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Plumbing installations in your new home seldom cause trouble. Faucet packings will fail after considerable time and use, however, and their replacement is one of the most common of household tasks. The world's best preventive maintenance for plumbing failure is to avoid discarding any clogging materials into sinks and toilet bowls. Do not pour grease down your drain and remove hair and lint from sinks to avoid clogging. Faucet aerators frequently clog. Simply remove the aerator, brush off and remove the filter and reinstall.

To prevent the build up of residual grease and soap, it is as well to perform a simple monthly maintenance routine; run hot water through drain, add three tablespoons of baking soda, add a little hot water, let stand for 15 minutes; then flush by running water. Do not use lye or its derivative with plastic piping.

It is possible that the outlet from your dishwasher empties into your garbage disposal. Do not permit the accumulation of food in the garbage disposal to cause a blockage when operating your dishwasher. If your garbage disposal becomes blocked when grinding food waste, consult the manufacturer's maintenance manuals - normally there is a reset button located on the disposal.

To properly maintain the garbage disposal:
  • Do not load the disposal before starting.
  • Do not use commercial drain products.
  • Use cold water at all times when the disposal is operating.
  • Grind ice cubes to clean, lemon peels to sweeten.
  • Read your maintenance manual.

If your toilet runs continuously, remove the cover from the water tank. You will likely see that water above the overflow pipe is causing this problem. Bend or adjust the rod that holds the floating bulb down slightly. If the bulb, once the rod is bent, interferes with the valve on the bottom of tank, extend the rod by releasing the set screw. Notice the water level line at the back of the tank. The water should be reasonably close to this line when the tank stops filling.

During freezing weather, non-frost proof type faucets must be closed off at the interior shut off and then drained by leaving the exterior valve open. Frost proof faucets are not frost proof unless hoses and other appliances are disconnected during freezing weather. The most common cause of burst water pipes is a frozen frost proof faucet which has no been allowed to drain properly. Prior to winter freeze up, turn off the appropriate knobs that have been pre-marked for you and demonstrated during the walkthrough of your home. Please follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance of plumbing appliances such as water heater and "instant hot water" taps.

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