Maintaining Basement Plumbing

The basement is perhaps one of the most secluded areas of the home, but it can cause a major headache if it’s not properly maintained. There are many different ways to ensure that basement plumbing is in good shape and less likely to cause a major problem.

Basic Maintenance

Some areas of the basement plumbing need to be routinely inspected to ensure that there are no problems. Basements can be a real breeding ground for hazards unless they are routinely maintained. Here are some areas to inspect on a routine basis:

  • Pour water down the basement floor drain to make sure the trap is working
  • Inspect washing machine hoses to ensure they are not bulging or leaking – replace weak hoses
  • Inspect and pump septic tanks every 3-5 years
  • Check the temperature on the water heater
  • Install shock absorbers to absorb vibrations in the water lines

Water Heater Maintenance

The basement houses the water heater in many homes. This is an essential appliance that can really disrupt the daily routine if it malfunctions. The water heater should be properly maintained and routinely inspected to ensure it continues to provide hot water for cooking, cleaning and showering. Here are a couple of tips for maintaining the water heater in your home:

  • Drain and flush the water heater at least one time per year
  • The pressure relief valve should be tested routinely
  • Check the temperature on the thermostat – it should be set at 120 degrees

The hot water heater does need routine attention to keep working properly. If the valve is broken or does not work properly, a professional can install a new one. By lowering the temperature on the water heater you can conserve a lot of energy in most cases. By setting it on a lower temperature it can also prevent the tank from overheating and it also prevents your loved ones from becoming scalded.

Main Shut-off Valve

The main shut off valve is typically very close to the area where the main water supply pipe enters the house. It should be checked regularly to ensure it is working properly in case there is ever an emergency and the water needs to be shut off in a timely fashion. You should be able to turn it by hand, or with a long handled special key.

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