Take a look at your plumbing system. No matter where you look — under the kitchen sink, in your basement, or around your water heater — you’ll see a system of U-bends, L-bends, and PVC or metal pipes that are connected in a complex pattern. Sometimes these connections use PVC with thick sealant and adhesive in the pipe threads, and other times you might have a rubber gasket helping to hold the connections together. Unfortunately, sometimes these airtight seals can crack and start to leak water which, even if caught quickly, can cause water damage. How can you prevent disaster by proactively stopping plumbing seals from cracking?
- Run water through your house frequently. A lot of the different sealants and materials can dry out and become brittle, weakening the material or make it crack. If you have a guest bathroom or other plumbing that is used infrequently, set a calendar remind so you turn on the water every few weeks to keep its gaskets and seals lubricated.
- Keep visual record/evidence of exposed plumbing. Take pictures or videos of the areas around exposed plumbing when you buy a new house or after annual maintenance. You can use it to inspect your plumbing throughout the year or to help you reassemble everything after any repairs. Pictures can also help you spot discoloration that happens through drips or infrequent leaking.
- Inspect your seals regularly. Every house has a dripping faucet or two. The second you hear a drip of water when one shouldn’t be there, inspect the gasket. Catching a tear or crack early on can save you in repairs or a plumbing emergency. Replacing a gasket by yourself is simple: just make sure you know the size of the seal, or you can even shut off the water to the specific fixture and bring the old gasket into the home improvement store to find a match. Just be sure to act early and know about it with routine inspections.
The key to proper plumbing includes prevention; it’s much safer and simpler to maintain your plumbing than it is to fix a steady leak or handle worse problems. To learn more about common plumbing repairs like cracked gaskets, contact us for more tips and information.