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5 Expensive Plumber Calls and How to Avoid Them

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Owning your own home can be an enriching experience in many ways. But along with the joys of homeownership comes the responsibility of maintenance. If you want to keep your house and its systems humming along, it pays to stay on top of all the necessary (and often mundane) tasks.

Performing routine maintenance not only prevents disaster and calamity from befalling you and your family, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run by preventing potentially expensive repairs and replacements. And nowhere is that truer than with plumbing issues.

Below, we highlight five things that can go wrong with your water systems and pipes — and, more importantly — tell you how to avoid them.


1. Leaky Pipes

Perform regular inspections to catch any potential wear and tear. Seal joints and tighten fittings if you spot any trouble areas. However, this is one area where you may want to call in the pros to inspect since it can be challenging for the untrained eye to always catch damage. Watch out for your water pressure as well. If it’s too strong, it can speed up deterioration of the pipes. A safe place is between 30 to 50 PSI.

If you spot a leak, don’t delay… the problem must be addressed quickly. A leaking pipe left untreated can do significant damage to both your plumbing system and your home’s structure.


2. Blocked Drains

One blocked or slow-running sink, shower, or tub isn’t such a big deal — it’s probably just a build-up of hair, soap, or other material, which can be removed manually or by pouring a drain cleaner down the pipes. Routine drain cleaning can help with this. Run hot water down the pipes weekly to prevent a build-up. Be careful not to pour boiling water down the drain as it could melt PVC piping and pipe seals, causing serious damage.

But if you encounter a house-wide drainage problem, you have a…problem. A blockage of this magnitude could mean you have a sewer line issue, which must be dealt with immediately before it becomes a health hazard or damages your home. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the part of the sewer line that runs from your house to the sewer lateral in the street. In this situation, don’t wait — call in a plumber.


3. Water Heater

You may not think to look here while doing your routine checks, but your water heater is a common place for leaks and other issues. One way to check for water heater leaks is to simply listen. Turn off all sources of noise and stand next to the tank. If you hear dripping or running water, you probably have a leaky or damaged heater, and it’s time to inspect.

Start at the top and inspect the pipes that attach to the wall. These pipes can loosen or break down due to too-high water pressure, corrosion, or sediment buildup. The bottom of your water heater is also prone to leakage, so inspect there as well.

Other water heater issues that could leave you taking a cold shower some morning include broken heating elements, loose electrical connections, or incorrect installation. Granted, you may only become aware of these issues once they fail, and then you will need to get a plumber to fix or replace them.


4. Dripping Faucets

This is one of these household issues that could be going on for some time before you even notice it. And you may not even consider a dripping tap a big deal – compared to some of the other potential home disasters. But a dripping faucet is not only annoying, it can also waste a lot of water and money if not fixed. Often, the cause is a worn-out O ring or washer, which you can easily replace. If that doesn’t work, you may have a bigger problem on your hands – the inside of the faucet may be corroded, or it may have been incorrectly installed.


5. Appliances

The big appliances – your fridge, washing machine, and dishwasher, can also be a source of leaks, especially if they’re getting on in years.

The experts at Home Depot say you can expect the following lifespans:

  • Refrigerators around 13 years
  • Washing machines around 10 years
  • Dishwashers 9 to10 years

Again, the key here is regular inspection and maintenance. If you do find or suspect a water leak, turn off the power and water supply before investigating further. Then check the water supply hoses to make sure they’re not worn.

These and other parts can often be repaired, but the pros say you should buy a new appliance if the replacement part costs 50 percent or more than a new model.

Along with home maintenance, another part of homeownership is making sure you have enough insurance. When you’re marking your calendar with your inspection and maintenance schedule, don’t forget to call a Wawanesa agent to ensure you have the right amount of coverage to protect your home and belongings.



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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.