Before major problems happen in your home, there are often some subtle indicators that something is wrong.
A quick inspection of your plumbing can help you spot these early warning signs so you can fix them before the plumbing issues become a big deal.
This checklist gives you five areas to focus on to help you detect any potential damage to your home’s plumbing system. We recommend performing these five inspections quarterly or whenever something seems off in your home.
1. Shut the main water supply
Before you commence your plumbing inspection, it would be best to shut off the main water supply to the house. You’ll find the shut-off valve located by the water meter.
It may also be inside your home or on its outside wall. Visually inspect the condition of the shut-off valve of the main water supply for defects and damages.
Check if the water meter is continuously reading even if you shut off the valve. This will help verify any water leaks in your home or furnished apartment.
2. Ensure the plumbing system is watertight
Ensuring the plumbing system is watertight means no leaks anywhere, and all water is flowing as it should be. It’s imperative to check the various pipes and joints in the basement and under the kitchen sink.
Make sure to check for signs of leaks regularly. These can include anything from wet spots to pests to mold or mildew on walls or ceilings to brown stains on your ceiling tiles.
If you notice any leaks, make sure that they are fixed right away with the help of a plumber. Even so-called minor leaks can become big problems over time.
3. Conduct a water piping pressure test
The next step is to conduct a water piping pressure test. Before you begin, check for leaks and drips in the plumbing system.
Afterward, you’re ready to do a pressure test of the main water line both before and after the water meter. First, have someone turn on all of the faucets inside your house and every outside spigot as well.
Then, allow all toilets to refill completely. As soon as this is accomplished, turn off the main shutoff valve and close all open faucets and valves.
Once this is done, you can use a pressure gauge to check your home’s water pressure.
If it’s within the recommended range (40–80 psi), then you know that nothing was leaking while the system was under pressure.
Before turning everything back on again, the last thing to do is to check your home’s pressure regulator. You’ll want it set at 50 psi or less if possible.
4. Check the sewer and drainage lines
You should look for any leaks, cracks, or defects in the sewer and drainage lines. Also, check for tree roots that may have grown into the pipes; these can cause sewer backups.
Check the plumbing system to make sure there are no blockages. If you find a blockage, use a plumber’s snake to remove it.
Also, inspect your sewer and drainage lines for corrosion since corrosion reduces the life of your plumbing system.
In addition, make sure your plumbing system has a proper slope because an improper slope is one of the most common problems with household plumbing systems.
Finally, make sure your home’s plumbing system has proper venting. If it doesn’t have proper venting, you’ll likely see leaks or hear gurgling noises in your drains when running water in other house areas.
5. Examine fixtures, supply lines, and drains
You should check all fixtures, supply lines, and drains for leaks. Here are some of the things you should do as part of your plumbing inspection checklist:
- Check all faucets to ensure their handles are secure and water does not leak from their spouts when turned on to full force.
- Inspect the connections between washing machine hoses and hot/cold water valves for any signs of leaking. If you find any, replace them immediately.
- To check for leaks along your toilet’s supply line (the pipe that connects the valve to the tank), place a few drops of food coloring into the toilet’s tank. If color begins to appear in the bowl after about 15 minutes, there is a leak somewhere along the supply line.
- Check drains for signs of overflowing during each plumbing inspection. If you notice overflow coming out of your drain or tub during use, this could indicate that your drain is clogged and needs cleaning or unclogging by a professional.
Plumbing is an integral part of your home, and it’s important to make sure that it’s working properly. Regularly inspecting your home’s plumbing system will ensure that you know when something isn’t quite right.
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