Identifying and fixing simple plumbing problems can be done by homeowners. However, some plumbing problems often turn out to be more complicated than they first appear. Here are several things that plumbers want every homeowner to know, including when to hand a project over to a professional.
Know Where the Cutoff Valves Are
Flooding from burst pipes is one of the most common reasons that homeowners call plumbers. Knowing the location of the main cutoff valve to your house can save headaches, money, and property. It is often in a basement or on the outside of the house. It should be located on the side facing the street because the main water lines usually run in a straight line from the street into a property. There is another valve closer to the street that is maintained by the water company. If you cannot find the cutoff valve for your house, call the water company. They may send someone to shut off their valve or tell you how to do it.
In addition to the main shutoff valve, each appliance, toilet, and sink should also have one. Do yourself a favor and locate each one, particularly those that control water to dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters. Knowing where these are ahead of time keeps you from panicking if water starts leaking from one of these major appliances.
If you have a leak, call a licensed plumber. Professionals have the tools and equipment to identify and repair leaks efficiently. Water takes the path of least resistance, not just down or sideways but also up. If a leak is present, the plumber will check hidden areas such as behind walls, in ceilings, and crawl spaces for water seepage or damage. Repairing leaks also saves water.
Service Water Heaters Annually
Inspecting, draining and flushing the water heater at least once a year prolongs the life of the unit and verifies that the heater is working correctly. The Las Vegas area is known for having hard water, and sediment can build up rapidly. Also, when minerals coat the heating element, energy efficiency decreases, and internal components can be damaged.
Examine and test the pressure relief valve before draining the unit. Although this can be a do-it-yourself project, a professional plumber can advise you about the safety and efficiency of your appliance. Water heaters should last between 12 and 15 years. If yours is near the end of its service life, talk with your plumber about your hot water needs. New equipment is more energy-efficient. Plus, if you experience hot water shortages, your plumber can recommend ways to improve water delivery.
Check for Leaks
If you think your water bill is higher than it should be, there is a simple way to check for leaks. Read your water meter. Next, shut off all appliances and fixtures, including the water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher. After a few minutes, read the meter again. If the meter is still running, there is a hidden leak. Call a licensed plumber to investigate.
Clean Toilet Tanks
Sediment builds up inside toilet tanks, just like in water heaters. Mineral deposits and debris can ruin components, and mold erodes parts. To clean, turn off the toilet’s shutoff valve. Flush to remove water. Mix ¼ cup white vinegar to one cup of water, and scrub the inside of the tank. Gently wipe the parts to remove slime and sediment. Turn the water back on and flush.
Bottom line: Pure Plumbing of Las Vegas provides a full range of plumbing services, including water and gas line repairs, appliance maintenance and new installations. Our 23 trucks are stocked with parts and equipment to expedite service. If you have a plumbing problem, call the experts at (702) 710-7388. We are available 24/7 for emergencies.