Bathroom Maintenance Tips

Home Plumbing Tips and Maintenance

These helpful tips should help keep the plumbing in your bathroom running efficiently:

Bathroom

  • Once a week run hot water down the drain to help keep it free-flowing.
  • Use Baking Soda & Vinager to bathroom drain lines once each month to keep soap scum from building up and causing clogs.
  • Repair leaky faucets to avoid further damage to the fixtures and faucets.
  • Tubs and showers should be fitted with strainers that catch hair and soap chips. Clean the strainers regularly.
  • To remove unsightly mineral deposits on your shower head, put one cup of vinegar in a plastic bag and place it over the shower head. Hold it in place with a twist tie and let stand overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and wipe off the mineral deposits with a damp cloth.
  • Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket. Do not flush facial tissue, cotton balls, make-up pads, sanitary products or diapers as they do not dissolve and can clog the lines. Keep a trash container in each bathroom and toss these items away.

Showerhead Maintenance

Showerheads develop uneven spray when the holes become clogged with mineral deposits from the water. To clean:

Shower Head

  • Unscrew swivel ball nut – you will need adjustable wrench or channel-type pliers. (Hint: to protect the finish from scratches, first wrap the jaws of the tool with masking tape.)
  • Unscrew collar nut from showerhead.
  • Gently clean the outlet and inlet holes of the showerhead using a thin wire.
  • Flush the head with clean water.
  • You may want to soak the showerhead in vinegar overnight to remove mineral deposits. Reassemble the showerhead.

Testing a Toilet for Leaks

Check the water level in the tank to be sure that the water is not overflowing by way of the overflow pipe (the pipe in the middle of the tank with a small piece of tubing connected to it).

Toilet

  • If water is running into the overflow pipe, adjust the fill valve until the water stops approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube (there may be a water level mark stamped on the side of the tank).
  • Test the flush valve mechanism by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank.
  • Check the bowl after 15 minutes, if the water in the toilet bowl has changed color, the ball or flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced.

Cleaning an Aerator

Low water pressure from the faucet or water leaks from the handle are usually caused by lime buildup and sediment blocking the small openings inside the aerator. Clean the aerator using the following steps:

Aerator

  • By hand, carefully unscrew the aerator from the faucet turning counterclockwise. If it will not unscrew, wrap the jaws of your pliers with masking tape and loosen the aerator with the pliers. Continue by hand.
  • Take aerator or spray head apart.
  • Use a small brush dipped in vinegar to remove sediment.
  • Reassemble the aerator and screw back on to the faucet.

Winter Plumbing Checklist

Winter Plumbing Tips

The brutal winter season can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. It is very important to prepare for the temperature drop. Frozen water in pipes can destroy your plumbing from the inside out. As a preventive measure get ready for winter with GAC Company Plumbers winter plumbing checklist.

1.  Fix All Plumbing Leaks

The smallest water leak in your plumbing can turn into a huge problem when temperatures fall below freezing. Check all exposed pipes, indoors and out, for plumbing leaks. If you wait, and the water to freezes, the damage to the surrounding pipes is likely to be more significant. If your pipes are insulated, feel for potential in the insulation. This moisture might expose hidden leaks in your plumbing.

Stopping plumbing leaks will not only save your plumbing, but it will also save you money. You can also learn how to find leaks in your plumbing system by following the step by step instructions in this link on stopping high water bills: https://gaccompany.com.

2.  Insulate Your Pipes

One basic preventive measure you can take in protecting your plumbing against a harsh winter is to make sure that all exposed pipes are well insulated. To locate exposed pipes; look in your attic, crawl spaces throughout your house, and in your garage. If you can see the pipe, it needs to be wrapped with plumbing insulation foam. Pipe wrap insulation is inexpensive and easy to install. This can save you on heating costs as well because warm air will escape through the exposed plumbing. The insulation helps keep the warm air in. You will be surprised how effective insulating your plumbing is when it comes to protecting your plumbing.

3.  Evaporative Cooler (Swamp Cooler)

An evaporative cooler, also known as a swamp cooler, should be drained before winter. Before you winterize your swamp cooler, make certain you turn off the water and power to the unit. After the water and power is turned off, drain the water out of the cooler. Always make sure the water supply line to the unit is drained as well.

While winterizing the swamp cooler for winter, it is always a good time to clean the interior and change the pads and filters. Always make certain to cover the swamp cooler with a cover or tarp during the winter to keep it dry.

4.  Pump House

When it comes to plumbing, prevention in keeping things from freezing is the key for a smooth winter season. When your water comes from a well this is especially important. If you have a well, make certain there is proper insulation of the pump house. This will help can keep pipes from freezing. It is very important to insulate any exposed pipes in the pump house. A heat source is also needed to keep the temperature of the pump house above freezing. Make certain your heater is in working order. Check all the heating elements.

5.  Hose Bibs

Protecting the hose bibs and pipes from freezing is very important. Remove any garden hoses that are connected to outdoor faucets. Removing garden hoses ensures that water doesn’t stay trapped in the hose bib where it can freeze and damage your plumbing. Drain any water the hoses may have in them before storing. Protect garden hoses by storing them in a warm dry space throughout the winter. Often, perfectly good hoses in the fall, are stored in places that freeze during the winter. When these same hoses are brought out to be used in spring they are broken with holes. Freezing temperatures make garden hoses brittle. This couples with water being left in the hose make the hoses obsolete in the spring.

To protect hose bibs from the cold, drain the collected water and insulate them. In many places where temperatures drop significantly during the winter months, homes have dedicated shut off valves for outdoor hose bibs or faucets. If you have a shut off valve, simply turn the water to the hose bibs off. Make sure you then drain any water that is already in the pipes. This can be done by opening the hose bibs and letting the water drain completely. If you don’t have a shut off valve, you can protect hose bibs and outdoor faucets by insulating them with hose bib covers. Hose bib covers are very inexpensive and extremely easy to install. The insulation that these foam covers provide should keep the hose bibs from freezing during the winter.

6.  Sprinklers System

The pipes of your irrigation system are a likely place for water to collect and then freeze in cold weather. To winterize your sprinkler system turn off the water and flush out any collected water by turning on each individual valve connected to the sprinkler system.

7.  Locate Your Water Main (Extremely Important)

Always make certain you locate your water main in case of an emergency. This is absolutely imperative. Following this 1 tip could save you tens of thousands of dollars in water damage restoration and flood cleanup. If you are ever faced with a burst pipe due to freezing you’ll want to be able to shut off the water quickly to minimize damage to your property. You can take every preventative measure to ensure your plumbing from freezing and still get broken water pipes in the winter. Know where the water shutoff valve to your home is. Make sure you have unencumbered

GAC Plumbing Company
707-538-8000