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During these uncertain times, it is understandable why many people don’t want to invite other people into their homes – even if it’s for something as important as a plumbing issue. That’s why now is an ideal time to become more self-sufficient with routine plumbing maintenance to keep you and your family safe.
Here are the top 10 things you can check yourself to ensure that your home’s plumbing stays in good working condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Check for Leaks Under Sinks

One of the best and easiest plumbing fixes DIY involves inspecting the areas under your sinks for leaks. Make sure to check all sinks in the bathrooms, kitchen, and utility room. Use a flashlight to see better underneath and look for any signs of moisture, such as water marks, moisture, or a musty smell.

2. Test the Speed of Drains

The drains of your sinks and showers should be checked to make sure there are no clogs or issues that would require the expertise of a professional plumber. You should see the water swirling down the drain rather than bubbles appearing, which is a telltale sign of a slow drain.

3. Check the Toilet Bowl and Tank

Toilet tanks and bowls are also prone to leaks, so do a check of all the toilets in your home. You can add a couple drops of food coloring to the tank and see if that color ends up in the bowl within a half hour. If so, you likely have a leak.

4. See Where Faucet Water Comes Out

Another routine plumbing maintenance task involves turning on every water faucet in your home, one by one. Turn the water on full blast and make sure it’s only coming out from where it should be, not from any valves or handles.

5. Clean Out Drain Lines

It’s also a smart idea to clean out your plumbing’s drain lines by filling up all your tubs and sinks and then then releasing the stoppers all at once. Enlist the help of your other household members to do this! Having this high of water volume going through the pipes helps keep drain lines clean and free of clogs.

6. Inspect the Water Heater

There are various checks for your water heater that are part of routine plumbing maintenance. As a general rule, the water heater temperature should be set at 120 degrees. You may need to flush out your water heater to remove sediment that can cause corrosion and also test the water heater’s pressure release valve.

7. Clean the Washing Machine Lint Trap

Although you may be used to cleaning the lint trap of the dryer after every load of laundry, many people neglect to clean out the lint trap of the washing machine. You can use an old toothbrush or paper towel to get the lint off of the mesh layer of the filter. If possible, remove the screen and soak it in hot water for about 15 minutes to get off any other residue.

8. Look Inside Appliances That Use Water

While tackling plumbing fixes DIY, check your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, and any other household appliances that use water. In these appliances, you’re looking for any leaks, signs of water damage, or worn-down hoses that could cause future leaks. While you’re at the refrigerator, replace the filter on your water dispenser/icemaker if the old one has been there more than six months to prevent clogs.

9. Inspect Outdoor Spigots

Especially at this time of the year when you’re using outdoor spigots more for gardening and landscaping, check your outdoor faucets for any leaks or drips. Washers or cartridges may need to be replaced for spigots to work properly outdoors. You may also need to remove insulation covers that you put on during the winter for protection before spring and summer use.

10. Keep Gutters Free of Debris

While you’re outside enjoying some fresh air and sunshine, take a look at the gutters around your house. It’s important for gutters to be free of all debris so that they can drain easily and not cause plumbing issues that are challenging to repair.

Central Plumbing Specialties is here to help and make plumbing fixes DIY easier as you maintain your social distancing and reduce the number of people entering your home. Our supply counters are still open during normal business hours, so please contact the location nearest you to quickly and safely pick up the supplies you need for your plumbing repair project.

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