Calling a plumber can be an expensive experience. There are, however, steps you can take to minimize the risk of a plumbing breakdown. A regular schedule of is the best way to avoid costly visits by plumbing professionals.
The first thing you’ll want to do is conduct a thorough inspection of your existing plumbing. Look at all exposed pipes to see if there’s any evidence of moisture. Look under sinks, behind toilets and along walls and baseboards where pipes enter. If it’s humid, moisture may be simple condensation, so check again when the humidity is down. Also look directly at pipes to see if there’s evidence of corrosion at any of the fittings. A corroded connection could mean there’s a leak.
Next, check all faucets for flow and all drains for potential problems. Flush all your toilets, too, and see how quickly they refill. If you have slow flow from any faucet, or from a shower head, remove and clean/replace the aerators, which can often become clogged with sediment.
Once you’ve completed an inspection, keep a regular eye out for irregularities. Is there a change in the water flow from a faucet or into your toilet? Does the toilet move when you sit on it? Is there evidence of a leak—discoloration or warping—along walls or baseboards? Once you’ve noticed something is different, try to solve the problem as soon as possible. With plumbing issues, the longer you wait, the more expensive the problem will probably be.
One of the best ways to prevent an isolated plumbing problem from becoming a big one is to install shut-off valves around all plumbing fixtures. Have a shut-off valve for your toilet, for your shower and for every sink and spigot. That way, if there’s a leak in one plumbing fixture, you can just turn it off and use the rest of your plumbing while you fix the problem.