3 DIY Tips to Prevent Major Plumbing Catastrophes
Tip #1 ~ Turn Off Your Water While on Vacation
Vacations and home catastrophes happen all year round. Locate your “Main Shut Off Valve”. Before you go on vacation, turn off your water. If a toilet runs and overflows, a washer connection accidentally gets moved, if pipe bursts, or any other catastrophe while you are out of town, your problems can become exponentially worse with sitting water. Imagine the damage a burst pipe running for several days could do to your home (we have seen it, we know). If water reaches electrical devices, you could also be facing the threat of fire. Do yourself a huge favor, the next time you go out of town, turn off your home’s water!
Tip #2 ~ Know Your Main Shutoff Valve Location
Be Aware. In a water leak emergency, shutoff valves are typically located inside the home, in the basement, crawl spaces, back of closets, storage rooms etc. The only plumbing shutoff valve you need to remember is the Main Shutoff Valve. The main water line is usually located wherever the water enters your home from the street. Once you have located the Main Shutoff Valve, show your family where it is and teach them how to turn it off. If your home requires special tools like a wrench to close the valve, remind them to leave the wrench by the valve and never remove that one. If you experience a burst pipe in your home, the best thing you can do is cut off the water supply as soon as possible to minimize catastrophic damage to your home.
Tip #3 ~ Test Your Home for Leaks
Testing your entire home for leaks is easier than you might think. Choose a time when no one will be home for at least six hours. Check your “Water Meter” gauge outside your home, typically near the street in front of your house, take a note of its readings. Shut off all automatic sprinklers, reverse osmosis, humidifiers, water softeners, ice makers and any appliances that use water without your direct control. From the time you take your reading, be sure not to let anyone use any water in your home, including trips to the bathroom, or a quick glass of water from the fridge-door. After six hours, take a second reading from your water meter. If the meter stayed the same during the test, You Win!!! If your meter kept running during the test, you’ve got leaks. You can repeat this process with water sucking appliances turned on 1 by 1 to decipher where the leak(s) are.
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