6 Plumbing Tips to Prevent Leaks, Floods & Backups

Most plumbing problems are comprised of leaks, floods, or backups. Keep these issues at bay by following these six proven plumbing tips.

Check for Leaks

It’s easy to spot a leaky faucet, but most other plumbing leaks develop out of sight. Here’s how to find them:

  • Check exposed pipes in under-sink cabinets for signs of water damage.
  • Test for toilet leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, you have a slow leak on your hands.
  • Inspect the toilet bowl for cracks or drips. If you can rock the toilet back and forth, the subfloor could be deteriorating and require a repair.
  • Check behind the dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker for leaky hoses.
  • Read the water meter, refrain from running any water, and check the gauge two hours later. If the reading has changed, you have a slow leak somewhere.

Install Mesh Strainers Over Sink and Shower Drains

Over time, hair, bits of soap, and other debris can accumulate inside your pipes and cause clogs. Simply adding mesh strainers to your drains can help prevent foreign particles from going down the drain to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

Be Careful What You Flush

Only human waste and toilet paper should go down the toilet. If you flush other objects, you risk clogging and possibly overflowing the toilet bowl. The following items belong in a trash can, not in the toilet:

  • Baby wipes
  • Facial tissues and paper towels
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Expired medicine
  • Cooking grease

Install a Sump Pump

New Jersey is known for its heavy rains and occasional tropical storms. By installing a sump pump in the basement, you greatly reduce the risk of a flooded basement. If you already have a sump pump, make sure it operates by testing it occasionally. Simply pour a bucket of water into the sump pit until the device turns on. If it fails to operate or doesn’t discharge the water quickly, schedule a repair before the next storm strikes.

Install a Backflow Valve in the Floor Drain

A backed-up sewer line is one of the worst plumbing problems a homeowner can face. To prevent this, hire a plumber to install a backflow valve in the basement floor drain. This is a simple measure that can prevent substantial property damage.

Install Flood Alarms

Similar to smoke alarms, flood alarms are battery-operated devices that sound the alert when they come in contact with water. This warns you of a leak or flood that is occurring in your home without your knowledge. Flood alarms can also integrate with your home security system for added protection.

Your efforts to prevent leaks, floods, and backups should help you avoid the most common plumbing problems. Of course, if you ever need plumbing services in Monroe Township, please contact Bob Hoegler Plumbing at 732-521-0133.