaster is with water heaters. When the bottom of the tank leaks, the amount of water released can quickly flood a basement. A water alarm sets off an alarm that alerts you of the problem so you can take action to stop the leak.
Have plumbing questions? Call MR Plumbing, we're here to help.