Cracked plumbing seals: While the pipes and fixtures are a major part of your home plumbing system, there’s another element that needs your attention. That’s the gaskets used to create tight seals between those sections of pipe and around the points where the pipe fits into a fixture.
If you are like the average homeowner, you are only aware of a few of those seals and may not know a lot about how to keep them from cracking. While it’s true that no seal will last for a lifetime, there are things you can do that help reduce the odds for cracked plumbing seals. Here are two important measure you can take.
Keep the Water On
Water flowing through the pipes helps to prevent those seals from drying out. Just enough moisture is caught by the seals to ensure they remain supple and sturdy. Most of the time, this will not be a problem since you use water every day for showers, laundry, washing dishes, and several other activities.
You may be tempted to have the water temporarily turned off if you are going on an extended trip. That measure does save money, but it also provides the perfect environment for the seals to become dry and brittle. This is especially true if it’s warm weather and you’ve adjusted the thermostat so the inside of the home is hotter than normal.
Your best bet is to keep the water on and have a friend drop by now and then to make sure all is well. When your friend stops in to water the plants or check on other things in your absence, it makes sense to run a little water in the sink or open and close the taps in the bathroom once or twice. Doing this once a week or so is all it takes to minimize the possibility of damage to those seals.
An Annual System Inspection For Cracked Plumbing Seals
Another measure that makes it easier to prevent cracking is to schedule an annual plumbing inspection. If you are like most homeowners, the idea of calling a plumber only comes to mind when something goes wrong. A better solution is to take a preventative approach to the issue and find out if there is a problem developing now.
Part of the annual inspection will include taking a look at the seals around drains, taps, the plumbing joints under the sinks, and several other areas of the system. If the plumber spots an issue, it’s easier to deal with it now rather than run the risk of waiting until a bigger problem emerges.
Remember that the plumbing professional will also be on the lookout for any other issues with the system. Along with checking the seals, the plumber will test the integrity of the pipes, examine the fixtures, and determine if there are any blockages developing that could clog the drains. Consider having a complete plumbing inspection in the spring and you won’t have to deal with most types of plumbing issues the rest of the year.
Never underestimate the importance of those plumbing seals. All it takes is one failure to trigger a lot of water damage to different areas of the home. By choosing to take a proactive approach and do what you can to keep the seals in good shape and replace them when signs of deterioration are present, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and money.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.