How often do you think about your plumbing? Probably never - until there’s a problem, that is. As a homeowner, the two biggest plumbing problems you’ll likely run into are low water pressure and leaks.
Low Water Pressure
Are you experiencing issues with low water pressure? Your first job here is to deduce how extensive your pressure problem is. Do all of your taps provide minimal pressure? Does cold water flow freely, but hot water trickles through? Or maybe you can’t shower and flush the toilet at the same time without the pressure in your shower taking a major hit. Knowing where the problem lies will help you figure out the right solution.
If only one tap is low in pressure - it may simply just need a good cleaning. Debris could be affecting the aerator (the insert in the faucet cap, designed to reduce splashing). If it’s clogged, you will start to see your water pressure tapping out. You can simply remove the cap, and clean out the aerator and see if that restores pressure.
When low water pressure is a whole house problem - it could be an issue with your pressure-reducing valve (PRV) or the main shut-off valve. If the shut off valve is even slightly closed, it can greatly affect pressure throughout your home, so ensure it’s all the way open.
Of course, if you’re having issues with just hot water pressure - the obvious place to look is your heater. My water supply has a lot of calcium, which leads to scale buildup in my appliances. I even had to replace a brand new water heater after only four years because scale broke down the barrel in my system. You can install Scalesweeper directly to your waterline which will attack the hard water particles in your system, helping reduce scale buildup, and extending the life of your appliances.
Replacing the pipes in your home is a big, expensive job. Sometimes, homeowners will upgrade the most worn out pipes - but leave the rest as is. The problem is sometimes you’ve got copper piping connected to galvanized steel - and when two different types of metal aren’t properly connected, you’ll start to see corrosion. Corrosion leads to leaks. A licensed plumber can help make that connection right.
While you can handle some smaller jobs, like cleaning your aerators, leave the major plumbing projects - like replacing pipes to a licensed plumber. If you haven’t already got a licensed plumber in your roster or pros - add one to your contact list now - not when you spring a leak. You don’t want to have to take the time to interview ten different plumbers just to find the one who will make it right for you.
About the Author
Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host, is working with Associa to refine the standards and protocols that today’s Homeowner’s Associations use to Make It Right™ for their homeowners. He brings more than 35 years of experience in renovations, construction, and inspection services, and is best known as the contractor and host of “Holmes on Homes” and “Holmes Makes It Right” where he rescues homeowners from repair and renovation disasters.More Content by Mike Holmes