Plumbing can really cause a major catastrophe in your home. If homeowners are educated about a few key areas, they will feel a lot less stress in the case of an emergency plumbing situation. Here are the top 5 things you should know about your plumbing.
1. Know how to cut off the water supply.
Let’s say that a plumbing catastrophe resulted in water suddenly spraying everywhere. An unprepared homeowner would easily become frantic in such a situation. Locate the main water shutoff valve for your home, just in case you ever have to use it. (It’s normally located where the main water comes into your home.) There should also be functional shutoffs under each fixture.
Make sure you know how to operate the shutoff valve. Explain to responsible older children how they can operate them just in case they ever needed to. Remember, you’ll want to be prepared to cut off the water immediately if a burst was ever to happen in your home.
2. Learn about safe water.
Even though we drink water every day, we tend not to think much about the importance of our plumbing. It’s crucial for our health and safety. Unhealthy water can pose a risk for everyone. That’s why we need to be aware of the quality of our drinking water.
The term ‘potable water’ means water that’s healthy/safe to consume. It’s very important that potable water stays clean and uncontaminated. Examples of non-potable water are sewage, groundwater, wastewater, and water that drains from the sink.
Don’t leave the safety of your water supply in someone else’s hands. There have been cases around the country recently where people assume that their water is safe to drink. You’re definitely taking a risk if you aren’t completely sure that your water is free from harmful contaminants.
3. Pay attention to plumbing safety.
There are a few different areas of concern you should be aware of when it comes to your plumbing’s safety. Water that’s 130 degrees or hotter can cause serious burns if exposed to skin for as little as 30 seconds. If sewage backs up into your home or you have a burst in the sewer pipe, very harmful bacteria and toxic mold can be introduced.
Water damage from leaks can also cause unsafe situations. Drywall can crumble or become brittle, wet floors can become a slipping/falling hazard, and ceilings can hold onto water. Water damage is an unsafe situation that you want to alleviate immediately. Don’t stay in your home if you have a leaky ceiling. Call a professional as soon as possible.
Water heaters can be a safety risk due to the amount of energy that can build up in the unit. If it’s not maintained or installed properly, the tank can burst and cause an explosion. If you’re in doubt about the safety of any plumbing component in your home, call a qualified professional.
4. Everything has a finite life.
Your roof, refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher have a limited lifespan. All your plumbing components do, too. Pipes, garbage disposals, water heaters, faucets, and toilets are all going to fail. Be aware of the lifespan of each fixture in your home.
5. Research your service provider.
Don’t fall for scams and don’t put your trust in someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Instead, do your research ahead of time by checking out the business’ reputation. Know exactly who it is that you’re inviting into your home. If you ever do need help with your plumbing, you’ll know who to contact.
To learn more about how we can help you take care of the plumbing components in your home, or give us a call at (540) 483-9382.