Plumbing is such a crucial part of our homes that even small repairs can cost you dearly, with the average job costing $175 at the low end, according to HomeAdvisor. Even if you aren’t the type of person to DIY, knowing enough to address common plumbing issues will be invaluable in keeping your home running and saving money in the event of a plumbing emergency and PVC pipe installation. Here’s why every homeowner should know some plumbing basics.
Finding and Patching Leaks
As a homeowner, leaks are going to be the most common plumbing issue you’ll face – and if you don’t treat them seriously, the most expensive. The EPA says that the average American household loses 10,000 gallons of water per year to leakage. This comes up to an extra $5 onto your monthly fee, assuming that your leaks aren’t too severe. While that may not seem like much, if you don’t address a leak as promptly or as thoroughly as you should, it can grow and soon you might have a burst pipe on your hands. The cost to fix that can set you back a whopping $1,000 on average.
Even if you don’t go too deep into learning the ins and outs of plumbing, you should at least know enough to narrow down the source of a leak and patch it up. Fortunately, leaks are well-documented, and you can easily look up where to look in case you suspect there is a leak, and what your best first step would be upon locating it.
Making Minor Repairs
A working understanding of basic plumbing concepts, such as layouts, fixtures, valves, connections, and other such things will enable you to quickly identify a problem and know what needs to be done to fix it. After all, you wouldn’t want to call the plumber for every little problem that crops up. If you had to do that, your entire day would grind to a halt because your toilet is overflowing or a sink pipe is clogged. Being handy with a pipe wrench will also enable you to do things such as replace showerheads, faucets, and other outlets, which are some of the biggest sources of leaks besides pipes and seals.
When you have good knowledge of plumbing, you’ll be better at judging whether you can DIY something, or whether it would be wiser to have a professional come in and do it. Knowing the difference will save you a lot of money down the line. Awareness of what goes into plumbing costs will also help you avoid getting ripped off by a less-than-honest plumber.
Conducting Preventive Maintenance
Murphy’s Law states that anything that could go wrong eventually will, and nowhere is that more apparent in a home than in the plumbing. Especially if water heaters, washing machines, and other water-hungry appliances are involved. The amount of water that goes in and out of them, as well as the electricity, heat, and/or mechanical activity are going to wear down connections a lot more than with showers or kitchen sinks.
But if you foster a working familiarity with plumbing, you’ll also gain key insight into the best ways to conduct preventive maintenance. Coupled with continued research, you’ll become keenly aware of which parts of your plumbing system are becoming strained, letting you prioritize their maintenance. This lets you go as long as possible without a big plumbing malfunction, even if you don’t have that much time to conduct maintenance.
If you know how to make small repairs and preventive maintenance, you can take any issue that comes along in stride. And given how integral plumbing is to our everyday lives, the last thing you want to do is to let even minor issues throw a wrench into your day.