Leaks, even the smallest ones, can be a sign that you have a major plumbing problem. If left unchecked, a water leak can result in serious and expensive damage. Some leaks are minor and you can easily fix them yourself without the help of a professional. Take steps to prevent plumbing leaks to save yourself time, worry, and money.

Preventing Leaks Around the House

For prevention, the best thing you can do is routinely maintain your household appliances. Check hoses on the dishwasher, refrigerator, and washing machine. Replace any that are cracked or dry-rotting. The cost of replacement parts is less expensive than repairing damages from a leak.

It can be easy to miss leaks from a refrigerator because they’re often hidden behind kitchen cabinets or the appliance itself. Other than seeing water, a sign of a refrigerator leak could be your floors or walls looking slightly discolored.

Washing Machines
The common origin of a leak from a washing machine is the rubber hoses. Replace them every five years with steel-braided metal hoses. Another way to prevent leaks is to turn off the water connection to your washer when you’re going on vacation. It will help prevent plumbing leaks and you’ll save on your water bill.

Water Heaters
If a water heater is leaking, that usually means that it’s time to replace it. Like other appliances, you can rely on routine maintenance to prevent this from happening. Flush out the water once a year to get rid of any sediment that’s built up. This extends the water heater’s life. In the case of an emergency, you’ll also want to make sure that your shut-off valve and draining valve can easily be opened and closed.

Tips for Preventing Leaks

Care and maintenance around the home go a long way towards preventing leaks. Use common sense and make a point to take care of repairs as soon as possible. Here are a few do’s and don’ts regarding leaks.

  1. Don’t flush items down the toilet that should go in the trash.
  2. Put coffee grounds in the garage or compost instead of down the drain.
  3. Keep gutters clear so water can flow freely away from your home’s siding and foundation.
  4. Take care of any needed roof repairs as soon as possible.
  5. Don’t hang clothes or storage items on exposed pipes.
  6. Disconnect the garden hose and shut off outdoor faucets during winter.
  7. Trim dead or dying tree branches that overhang your roof.

Basic Maintenance Will Help Prevent Plumbing Leaks

Preventing plumbing leaks comes down to regularly checking and maintaining your appliances. You can easily fix some leaks on your own, while others will require a plumber’s services. Keep in mind that though some of these tactics cost money in the short term, it’s the bigger costs from water damage you want to avoid.

Inspector Ed offers professional home inspection services to the New York City area. Contact us to request an appointment.