The plumbing system is one of the most important parts of a home. It provides water for washing, drinking and cooking, and quickly causes disruption if something goes wrong. This is why it is best practice to thoroughly check a home’s plumbing and perform preventive maintenance each year. This includes sinks, toilets, showers and bathtubs in addition to pipes and faucets.

Pipes

Leaks are one of the most common plumbing problems, caused by weather, aging or corrosion. Seeing water puddles and watermarks are a telltale sign of leaks, especially in areas where pipes run through walls and the foundation. Corrosion is indicated by orange-yellow stains on steel pipes and green stains on copper and brass fittings. All faucets should be examined for water leaking around valves and handles.

Water Pressure

Water pressure is an excellent indicator of the health of a home’s plumbing. This is easily tested by turning on the water in sinks and showers. If the water pressure is low, it may be due to sediment buildup in the showerhead or faucet or a more serious issue with the water line. Checking how fast tubs and sinks drain will indicate if there is a blockage that needs clearing. If drains gurgle or do not show a swirl, it may be time to call in an expert.

Toilets

Toilets are such a large part of daily living that people often do not consider their maintenance. Removing the tank lids and flushing each one will show how well they are working and if any parts need replacing. There should be no water on the floor after flushing, and the toilet should not keep running after recovery. It is also recommended to carefully push on a toilet to see if it is loose or rocking.

Showers

Showers are used repeatedly each day and can accumulate many problems due to water. Cracked or loose tiles often indicate a leak that may be causing other damage as well. Caulking that is peeling off needs to be replaced, and mildew needs to be cleaned up, as it will spread if not stopped.

Water Heater

Water heaters should be drained at least once per year to clean out any sediment that may have accumulated in the bottom of the holding tank. The burner chamber should be free of rust, and the pilot light should have a steady blue flame with no yellow in it. Yellow coloration indicates the jets require cleaning.

Washing Machine

Washing machine hoses are a plumbing part that is often neglected. They can become brittle or cracked, which causes leaks. This type of water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims. Bad hoses should be replaced with a braided stainless steel type or another material that can withstand high pressure.While homeowners can easily run through the above checklist each year, repairs can be complex and are best handled by the professionals at Alvarez Plumbing in Salinas, California. The experienced staff will quickly assess the problem and present a solution in record time.