Growing up in a family run plumbing business, my dad drilled certain phrases and lessons into me. Being a plumber’s daughter did not cause me to naturally know why we do these things, I was just told to do them. I figured that since my dad is a plumber, he knew what he was doing so I wasn’t going to argue; about plumbing, anyways.
Fast forward to having kids of my own and I tell them these same phrases. With being an insurance agent and having experience with water claims, guess what I have learned? My dad was right. Which leads me to believe that I should have listened to him for other things in life. He’ll be happy to see that in print.
Here are some of those ‘dad lessons’ –
Run the water while using the garbage disposal and for a few seconds later.
(Ensures everything drains down)
Always rinse the dishes before loading in the dishwasher.
(It doesn’t matter that the new detergent takes food off of your dishes. The food has to go somewhere)
Using more soap than normal will not clean your clothes better, it’s bad for the pipes.
(It can cause build up)
People that use liquid pipe cleaners make this family a lot of money.
(It may clean the pipes now but the chemicals can weaken and damage your pipes)
With water damage attributing to almost 40% of the claims filed with an average cost of $6,965 per home, let’s look at some ways that you can prevent some of these issues –
Replace hoses – Rubber appliance hoses deteriorate from the inside out. Although hoses with external stainless steel braided wire may cost as little as $5 more, they can be 10 times less likely to fail. A good rule of thumb is to replace these hoses, especially to your washing machine, every five years.
Toilet – Stay in the room while it refills to make sure it stops. Also, place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If colored water ends up in the toilet bowl in 15 minutes or less without flushing, you may have a leak. Check the bolts that fasten the toilet to the floor since they can rot, break or come loose causing the wax ring seal to go bad allowing water to leak between the flooring and concrete. Make sure the bolts holding the tank to the bowl are not loose. If they were not installed properly or if too much weight has been pushed against the tank, they can loosen.
Sink Cabinets – Clear everything out from underneath and look over any supply lines, making sure there aren’t any leaks. Since many people don’t look underneath often, they may miss the leak. If it is small enough, it could take months to become pronounced.
Water Bill – Keep an eye on this. If you see a sudden increase, you may have a leak. Sometimes this leak is so small that it isn’t noticeable to the eye. Hopefully, this is caught before it causes significant damage.
Now that you have read this, take a bit of time to check out your home. You’ll be happy to only spend a few dollars and some time rather than having to worry about your deductible when filing a claim.
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