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It’s Important For Plumbing Maintenance
Your homeowner’s insurance usually covers household water damage if the damage is sudden and accidental, like damage caused by burst pipes, but it does not cover damage covered by flood insurance, rising water from outside; or damage caused over time by lack of maintenance to the pipes.
The water damage claim can be a red flag to insurers as well as to future homebuyers. This can signal a possibility of a repeating of water claims to your insurance office. You are much wiser to maintain a home for water issues than face the risks of reduced home marketability and increased insurance costs.
How to Identify Water Problems
Using Preventative Maintenance
Inspect your plumbing. Just as you change the batteries in your smoke detectors, you should inspect your water pipes and fittings, by doing so you could prevent thousands of dollars in water damage.
When you go on vacation, turn off the water to your washer while you’re out of town. Many homeowners have returned from vacation to find their washer hoses have burst and flooded their homes. You should never leave your house for extended periods with appliances, such as dishwashers, washers or dryers, still operating.
You need to inspect around your water heater, washer, dishwasher, sinks, lavatories and refrigerator icemaker. If hoses indicate wear, replace them. Consider replacing hoses to major appliances such as your washer and dishwasher every two to five years. Steel, so-called “no burst” hoses have been shown to have a longer lifespan than other designs.
You should let faucets connected to vulnerable pipes drip during extremely cold weather. By doing this the water moves and helps to reduce the chance of freezing your pipes.
Be sure to run your exhaust fan in the bathroom while the shower is on, because it helps to remove steam that collects during this time.
Supplying the Right Amount of Water Pressure
The Angle stops (valves) and supply lines as well as appliances are designed to withstand up to 80 pounds per square inch. The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) calls for water to be delivered to homes for domestic use at between 35 and 80 psi. Angle stops (valves) and supply lines, as well as appliances, are designed to withstand up to 80 pounds per square inch.
Unchecked, excessive water pressure may cause a rupture in the supply lines or valves. Water pressure regulators take the water as the water district delivers it, and regulate it to between 50 and 70 psi. The pieces in the water pressure regulator that reduce the water pressure are made of rubber and metal. Over a period of time, they can fail. When the water pressure regulator fails, water pressure to the home is allowed to increase. This puts a strain on valves, hoses and appliances that they were not designed to withstand.
A working water pressure regulator reduces the strain on plumbing fixtures and increases their service life.
A water pressure test gauge can inform the homeowner if water pressure is excessive. Simply connect the gauge to an outdoor faucet, and turn on the water to determine the water pressure. Make sure the faucet used is “regulated”. Some outdoor faucets are unregulated. If the pipe connected to the faucet comes out of the wall, there is a fairly good chance that faucet is regulated. If the pressure exceeds 80psi, then there is either a failed pressure-reducing valve on the system or no device at all. In either case, you should contact us to remedy this situation, as excessive pressure besides being a code violation, will damage supply lines, hoses and faucets. Generally speaking, replacing the water pressure regulator, including parts and labor, should cost less than a homeowner’s standard $500 deductible.
Know Where Your Main Water Shut Off Valve Is Located
There are two types of main water valves: the gate valve and the ball valve. The gate valve is recognized by its round handle that must be turned a number of times to open or close the valve. The ball valve is recognized by its single handle that needs to be turned ¼ turn or 90 degrees, to turn the water on or off. We can tell you about the condition of the main water valve in your home and replace it if necessary. Every homeowner should locate their main water shut off valve and know how to use it.
What Are Angle Stops
These Angle stops are valves located under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, at your washing machine, at the toilet, and refrigerator icemaker. There are angle stops for both hot and cold water. Most angle stops are of the gate variety and are made of materials that may fail over time. Replacement of theses valves is recommended when they are showing signs of leaking or they have “frozen” in the open position meaning they can’t be turned either direction. These Angle stops need to be “exercised” regularly to make sure they are not frozen in the open position. Every month or two simply turn the angle stops off and on a few times. This will keep them working as they were designed. Never force a valve that is frozen in position. Contact us when this happens.
Your Water Supply Lines
Your Water supply lines should be checked regularly for corrosion and rust and changed every 5 to 7 years.
Your Water supply lines are connected from the angle stop to the appliance they serve, such as a faucet, toilet, washing machine, dishwasher and icemakers. Many times these are thin rigid lines that can easily break and cause extensive damage. We recommend consulting with us to install water supply lines that are stainless steel braided over rubber with threaded couplings on both ends for the sink and toilet lines. Don’t forget the dishwasher and refrigerator icemaker supply lines. These are usually overlooked because they are hidden behind these appliances.
Your Washing Machine
Your Washing Machine
Immediately Clean Up After a Leak
You should turn off water to the house first.
Then remove as much water as possible with a wet vacuum and Mopping.
You should remove all photos, art and small fixtures to a safe, dry section of the house.
Remove damp books from shelves and spread them out to dry flatting the curled up pages.
You need to wipe down wooden furniture and allow drying also propping up cushions so they will dry evenly.
Open drawers, cabinets and closets for so they will dry faster.
You can put aluminum foil, saucers or wood blocks between furniture legs and carpeting that is wet. Also you need to remove rugs from on top of wet carpet to this will help to prevent color saturation.
If you have wet flooring and carpet. Always remove items that are not colorfast, such as your books and magazines.
To speed drying, immediately use fans to circulate air.
You need to try to stabilize the indoor air temperature to about 70 degrees and use dehumidifiers, if possible this will keep mold from forming.
If you have wet carpeting, remove items that will likely cause stain or damage to you carpet such as books and magazines.
To speed drying, immediately use fans to circulate air.
You need to try to stabilize the indoor air temperature to about 70 degrees and use dehumidifiers, if possible to keep mold from forming.
We Provide Leak Clean Up
We provide leak clean up
- You should not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Lifting the carpet incorrectly can cause shrinkage.
- You should not use an ordinary vacuum to remove water.
- You should not use electrical appliances while standing on wet carpet.
Our tips are provided as a service from AFC Plumbing & Solar , the information in AFC Plumbing & Solar emergency tips” is intended to simplify jobs around the home. Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, AFC Plumbing & Solar assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt of any procedures mentioned in this section.