If you take these steps to safeguard your plumbing system now, you could reduce the risk of future plumbing problems and even increase the useful life of some of your appliances.
A few easy steps can prevent a plumbing disaster from Dean Mathis, Staten Plumbing's owner and professional expert with more than 50 years of experience.
Most water supply pipes and drain lines are tucked away behind walls or in under-sink cabinets, so it’s easy to take a plumbing system for granted until something goes wrong. The plumbing, which is part of a home’s mechanical system, needs regular attention and maintenance to keep it working well. When plumbing problems occur, you could find yourself paying not only to replace the broken parts but also to repair water damage—and those fixes can be costly.
Fortunately, a few preventive measures can save homeowners the headache of a water heater that produces cold showers or an undetected leak that causes structural damage. Staten Plumbing is glad to share these six easy ways to protect your plumbing and your house.
1. Insulate water supply pipes to reduce heat loss.
As exterior temperatures drop, it's important to wrap both hot and cold water lines in insulation to keep their contents above the freezing point. On hot water supply pipes, pipe insulation increases heat retention in the water, so you won't have to wait as long when you turn on the hot water at the faucet or shower head. Insulation on cold supply lines helps avoid the condensation that can lead to freezing and possible ruptures. Shield your pipes with products like K-Flex Insul-Lock Pipe Insulation, which often comes in dense, six-foot-long foam rubber tubes with a slit along one side. The design makes installation simple: Just slip the slit over the pipe and the flexible tubing completely encases the pipe, protecting it from temperature changes.
2. Install leak detectors to notify you when a leak occurs.
Despite our best efforts, leaks happen. But if you catch them early enough, you can turn off the water and make fixes before the accumulated water causes structural damage—or worse, leads to mold and mildew growth. Installing a leak detector under sinks and near a sump pump, washer, or water heater will give you a heads-up when a leak occurs.
“Today’s leak detectors can send notifications right to your phone and sound out an audible alarm whenever there is water present where it shouldn’t be,” Mathis says. Units that include freeze detection, such as the Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector, will even alert you to the freezing that occurs before a pipe bursts—particularly helpful for water supply pipes located in wine cellars or unheated basements.
3. Add an anti-sweat valve to your toilet's water supply line.
During humid summers and after steamy showers, the toilet tank often sweats. This condensation is caused by the difference between the cold water in the toilet tank and the warm air that surrounds it. Sometimes a toilet sweats so heavily that water drips from the tank and creates puddles on the floor.
You can put an end to the drippy problem by installing an anti-sweat valve, such as Raven’s Brass Anti-Sweat Valve where the hot and cold lines meet. The anti-sweat valve “mixes hot water into the cold water line, providing a nice, tempered mixture into the tank of the toilet,” Mathis says. By adjusting the valve, the homeowner can regulate the amount of hot water that enters the line. It often takes just a small amount of hot water to raise the water temperature above the dew point to stop the sweating.
4. Install water hammer arrestors if the pipes bang when you turn off a faucet.
Not only is the sound of water hammer loud and disruptive, but the force has also been known to break pipes and faucet components, so the problem should not be ignored. Water hammer is caused when “a faucet or valve shuts off and the water—with all its weight and momentum—slams into the closed valve,” Mathis explains. “That sends a shock wave running through the pipes and causing a knocking ‘hammer’ sound.” If you discover a line that is knocking when appliances start and stop using water, install a water hammer arrestor, such as the Sioux Chief MiniRester Water Hammer Arrestor, to absorb the water shock so your pipes and faucets won’t have to take the brunt of the impact.
5. Install a water softener to prevent mineral buildup in water supply lines and appliances.
Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals—most often calcium, magnesium, and lime—that can all wreak havoc on a plumbing system. “As these minerals build up, layer by layer, they can greatly reduce water flow and even cause pipe corrosion and damage,” Mathis says. Hard water can shorten the life of some household appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes washers, so it’s a good idea to tackle the problem sooner rather than later.
Mathis suggests installing a product like the 3M Aqua-Pure Water Softener (available from SupplyHouse) on your home’s main water supply line. As water passes through the water softener, hard water ions are removed and replaced with sodium ions. The result is softer water that lathers easily and won’t damage plumbing.
6. Purify your family’s drinking water by installing an under-sink reverse osmosis system.
While the water that comes out of your kitchen faucet might look crystal clear, household water “can contain a number of different microorganisms, including disease-causing bacteria or viruses,” Mathis says. “Private wells can also be contaminated with gasoline, toxins, and salt from the roads.” Not all water filtration systems can remove all those contaminants, but a reverse osmosis system—for example, the 3M Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System—can. Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective at removing bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and chemical contaminants including nitrates, arsenic, and radium.
Staten Plumbing can assist you with any or all of these plumbing tasks to ensure your home and plumbing system is protected and prepared for a lifetime of service. Contact Staten at 864.520.1138 for prompt and professional service today.
"Staten came out to my home and did an awesome job. I would tell anyone that needed plumbing work done to call Staten. They were on time and did a great job."
"Best in town! Great friendly service and was able to come out asap! Highly recommend Staten Plumbing HVAC Electric and all of there staff!"
"Dustin did a great job!! Diagnosed our water pressure problem quickly, adjusted the pressure, found blockages in two lines, and had the water pressure back to normal in no time. Wonderful job!! We'd call him again in a minute!!"
"Dean Allen is amazing person and help my family out. This company have amazing service and responded was really good. I will highly recommend them to anyone."
"Dean and Steven did a great job diagnosing issues with our water pressure and resulting problems with water heater. They were quick and efficient with the installation of the heater and pressure release valve and explained how to operate them after they finished. I highly recommend Staten!"
"Dean Burns and Steven Glenn got everything done that I needed at a fair price. Very professional, fast and great workmanship. I will be calling them for now on for all my plumbing needs. I highly recommend Staten Plumbing HVAC Electric."
"I'd definitely use these guys again. One of my rentals had a water heater go out in the crawl space and it was 25° outside - but didn't stop them from changing it out for me. On time, finished by lunch and back in service. Thanks guys!"
"Greatest experience with a plumbing company! I called at 5:30am, the call was answered and a technician called back with an appointment time. They were prompt, did a great job and reasonably priced. I highy recommend Staten."
"I had a problem with my kitchen sink leaking and called Staten. The technician was on time, thorough, considerate & even helped me with a fridge. Cost was on par with other companies and I would recommend Staten."
"Dean and Big Tommy took care of a custom pipe configuration for me in less than an hour. Super great guys to deal with and they know their plumbing."
"Today, my house flooded because the toilet valve busted. Staten Plumbing HVAC Electric arrived quickly and the plumber, John, was friendly and fixed the issue right away. I would highly recommend this professional business."
"Excellent service and promptly responded to request for immediate service. Dean and Antwan were very professional and personable. Highly recommend."
"Fantastic! Fixed all of my water problems! Saved me a bunch of money on my next water bill."
"Awesome work! Greg came out, same day, to address my problem. He was extremely hard working, polite, friendly, and solved my problem as he worked into the nighttime hours. Oh, and he did the job for the best price too! Highly recommend!"
"Man, are these guys good! We had some gurgling in our tubs and sinks, so we called them out. Not only did they fix our issue, but they found and fixed another problem at our house caused by another local plumbing company. They were on time, effecient, and even left me with some things we could do ourselves so they wouldn't have to address this problem again. Great team! Thank you Greg and Dean!"