When it comes to the plumbing system in your home, there are many working parts. One important component that may go overlooked is rubber seal maintenance. These inexpensive, small rubber seals perform a critical job in a plumbing system by creating an airtight seal. This prevents expensive leaks and the subsequent damage and upheaval they can cause.
Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect these seals, which are not indestructible and will experience wear and tear over time. Failure to perform basic rubber seal maintenance checks can have costly repercussions, and many people cause more damage unintentionally by trying to do the right thing.
One of the biggest problems that rubber seals suffer from is dry rot. Ironically for a product designed to contain water and prevent leaks, the worst thing for any seal is for it to dry out. Think about all of the various faucet and water connections in your home. Is there a bathroom that gets very little usage? Perhaps there is a faucet that is rarely used.
Make a list of those locations around your home and task yourself to turn those faucets or appliances on for a couple of minutes once a week. By doing something as simple as that, you will prevent the rubber from drying out and then disintegrating.
This is another job that is very easy and quick to perform that can prevent disaster from striking. Every three months or so, unscrew your washing machine flexible hoses and check the status of the rubber seals. Check your showers, sinks, and any other faucets in the home. The cost of replacing these seals or gaskets may be pennies, but if a leak does happen, the damage caused could run into the thousands of dollars.
If you are going away for a long vacation, or if you have a holiday home, it may be beneficial to leave the water supply turned on rather than the conventional wisdom of draining down the system. If you can, arrange for a neighbor to pop in once a week to turn on all the faucets for a couple of minutes to ensure the seals remain wet and flexible.
This may seem a case of being overly cautious, but before inspecting a property that has sat vacant for any period, ask the agent to ensure the water has been turned on a couple of days before your inspection. This will show any leaks in the system and give you valuable insight into the state of the property before you commit yourself.
Regularly check your water meter, as this will often give you advanced warning of an impending problem. If your usage suddenly starts to increase for no apparent reason, this could be your first sign of a damaged or broken seal. Quickly perform a check on all of the seals you can gain access to, and replace any that show any sign of wear and tear.
By following these simple, quick, and easy maintenance checks, you are giving yourself the best chance of preventing any significant water damage. Prevention is better and cheaper than the cure when it comes to plumbing.
If you are not comfortable performing these checks yourself, call the expert plumbers at Staggs Plumbing.