How You Can Prevent Leaks, Clogs and Flood Damage

Technician working on sink pipe

You rely on your home’s plumbing system to operate efficiently, but hidden issues can hide in many places. Luckily, you can stop clogs, leaky pipes and even flooding with a little regular upkeep. Here’s how you can keep your water running and your stress levels low.

Spot and Avoid Leaks of All Sizes

Most of your home plumbing system is out of sight, so dripping pipes often go unnoticed until they create the potential for water damage. Regularly checking for leaks can help you identify problems quickly. Here’s how:

  • Inspect under the sink for signs of damp spots, rotting wood or mold.
  • Keep an eye out for slow leaks in your toilet by squeezing a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl after 30 minutes without flushing, you have a leak.
  • Check around and behind your plumbing appliances, including the dishwasher or washing machine, for signs of water damage or leaks.
  • Conduct a water meter test.
    • To start, shut off all water in your home via the main water lines.
    • Then, go outside to check the water meter. Check it again in two hours, and do your best not to use any water in the meantime.
    • If the reading is different, it means there’s a leak somewhere.

Use Mesh Strainers

Another effective way to lower the risk of a clog is to place mesh strainers over your kitchen sinks and bathroom drains. They collect hair, bits of soap, old toothpaste and other debris as water goes down the drain. these strainers to keep your drains flowing freely.

Be Aware of What Not to Flush

Toilets are designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper. Here’s what you should never flush:

  • Baby and/or wet wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Women’s hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Expired medication

Understand What Shouldn’t Be Rinsed

Many kitchen sinks may be fitted with a garbage disposal, but certain food items still need to be thrown away or put in the compost heap, not dumped into the drain, including:

  • Cooking grease
  • Tough foods like corn cobs and celery stalks
  • Old food like boiled rice or coffee grounds
  • Solid objects like gristle and animal bones
  • Things that aren’t food. Silverware and similar items can fall into the disposal and damage something when you turn it on.

Add a Sump Pump to Your Basement

Installing a sump pump will go a long way toward preventing flooding, particularly in areas prone to heavy rainfall. This device removes water that accumulates in something called the sump basin, generally installed in the floor of your basement, and pumps it out away from the house. For homes that already have a sump pump, test it regularly by dumping some water into the pit. As long as the pump activates and the pit drains, it’s working fine. If it doesn’t work properly, you have time to call a professional to repair it before the next big storm.

Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Being knowledgeable about your plumbing system means knowing the location of your main water shutoff valve. This valve manages water flowing into your home, so knowing where it is means you can turn it off quickly in a plumbing emergency. It’s also wise to close this valve before leaving town for an extended period. Common locations for the main shutoff valve include the basement, near the water heater, in a utility closet or outside the home buried underground.

Keep Your Pipes from Freezing

In climates with cold winters, doing your part to protect vulnerable pipes is a good part of any plan to prevent freezing and bursting. Here is what you can do:

  • Insulate pipes in unfinished spaces like the basement, garage or attic using insulating foam or heating tape.
  • Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets throughout the winter to prevent ice from forming inside the pipes.
  • Keep under-sink cabinet doors open during cold spells to keep warm air circulating around the pipes.

Add a Backflow Valve

Experienced plumbers often suggest that homeowners install a backflow valve in the basement floor drain to keep sewage from flowing backward into their homes after heavy rainfall. A professional plumber can fit this useful defense against sewage backflow.

Put in Flood Alarms

Similar to how smoke alarms are essential for fire safety, flood alarms can help avoid water damage. These hardwired or battery-operated devices sense pooling water at the earliest stages of flooding or leaks, triggering an alarm to alert you. For even more protection, connect smart flood alarms into your home security system. This sends a notification on your phone once water has been detected, helping to resolve leaking pipes before they cause significant damage.

Work with a Reliable Plumber

While you can implement all sorts of preventive steps yourself to minimize the risk of clogs, leaks and flooding, there are situations where you need Expert local plumbers to keep things flowing smoothly. That’s where Ken Griffin Plumbing Services excels. We are a network of plumbers serving U.S. homes from coast to coast with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you’re not completely happy with our services after one year, we promise to make it right. This promise shows how we strive to make a meaningful difference in your life. For some of the best plumbing service that exceeds expectations, please contact us today.