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How to Prevent Household Water Leaks

The drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet in the middle of the night can be extremely frustrating. However, unless you have it checked and fixed, it can end up costing you more than one sleepless night. Apart from having to lay out thousands of dollars in damages, mold removal and more, poor plumbing can affect your health. Instead of taking a reactive approach to leaks, we at Anta Plumbing recommend that you take a pro-active approach in order to prevent leaks.

Some plumbing leaks are preventable, particularly weather-related flooding. Here’s how you can prevent most of the common household plumbing leaks in your home:

Weather-Related Leaks

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As expert leak prevention, detection and repair specialists, we highly recommend thorough winterization of your indoor and outdoor water systems. Many homes sprout leaks during winter and in spring when the ice starts to melt. However, proper winterization can ensure that your pipes don’t become frozen and in doing so, prevent leaks come spring.

● Most roof leaks are caused by dirty gutters that become backed up during heavy rains. Be sure to clean debris from your gutters and roofs regularly to help prevent leaks.

● Prevent potentially harmful leaks by directing your downspouts away from the foundation of your home. If they point towards or near the home, they could cause leaks into your foundation and or basement, leading to property damage, or worse, mold that can cause to disease and even death.

● Ask a professional plumber to install a backflow valve and test it once a year, before the start of the rainy season.

Maintenance to Prevent Leaks

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● Inspect your appliances, such as your refrigerator and dishwasher for any signs of leaks, including nearby and underneath.

● Replace hoses to your washing machines every few years to prevent leaking. Ideally, replace them with more durable reinforced steel braided hoses, and be sure to turn off the supply lines and hot water heater whenever you plan to be away from home for more than a day.

● Check your dishwasher, ice machine and sink and the water lines to make sure there are no signs of deterioration, damage or leaks and ensure that the connections are tight.

● Inspect your water heater for any signs of rust and ensure that it has a pain with a drain underneath. Most hot water heaters are replaced every 10 or so years, so purchase one with the longest warranty.

● Replace your hot water heater anode rod every two years while the warranty is in place, and yearly thereafter.

● Flush the hot water tank from sediment, particularly if you live in an area with hard water.

● Replace any gate valves on your water supply line with ball valves to help reduce the risk of potential leaks.

● Fix leaky faucets right away, or call a professional.

Preventing Outside Leaks

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● Invest in an automatic shut off water valve device, which is super-handy in cases of emergency.

● Once a year, replace any damaged caulk around your doors and windows.

● Speak to a professional plumber about your options to prevent roots from nearby trees from getting into your water pipes.

When a leak occurs despite your best efforts, your best course of action would be to shut off the main water supply to your home. You should also shut it off (by turning the valve clockwise) before you try to make any plumbing repairs. Also, only attempt plumbing repairs if you have the required skills and plumbing knowledge in order to prevent bigger problems.

Written by Tanya Klien

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