As a new homeowner, you may not be an expert in all things plumbing related, but luckily for you, we are! Your household plumbing can be very complex, and it may be difficult to identify the cause of any problems if you don’t have extensive plumbing knowldge. For this reason, we have devised a handy home plumbing inspection checklist that will advise you on how to check and properly maintain your all-important plumbing appliances.

checking water temperature

The ultimate home plumbing inspection checklist

Although we strongly recommend using a professional plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing at least once a year, there is no harm in conducting regular checks yourself to ensure everything is working as it should be. Knowing what the common plumbing problems are will help you understand what warning signs you need to look out for and make you better prepared to deal with the situation. Being able to identify an issue before it progresses into a major problem will save you large amounts of money and stress in the long term, so conducting your own inspection is definitely worthwhile. If, during your inspection, you notice an issue that requires a professional to fix, our plumbers in Milton Keynes have years of experience dealing with the most complex plumbing problems, so will be able to assist you. However, if your inspection does not indicate there is anything wrong with your plumbing, this doesn’t mean an issue can’t arise later down the line. As previously mentioned, your plumbing system is extremely complex, meaning a lot can go wrong if regular checks and essential maintenance are not conducted. Before we get into the comprehensive plumbing checklist, here are a few quick tips that will teach you what you need to look out for and how often you should be checking certain appliances:

Things to check weekly

At least once a week, you should test all your faucets, showerheads and other water-dispensing fixtures. When turning on the hot and cold water lines for each fixture, be attentive and check for stuttering, low water pressure, strange noises or water discolouration. Slow drainage and foul odours should also be noted as this suggests a clog may be forming in the drain pipes.

Things to check monthly/seasonally

Plumbing appliances which aren’t as susceptible to problems do not need to be checked as regular as the ones mentioned above. Your water meter and water heater, exposed pipes and emergency shutoff valves are all key components that keep your plumbing working effectively, but do not need to monitored weekly.

kitchen sink

Bathroom

Your bathroom relies on fully functioning plumbing systems to fulfil its purpose. Being used regularly by all members of the family, it is no surprise that the bathroom is the room most likely to suffer from plumbing issues. To avoid being in the inconvenient situation of not being able to use your bath, shower or toilet, you should regularly inspect the following:

Faucets

Due to their constant use, your sink, bath and shower faucets require a lot of attention. Leaky taps are a very common problem in bathrooms, so do not be alarmed if you notice this issue. You can either replace bad washers or cartridges yourself to resolve the leakage or contact one of our dedicated plumbers in Winslow to eradicate the problem. Along with leaks, another common problem with bathroom taps is weak water pressure. You can easily identify this issue by watching the operation of the faucets as you run the water. If the water has an irregular spray pattern or the water pressure is noticeably low, this suggests there may be a limescale buildup on the aerator. This is an issue that does not require a professional, and you easily remove the limescale by soaking it in lemon juice and vinegar.

Drains

The drains in your bath, shower and sink are prone to soap and hair clogs. These clogs are quite minor and can be easily treated before they turn into full blockages. It will be evident if your drains are clogged in some way as the water will take significantly longer to drain. If you notice this is happening in any of your bathroom appliances, there are several DIY methods you can utilise to return your drains back to working condition.

Toilet

Toilets have a plethora of working parts that are vulnerable to wearing down and causing problems, such as leaks. To verify if a leak is present, all you need to do is flush the toilet and remove the tank lid. Once the tank refills, you should then add a couple of drops of food colouring. If, after 10 minutes, the food colouring is present in the bowl, then you have a leak and will need to contact a plumber as soon as possible. Another common issue which looks deceptively serious is leakage around the base of the toilet. If you notice this happening, or your toilet rocks slightly when you sit on it, the chances are that the wax ring which seals the toilet base to the drain opening has worn out and needs to be replaced. However, we do suggest getting clarification from an accredited plumber as you do not want to interfere if there is a bigger, underlying problem with your toilet.

shower head

Kitchen

Heavily filled with plumbing fixtures, your kitchen should also be regularly inspected for problems. While checking all of the fixtures may be time-consuming, it could potentially save you thousands in dreaded repair costs. It is important to check every appliance, but we have listed those which are often forgotten, so you can get used to making them part of your plumbing inspection routine.

Shutoff valves

If you aren’t already aware, the shutoff valve of your home is intended to shut off the flow of water to your plumbing fixtures when closed. While it is unlikely you will need to shut off your water supply on a regular basis, ensuring that it works is crucial to make repairs easier. When conducting your inspection, close the valves tightly and check if they are operating correctly. If you notice the water has not been shut off completely despite closing the valves, they should be replaced.

Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a great addition to any kitchen as it prevents the build-up of dirty plates by the sink, which can make your entire kitchen look cluttered and unattractive. However, like any other plumbing fixture in your home, it can easily deteriorate over time or just fail altogether. When inspecting your kitchen, allow a few minutes to watch and listen to your dishwasher in action. If it is slow to fill, it could indicate a problem with the water supply hose or the shutoff valve that controls it. Alternatively, if your dishwasher is slow to drain, or the water remains at the bottom of the dishwasher after the cycle is complete, you should check the water discharge hose for clogs.

Refrigerator

Many modern refrigerators feature a water dispenser and icemaker, so it is important that you know how to maintain them. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filter at least twice a year. If you fail to change your refrigerator water filter every six months, it can become clogged and begin to grow bacteria. If you haven’t checked your filter in a while but assume nothing is wrong because your water tastes fine, then think again as many contaminants are tasteless. If you want to know more about fridge filters, Fresh Water Systems have a very handy article that tells you everything you need to know.

shutoff valve

Plumbing made simple

We hope our checklist has improved your understanding of household plumbing and encourages you to inspect all the relevant appliances regularly. Don’t forget, along with our excellent plumbing services, we also offer effective heating services in Milton Keynes.

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