Plumbing emergencies can happen anytime and you should be ready to handle them. It’s important to regularly examine your plumbing system and perform preventive maintenance to save yourself from the slow, steady expense due to leaks and rips and costly repair bills. Read on for a maintenance checklist that will help you stay ahead of common plumbing issues.

Plumbing maintenance (water heater and boiler)

It is important to inspect and clean your boiler before the advent of winter season. Some plumbers recommend draining and cleaning of water heater annually. Some people hire professional plumbers to handle these tasks, mainly due to their technical nature. They’re even included in your plumbing fixture maintenance contract.


Locate all shut off valves in your house and turn them off, and then back to their original position. This would ensure that won’t get stuck in case you immediately need to shut off water. While you’re at it, also check for any sign of corrosion, which can often lead to undetected leaks. It is important to replace all valves that are not working properly. Finally, it is important that each member of your family knows where shutoff valves of the house are located, especially the main one, since this information is valuable at the time of leakage or flooding.


Leaks can develop at different points in your plumbing system and should be addressed immediately to reduce chances of water wastage and flooding. It is important to periodically check for the following signs of trouble: bathtubs, soft flooring near toilers, washing machines or water heaters, soft walls, dampness inside sink cabinets, and loose tiles that could signal leakage inside the wall. You should use automatic water shut off value or some water leak detection system that can alert you in case of any leakage.

Plumbing maintenance

Malfunctioning or old fixtures: Generally, dishwashers, toilets, water heaters, washing machines, and boilers that are more than 12 years old are best candidates for replacement. New appliances are more water and energy efficient. You can easily check the item’s serial number since this often indicates the year it was manufactured.

Some manufactures use coding techniques for indicating their manufacturing year, so you should check online to find what you should look for. Additionally, replace all old faucets with latest washer less models to save on maintenance costs. Also replace all cracked or hardened hoses on dishwashers or washers to reduce risk of rupture.

The old adage, “if it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it” doesn’t always make a sense when it comes to plumbing! So it’s much better for you to replace your old plumbing fixtures with new, more efficient models as you can save more money on your water and energy bills in addition to avoiding costly water damage repair bills.

Basement flooding

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, or has a poor site drainage, you can consider installing a basement sump pump. You can also opt for water powered or battery backup sump pump as a preventive measure to take over all pumping duties if any storm knocks out power in your area.

Plumbing maintenance

Caulking is important and should be re-done around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets that might allow water to penetrate the surrounding structures. If you cannot do caulking yourself, you can hire a plumber for the job.


If there’s a septic system in your house, persistent marshy areas in the drainage field may signal leak in your septic line. Although pumping a septic tank is an important feature of plumbing maintenance, there’s no hard and fast rule on how frequently that should be done. It depends on several factors, such as whether there’s a garbage disposal system, members in the house, system’s design, and even the temperature in your area. It’s best to consult a good septic expert to find how often you should pump your septic tank.

Plumbing maintenance (drains)

Clogged drainpipes can be easily avoided by regularly cleaning all your drains using an eco-friendly drain cleaner. You can clean your kitchen’s garbage disposal system by sending some crushed ice through it clean out any grease that might have accumulated inside. Also check for bubbles escaping from the drain while water is trying to go down, as this might indicate a drain vent problem.

Low water pressure

You can check low water pressure by running water from the tub faucet and then opening your kitchen faucet. If you feel pressure decreases as you open the second faucet, then you should call a plumber to assess the situation. Low water pressure is often caused due to sediment build up in pipes or leaks.

Frozen pipes

Frozen and bursting pipes during harsh winters is a issue that nobody wants, so it’s best to plan ahead of time on ways to winterize your exterior pipes and faucets against freezing conditions. The best way to accomplish it is by finding exterior water shut-off value inside your house and turning it off to stop water flow.

Then open all the outside faucets to drain out all water that might have collected. Turn off the outside water faucets tightly once all the water has drained out. Since congested water or even one small hole can quickly freeze and cause water pipes to expand and burst, you should drain and open all your outdoor and household water lines.

If your location experiences cold winters, then you should also install and maintain proper insulation around your water supply pipes. Take extra care with pipes that have previously frozen or are exposed to cold or wind outside. You also need to winter-proof your home. You should switch off your shut-off value or master circuit breaker before you leave your house.

Being properly informed and ready for any plumbing emergency makes it much easier to avoid issues with plumbing. You are likely to make good decisions and avoid various plumbing disasters if you learn some things about this subject. Any homeowner who knows something about plumbing can easily fix issues before they become a major crises.

Whether you perform all these maintenance checks yourself or hire a plumber to handle them, it’s worthwhile investment of your money and time. By taking preventative measures, you can greatly reduce the chances of costly surprises down the road.