There are 10 things that you as a home owner or a renter should know about your plumbing. Keeping in mind, the answers will depend on your individual circumstances and arrangement. However, they all relate to being able to avoid damage or a hazardous circumstance.
1. Know where the water source is and how to shut it off properly
This is typically done at the meter, or if you may have a well, look at where the well supply comes into your home. Keeping in mind to check all places for example there may be a shut off at the meter as well as having one inside your home. Knowing where they all are and how to shut them off properly, can save a lot of money in damage repairs.
2. Know how to read your water mater as well as your water bill
This will ensure that you are being billed according to your usage. Checking your bill against you usage each month can help you catch water leaks. If you are unsure of how to read your bill or meter, your local water company can help.
3. Know your water pressure and make sure it is under 80 psi.
Did you know that high water pressure is the #1 cause of many water leaks? For less than $10.00 you can purchase your own easy to use water pressure gauge. If you are unsure of where to purchase one of these you can always ask your local water company what your system pressure is.
4. Know what type of waste system you have and where the clean-out plugs are.
Is your waste system sewer or septic? Knowing where the clean-out plugs are located and how to operate them is frequently the first step to solving a clog or backup issue.
5. Know where your air conditioning condensation lines are located and if they are working properly
All air conditioners produce what is called condensation water when they are in use. If this condensation water is not properly draining, it can create massive mold and water damage due to water leaks to your home.
6. Know how to shut off the gas (propane or natural gas)
Know if you have propane, natural, or heating fuel and where the shut off valves are. Know where and how to operate them at both the supply and at each appliance that uses it (if it’s accessible)
water heater leak damage
Damage from water heater leak
A water heater issue or hot water leak may leave you without hot water for days. But if you know where the shut of valve is and how to properly shut it off, you ,may not need to go without hot water completely until you are able to get the water heater repaired.
8. Know if your water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve are working properly
Water heaters do not last forever. They will all sooner or later get a water leak. Putting a pan under the heater can avoid costly water damage issues when leaks occur. A leaking temperature/pressure relief valve may point toward a major issue with the valve itself.
9. Know where your fixtures shut off valves are and don’t use them unless it’s necessary.
Every sink as well as toilet has a shut off valve it is also known as an angle stop. Know where each of them is. Keep in mind that most of these valves are not manufactured for repeated use over long periods of time – so only use them when it is necessary.
10. Know how to turn off each fixture
Know how to turn off the water to each appliance properly, or if you have to shut off the water to the house for fixtures without a shut off valve (e.g., showers).
Keeping these things in mind and knowing how they all work will save you in costly repairs in the event of an emergency.