Unless you have a money tree growing in your backyard or a trust fund, you are probably looking for ways to save money around your home. One place to start is by looking at your family’s water consumption. By reducing the amount of water that you use both inside and outside of your home, you may be able to save on your water bill along with doing something good for the environment by conserving water.
As a homeowner, being able to keep up with all of the maintenance around the home can feel like a full-time job. Many things have to be done to ensure the home is in proper working order and everything is running properly. Plumbing is one of the many components of your home that has to be maintained throughout the entire year. By making your way through the checklist, you can make sure any problems are handled before they spiral out of control and end up costing you a fortune.
When thinking about the various residential plumbing services in Jacksonville FL, first realize the amount of pipes and appliances that make up the system. Not only does this cover the plumbing system, but it also covers the toilets, showers, sinks and bathtubs throughout the entire home, as well as the laundry facilities in the home encompassing the utility sinks, drains and washing machine.
1. Look for any signs of leaks that are exposed within the pipes where they run through the walls and foundation of the home. Check for watermarks or puddles of water to determine what residential plumbing services will meet your needs.
2. Check for any signs of corrosion. Corroding pipes can cause leaks and a bad connection in the pipe if they aren’t corrected. Signs of corrosion include green stains surrounding any copper and brass fittings, as well as on the shutoff valves, and any orange or yellow stains on the old steel pipes.
3. Test your water pressure. Water pressure is the amount of force the water emits from the sink faucets and the showerheads. If you have low water pressure, that might be a sign of sediment building up in the showerhead or the faucet. It can also be a sign of a problem within the water line itself. Remove the showerhead and examine it for any sediment that could have collected in it. This can also be a cause of the low water pressure.
4. Check all of the sinks, tub drains and shower drains to examine the speed at which the water drains. Slow drainage is often an indication of a clog in the drain or a blocked pipe. Drains should have a full swirl when it comes to drainage. If bubbles surface when the water is draining, that normally signals a problem that you need someone with plumbing experience to handle. When gurgling sounds occur, you might have a problem with the vent.
5. Check the inside parts of the toilet and the flushing handle. Flush all of the toilets to make sure there isn’t a problem with them flushing properly. Check all of the different parts inside of the toilet tank to see if there are any missing, rusted or broken parts. Make sure the water doesn’t continue running after you flush it and make sure there aren’t any signs of water surrounding the toilet on the floor.
6. Look for any cracked tiles around the sinks, near the water pipes or in the shower throughout the home. Hollow or loose tiles can be a sign of a leak causing rotting behind or underneath the tile. Water going through the cracks will resemble a plumbing leak like the one you find on your ceiling.
7. Check to see if the caulking is coming off in the tub, toilet or sink. Examine the areas for mildew, which is often caused by a large amount of standing water that might have evaporated.
8. Pull and push gently on all of the toilets to see if they move or rock.
9. Look on the inside of the burner chamber for the water heater. See if you notice any flakes of rust on the inside of the chamber. Check the water heater flame, which should be blue in color with no yellow. If you find a yellow color, this might mean that the jets are in need of cleaning. Avoid draining the water heater to eliminate any sediment that has accumulated inside of it.
10. Turn all of the faucets on inside of the home to see if you can find any water coming from the handles or valves.
11. Check all of the hoses on the washing machine to make sure no cracks exist and the hoses aren’t leaking or brittle. Washing machine leaks tend to be one of the common claims for insurance.
By taking the time to run through the checklist on an annual basis, you can protect your home from potential problems with the plumbing. By addressing these problems regularly with someone who handles residential plumbing services in Jacksonville FL, you can prevent the situation from becoming worse than what it is already, which helps you keep more of your money in your pocket.
Undetected Water Leaks
When it comes to home ownership plumbing is an important but easy part to overlook. Out of sight and out of mind, because you don’t see your pipes every day you tend not to notice them until something breaks. However, damage doesn't always lead to noticeable problems. A slow leak can be just as damaging and just because it takes longer to be noticed doesn't make it less harmful.
Plumbing leaks mainly cause two types of damage. First, they increase your monthly bill. Because water is metered a slow and persistent leak can add up over time. Leaks cause water that you are paying for, to be lost. The second problem they can cause is that a leak can damage your home. The slow buildup of moisture in the hot and humid weather of Jacksonville, FL causes wood to mold and rot. Aside from possibly having to replace your floor you could end up with structural damage to your house. Damage like that is not only costly to fix but very time consuming.
However, it can be hard to locate a leak. So for that reason it is important to have a professional plumber do routine maintenance on your home to detect leaks and damage to your pipes. The following items are things that will be checked over by a skilled professional.
Hot Water Tanks
These types of tanks often have a pressure relief valve on them. Because pressure valves have a lot of parts involved in their construction there are more chances for them to leak. Many of them are connected directly to a drainage pipe. Because of this they can be leaking and have these go unnoticed very easily.
A skilled professional will check the toilet for leaking. One test to detect leaks involves removing the top from the tank and listening for and leaking. Leaking a normally quiet toilet will produce a hissing sound. There are a few tricks of the trade and if the plumber is having difficulties locating the leak they may use coloring agents to make it stand out. At this point repair of the pipes on the toilet or of the tank itself may be required.
The Meter Line
The meter line is an obvious point of failure and a professional will always be sure to check it if it shows any sign of leakage. Most homes have a shut off valve near the residence but location can vary depending on design. Once the water is shut off a quick read of the meter will show it has stopped recording any water flow. A leaking mainline will leave signs in the yard area. Mud, sink holes, and thicker patches of grass could be signs of a meter line leak.
A hose bib is the valve you connect an outside hose to. You're probably familiar with them and have used them before but a lot of people don’t know the technical term for where they hook up the garden hose. Most homes have them along the back or front. They can be prone to leaking and do need to be checked by a professional plumber for regular maintenance. They also offer another use for repair. They can be used to trace a leak. A plumber will check the valve for leaking and listen to any odd sounds. By checking each hose bib a leak can be isolated based on the sounds emitted by the valve.
Several different items around your home can leak and cause problems of their own. Outside the home leaks can originate with garden hoses, drip irrigation systems, and outside faucets. Not surprisingly your home bathroom can have leaks aside from the toilets. Things such as faucets and shower heads can be a compounding problem when it comes to leaks. Also if you have a swimming pool it requires upkeep and maintenance as well.
When You Need Help
You should never attempt any repairs you don’t know how to do or feel uncomfortable doing. Leaks are a plumbing issue best left to professionals like any other plumbing issue. Having a professional get it right the first time can save money and aggravation.
Surveillance cameras have been getting a lot of negative publicity lately, but for the plumbing industry and their customers, they have become a valuable tool. Proper use, in the hands of a qualified plumber can save consumers time and money while delivering some incredible results.
Leaks in your home’s plumbing system can have unsightly and dangerous consequences. You may merely have to mop up water on the floor, or you may need to replace a wall or ceiling. Early detection of leaks is a home maintenance task that can save you thousands of dollars.