1.  Main Shut Off

If you’re at home sleeping, and suddenly you hear water rushing in your home, you’ll want to know where that main shut off is located. Here in Florida, shut offs are usually on the outside of the home.  You should shut the water off when you go out of town.  This could save you from potential damage and loss if there was a leak while you are away.

2.  Breakers and Gas Valves

It’s important to know what breakers turns off the water heater in case of an emergency.  If you have natural gas, it is equally important to know how to shut off the gas valve.

3.  Water Conservation

At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing we believe conserving water is important for our lakes, rivers and streams. Besides water waste, drippy faucets and leaky toilets will cost you more money in the long run if they are not fixed immediately.

4.  Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets do more damage than good. They destroy your toilet’s rubber parts. If you look inside the toilet, you’ll see tags that say “void warranty,” so avoid the use of those drop-in tablets inside the tank.  Plus, the toilets may not flush properly if the tablets disintegrate causing them to get stuck in the flush valve.

5.  Supply Tubes

Did you know flooding will occur in your home if the supply tubes that go from the shut-off to the faucets burst?  During an annual inspection, have your plumber check all the supply tubes to make sure they don’t have wear and tear.  If you have an older home, call a plumber to inspect these tubes before a problem arises.

6.  DIY

Know your knowledge and skill level and know what to do if you get in over your head.  Most do-it-yourselfers don’t have the professional tools that plumbers use.  If a problem arises, you can cause a lot of damage which could cost more money in the long-run. If you are going to try things on your own, have your plumbers number handy just in case you need to call them.

7.  Inspect Your Hoses

Did you know that cracked or burst washing machine and ice maker hoses are one of the most common causes of homeowner insurance claims?  Homeowners should regularly check these hoses.  If they are old, cracked, twisted or have a bulge in them, you should have a licensed plumber inspect them.

8.  No Grease Down the Drain

Did you know the fats in the grease and oil combined with chemicals in your pipes can form a buildup causing a blockage?  Oil and grease will eventually harden after it cools down.  This can lead to backups in your home or the sewer.  If you think you have a drain blockage due to grease, you may need to have a plumber come out for a drain cleaning.

The best way to dispose of grease:

  1. Let it harden
  2. Scrape the grease into the garbage can
  3. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel wipe before washing.

9.  Flush Your Water Heater

Your water heater should be flushed at least once a year to clear the sediment and minerals which include lime and calcium.  By flushing the heater, you will decrease the amount of money it costs you to heat it and will increase the life of the heater.  Water heater works harder when the sediment builds up at the bottom and along the sides of the water heater.  The thicker the sediment is, the harder the heater has to work to heat up the water.   The sediment acts as an insulator and does not transfer the heat to the water as quickly.

10.  Maintenance

Your house doesn’t take care of itself.  The plumbing and pipes are often overlooked.  Schedule an annual maintenance with a licensed plumber.  Between maintenances, use an all-natural, professional grade pipe maintenance solution similar to BioBen to maintain the health of your plumbing.  Do not use over the counter brands as they contain harsh chemicals and can damage your pipes.

It is a good idea to keep your plumber’s phone number on the main shut off and water heater in case of an emergency.  Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provides residential plumbing services including repair, maintenance, and installation in Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas and Pasco counties.   Call (813) 676-9046 to contact Tampa Bay’s most reliable plumber.