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Home Maintenance Topics

2-10 Maintenance Guide / Systems Maintenance / Plumbing Maintenance

Systems Maintenance

Plumbing Maintenance

To verify proper operation and intended use
Twice a year
  • While monitoring, simultaneously turn on the water at all sinks, bathtubs, and showers; operate dishwasher and washing machine; and flush all toilets. Check on all drains first to make sure nothing overflows. Then, look for any leaks in the water and sewer pipes.
  • Look in cabinets, closets, on the floor, under lower-level ceilings, and in the basement or crawl spaces (if applicable). Water pipes will be copper (metal) or gray plastic. Sewer pipes will be white or black plastic.
  • If any water line leaks are found, locate the shut-off valve nearest to the leak and turn the valve to the right (clockwise) until tight.
  • If any sewer line leaks are found, try to trace the piping back to the area it serves and discontinue use of those fixtures until repairs are made.
  • If freezing temperatures occur, make sure to disconnect the outside garden hoses to keep inner water pipes from freezing and bursting at the spigot. Allow an indoor faucet to drip to reduce the likelihood of pipes freezing. Read more about reducing frozen pipes.
  • Only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Avoid flushing paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and wipes, even if they claim to be flushable.
  • Use a plunger to attempt to address clogs.
  • If toilet clogs and begins to overflow, turn off water supply at shutoff valve near the floor. Use a rubber plunger or a coil-spring auger to clear any clogs.
  • If toilet runs constantly, try adjusting the float mechanism in the tank to shut off fill-water sooner.
  • Consult with a qualified plumber as necessary.