People often ask if there is anything they can do or have done to their plumbing in order to prevent a disaster. My answer is a resounding “Yes!”. Over the course of about 40 years or so, it has become a very common practice to have your heating and airconditioning serviceman out in the spring and fall to service your equipment. The service technician does a cleaning of the equipment and also checks several key components of the system to ensure it will make it through another season. For over 15 years we have been doing the same thing for our plumbing customers. You might wonder what you can have done to your plumbing system to guarantee it will continue to work trouble-free. First is maintenance on the water heater. Even if you have the most basic kind of water heater, every manufacturer recommends that is be cleaned and flushed annually. This is incredibly important because it determines how efficiently your heater will work. If you do not flush the sediment from the bottom of the heater on a regular basis, a thick layer of material is created for the heat to travel through before it can heat the water. Additionally, the newer the heater the more sensitive it is to becoming dirty. All heaters manufactured in the last 6-7 years have a sealed combustion chamber that is very susceptible to becoming clogged.
You may not know it because you probably don’t use them very often, but you have emergency water shut offs under all of your plumbing fixtures. As a part of our plumbing inspection we exercise all of the emergency shut offs in your home to ensure that they are working properly. We also encourage you to accompany us in the process so that in the event of an emergency you not only know how to operate these shut offs but you also know where they are located. For the home’s main emergency shut offs we actually put highly visible labels on them so that they can be identified quickly when needed.
We also inspect all of the plumbing fixtures. A good example of how we check a fixture is your toilet. During the inspection we will insert a dye in the tank of all of your toilets. We let that dye set for a period of time and then we inspect to make sure that the water is not leaking from the tank into the bowl. Everyone thinks that if the water is leaking from the tank to the bowl that it is automatically a bad tank seal or flapper. This is not always the case. You might have this kind of a leak and it may only require an adjustment of your fill valve or your douglas valve. All of this is done at no charge during our inspection. I will give you just one example of what can happen when something this simple is left undiscovered. On more than one occasion we were called out to a person’s home after the house was flooded and it was because of a bad tank seal. What happened was that the tank seal was allowing water to constantly be introduced into the bowl. At the same time the toilet had become obstructed unbeknownst to the owner. They left their home in the morning and went to work while the toilet overflowed all day until they came home in the evening. You can imagine the mess. That is just one example of a totally preventable disaster. If you see the value in a home plumbing inspection, just call our friendly staff at 773-276-5430 and set one up. The cost is only $142.00 and it could save you much more in the long run.
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