Caring for your plumbing system ensures the safe and cost-effective functioning of your home’s hot-water, cold-water, draining, and ventilation circuits. Complete this easy and quick self-inspection to help prevent costly plumbing issues and to identify the need for a plumber.
Look for signs of leaks in exposed pipes, such as watermarks or puddles.
Look for signs of corrosion, such as green stains around brass and copper fittings and on shutoff valves, and yellow or orange stains on old steel pipe. Corrosion of pipes can cause leaks and bad pipe connections if not corrected.
Test water pressure in sink faucets and showerheads. Low water pressure can be a sign of underlying plumbing issues. Remove the showerhead to look for any sediment that may have collected in it. This may be a cause of lower the water pressure.
Check each sink, shower and tub drain for the speed of drainage. Slow drainage, bubbles during drainage, or gurgling sounds are signs of blockage or venting problems.
Flush each toilet to make sure that it is flushing properly. Check the parts inside the tank of the toilet to see if any parts are broken, rusted, or missing. Make sure the toilet water does not continue to run after flushing and make sure there is no sign of water on the floor around the toilet. Push and pull gently on each toilet to see if it rocks or moves. ❏ Look for cracked tiles in the shower, around sinks, or near water pipes in the home. Loose or hollow tiles can be an indication that there is, or was, a leak that has caused rotting underneath or behind the tile. Water that goes through the cracks will look like a plumbing leak on the ceiling below.
See if tub, sink or toilet caulking is coming off.
Check for mildew, which is caused by standing water that may have dried up again.
Drain the water heater to remove sediment that may have built up in it.
Turn on all of the faucets in your home to see if there is any water coming out of the handles and valves.
Check the washing machine hoses to make sure that there aren’t any cracks and that the hoses are not brittle or leaking.