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Homewerx Home Inspection

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(480) 503-2611

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Plumbing Systems
It is important for every one in the family to become familiar with the different controls that operate your home’s plumbing system.  In the event of a major plumbing leak, knowing the location and proper operation of these controls may save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damage to your home and personal property.  The following are a few suggestions on how to prevent damage to these systems and reduce the costs involved should a leak occur.
1.   Know the location of the main water valve.
This valve controls the supply of water to the entire house.  It is usually located near the front of the house under the hose bib.  This valve should be operated at least once a year to prevent the valve from getting clogged or stuck from mineral deposits.  Mineral build up can make the valve difficult to turn and in severe cases, the handle can break off and/or leak.  If this happens, the valve would need to be replaced.  This situation can occur even in homes with water conditioning systems because this valve is located between the city/well and the water-conditioning unit.
2.   Know the location of the isolation valves.
Isolation valves are located between the main valve and various plumbing fixtures.  For example, under the kitchen sink there are two isolation valves; one for the hot and one for the cold water supply line to the faucet.  These valves also need to be operated once a year to insure proper operation.  Isolation valves are often low quality and can break easily, so care should be taken when opening or closing a valve that has not been operated in a several years.
3.   Properly maintain drain pipes.
There are many ways to keep your drains open and working properly.  The best way is to be conscious of what you put into your drain.  Never pour hot grease or other things that tend to solidify at room temperature down your drain.  Harsh chemical cleaners should be avoided because they are rarely effective in cleaning your pipes and pose a hazard if and when repairs are made.  They can also damage the surface of many pipes and plumbing fixtures.  A few pots of boiling water down the drain every month will help protect the environment and work just as well.
4.  Replace washing machine hoses.
It is wise to replace the hoses to the washing machine every 3 to 5 years.  This is an often neglected and weak link in the plumbing system.  The constant pressure on these rubber hoses will eventually cause them to burst.  If this should happen while at work or even worse when your out of town, the expense could be enormous.  It only takes a few minutes and for under $15, is worth every penny.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact a professional.

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