Important Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

June 22, 2011

Homeownership is a huge responsibility and for most, the source of our biggest expenses. It's important to keep up on maintenance around the house in order to protect the value of your investment. Preventative care is important as it can address plumbing issues before they become major problems and expenses. Below is a checklist of plumbing maintenance and preventative care tips to help take care of your home's plumbing system.

  • Check the caulking around sinks, toilets, tubs and showers.
  • Check for mildew. Mildew is caused by standing water that may have dried up.
  • Check for signs of water leaks, usually indicated by puddles of water or watermarks. Check exposed pipes, where pipes run through the walls or at the foundation of your home.
  • Check for signs of corrosion. Look for any evidence of green stains around brass and copper fittings or around shutoff valves. Corrosion can cause leaks and bad pipe connections if not fixed.
  • Check toilets. First, check to see if your toilets rock when you push or pull on them.

Next, make sure each toilet if flushing properly. Check inside the toilet for any broken, rusted or missing parts. Last, make sure toilets do not continue running after flushed and that there are no signs of water around any toilets.

  • Check sinks. Make sure each sink is draining properly. Slow drainage usually indicates a clog in the drain or a blocked vent pipe. If bubbles appear when water is draining, this is usually a sign of a problem.
  • Check showers and tubs. Make sure each of these drains properly as well. Just like your sink, if your shower or tub is draining slowly it may be an indication of a problem.
  • Check faucets. Turn on all of the faucets in your home to make sure that none are leaking from the handles or valves. Even a small leak wastes a lot of water over time and costs you in higher utility bills.
  • Check washing machine hoses. Inspect your hose for cracks, brittleness or leaking. Washing machine hoses are usually made of reinforced rubber, which can lose resiliency causing them to burst as they gets older. To reduce the chances that your hoses will fail, it's a good idea to inspect your washing machine hoses regularly.
  • Check for cracked tiles in the shower, around sinks or near water pipes. Hollow or loose tiles can be a sign that there is, or was, a leak that has caused rotting underneath or behind the tile.
  • Check water pressure. Low water pressure can be an indication that you have sediment build-up in the faucet or showerhead. It can also be a sign that you have a problem in the water line.
  • Check your water heater. Your water heater should be drained and cleaned out once a year to remove sediment build-up. Signs that your water heater may have sediment buildup are rusty colored water coming from your fixtures, clothes not coming out of the washing machine as bright white as they should, a decrease in the amount of hot water available, and sometimes even low water pressure can be an indication you have a problem.

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Last Updated: June 09, 2023