Buying a new home comes with a lot of joy – but it also comes with responsibility. Most homeowners want to get the most out of their homes, and to do so, regular home maintenance and upkeep is required. Most experts recommend that you budget 1-4 percent for home maintenance. However, it is also important that homeowners keep up with their standard home maintenance checklist or risk facing a much higher maintenance and repair bill. Home plumbing and water heating issues are prime examples of that. Minor plumbing issues like a clogged toilet can easily be fixed with minimal costs if addressed immediately. However, ignoring them can cause larger plumbing issues like water line leaks and compromised home foundations – two home repairs that can easily cost upwards of $3,000. As a new homeowner, it is even more important that you are familiar with common plumbing issues, and know when it’s time to call the professionals.
Signs of a slow or clogged drain can include an unpleasant odor coming from the drain, raised water levels when flushed (for your toilet), or slow drainage. Most times, homeowners can easily fix a clogged drain themselves with the help of some baking soda and white vinegar. However, in some cases, it may be advisable to call a plumber. For instance, if clogged drains are a recurring problem or are affecting multiple drains in your home, you may be dealing with a sewer line problem.
There is nothing worse than hopping into the shower and finding out there is no hot water. If your home’s water heater is constantly producing too little hot water or there are signs of a water heater leak, it may be time to consider a hot water heater replacement. However, before you opt to replace your water heater, most plumbing experts recommend keeping up with your standard water heater DIY maintenance or seeking advice on the replacement of parts. For instance, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees to avoid corrosion and mineral build-up, and reduce energy usage by 4-22 percent. On average, the cost of repairing a water heater comes in between $500 and $529, but replacing one can cost $1,177, including the cost of labor.
Leaks in pipes or plumbing joints can be disastrous for both your home and health. Pipe leaks can allow moisture to build up in your home and create a breeding ground for the growth of mold, mildew and other fungi. Household water leaks can also cause damage to your home’s pipe joints, corrosion, and even damage your home’s foundation. Looking for signs of a water leak in your home is the easiest way to get ahead of this.
Look for any wet spots or cracked seals around water connectors. During installation, plumbers place seals around water connectors to avoid leaks. However, these can wear with time and use. Homeowners should also look out for higher than usual water bills, reduced water pressure, or a musty smell in certain rooms like the basement. If there are no visible signs of a leak, you may have a water leak underground. In this case, a leak detection tool can help. However, most underground leaks may require that you call a plumber for advice and repairs.
It also helps to incorporate a plumbing checklist into your seasonal home maintenance DIY checklist. This way, you can ensure you do not forget or miss out on simple but critical plumbing checks before it is too late.