How to Check Your Plumbing

How To Check Your Plumbing

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Leaky or faulty plumbing can cause long-term damage and big-time costs. But if you keep a close eye on the pipes with regular inspections, you can prevent minor issues from becoming serious problems.

Take a Look Around

Whether it’s a drip, leak or stream, when there’s water where it shouldn’t be, there’s probably a problem. If you find an issue, take action to get it fixed, fast. And remember, the best way to get your plumbing repaired right is to hire the right professional.

Ready to inspect but not quite sure where to start or what to look for? Use this list to keep your plumbing in check, and your home protected and dry.

Check your connections:

  • Check all valves and connections, including those in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room.
  • Check for corrosion at fittings and valves, and stains on the bottoms of cabinets – sure signs of a leak.
  • Make sure supply line valves can be turned off and back on and don’t leak when activated.
  • Make sure drainage pipes are solid and look for leaks at the joints and bottom of the trap.

From floor to ceiling:

  • Look around the base of dishwashers, refrigerators with ice makers, sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets for signs of cracked or warped flooring.
  • Look for stains on ceilings and walls in rooms directly below upper-floor bathrooms.

Go below:

  • Make sure the basement drain and sump pump are working properly.
  • If you have a crawl space, look for signs of water leaks from first floor plumbing and check for open drains where a pipe may have broken loose.

Drop the drip:

  • Check outdoor hose bibs to make sure they’re not dripping.
  • Listen for dripping water or periodic running of the toilet supply water.
  • Check all sink and tub faucets and showerheads for drips.

Watch your water:

  • Look for persistent signs of rust in the water.
  • Take a close look at your water bill. A significant increase could indicate a leak or other issue.

When it comes to the plumbing in your house, a little proactive protection can go a very long way.

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