Now that 2020 is officially in full-swing, everyone has something different that they would like to commit to for the new year. These resolutions could vary from eating healthier, exercising more or even keeping a closer eye on one’s finances. However, there are plenty of other avenues you can focus on to make 2020 a tremendous year! To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck and not having to call out a plumber every couple of months, it might make sense to have a plan from the start. Having said that, our team recently compiled a few best practices that should be on every Kansas City homeowner’s to-do list each and every year.
Water Heater Maintenance
If this is your first time on our blog, you’ll likely see there’s more than a few posts on the topic of water heaters. The biggest reason behind this is the fact that water heaters provide something that’s seemingly become a necessity in our day-to-day lives: hot water! It’s something we expect to be there whenever we need it and in those rare instances where it’s not, it can be very frustrating! To add to it, most water heater problems could have easily been prevented with a little bit of routine maintenance.
Considering water heaters work much harder during the winter months, now is the perfect time to get your annual maintenance check scheduled. This would include flushing all of the sediment that gets built up at the bottom of the tank, checking various connections and making sure the thermostat is properly set. In addition, whenever a plumber comes out to do a maintenance check, they’ll be able to accurately tell you how efficiently the water heater is working. This will give you a much clearer picture of how many more years it has left!
Don’t Let Them Sit
You may have a toilet that constantly runs. It may take what seems like forever for the water to get hot for your morning shower. Possibly it’s the drain that seems to have been clogged or running slow for weeks. In any case, the reality is that the longer you let a plumbing issue sit, the worse it gets. Make 2020 the year that you get these issues resolved as quickly as possible. Whether it be a leak, a weird noise or something is just broke, get a reliable Kansas City plumber out there ASAP! After all, a $100-200 service call is a lot more affordable than a $1000-2000 repair project!
While we certainly should feel blessed to live in a country where water seems to be plentiful, that doesn’t mean we should ignore all of the work that’s been done to promote water-efficiency. For one, this can create a wide array of benefits to our individual financial situations, but it can also ensure future generations will not have to worry about shortages of reliable water. The EPA’s WaterSense program does a terrific job of outlining the reasons why it makes sense now and for the future. For instance, take a look at just how much water-efficient fixtures can save the average family. “The average family spends $1,100 per year in water costs, but can save $350 from retrofitting with WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances. Also, when we use water more efficiently, we reduce the need for costly investments in water treatment and delivery systems.”
From toilets lowering the amount of water used per flush to low-flow shower heads, modern technology has made it readily accessible to be able to increase the efficiency within your own home. If some of your fixtures are a little dated, now is a great time to evaluate whether it would make sense to swap them out for newer models. It might seem like a big investment right now, but over time, it will be the right one!
Going right along with updating to higher efficiency fixtures, there are also ways that you cut back on water usage just by being smarter! One of the easiest is to turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth. It’s believed that this alone can save a few thousand gallons of water in just one year.
Keep the Toilet and Trash Separate
This might not be something that affects all homeowners. However, since we’ve seen it more than a handful of times this past year, it wouldn’t hurt to be on your plumbing resolution list. With this, we’re talking about treating your toilet as a trashcan. Why else would people also put trash cans in their bathrooms? Q-tips, tissues, wet wipes and hair are a few of the most common items we see clogging up toilets.
Keep An Eye on Water Quality
A few months ago, we discussed how the Kansas City metro area possesses above average levels of hard water. While this water is safe to drink and wash with, it still presents it’s own negative side effects. Having said that, 2020 could easily be the year you pay closer attention to the water quality. Whether that means just having it tested to see what the true quality level is or having a water softener device installed, this is certainly something that can improve your very own quality of life.
Have a Back-Up Plan
When your plumbing fails, one of the worst consequences is a flooded basement. It’s one thing that every plumber will ALWAYS classify as a “plumbing emergency.” To prevent the same from happening to you in 2020 (or at the very least, limit the chances of it occurring), consider investing in a back-up plan for your sump pump. A sump pump is designed to minimize the odds of a flooded basement, but you always need to plan for the unexpected. With this, I’m referring to a battery backup that will keep your sump pump running in the storm, even if the power goes out!
Annual Inspections Never Hurt!
When it comes to plumbing, you might not feel inclined to have a professional plumber out unless something is truly wrong. While not every inspection is going to reveal a wide array of issues, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the investment. Quite a few of our residential clients schedule these annual inspections for a number of reasons. For one, we’re able to clear your drains while we are out there and determine if there’s anything brewing in your pipes. Secondly, as a homeowner, this is a perfect time to ask a plumber any questions you may have about best practices. While you’re more than welcome to email our team HERE as well, sometimes it may be easier to explain in-person.
Your Trusted Kansas City Plumbers
Since 2014, our team at Stine-Nichols Plumbing has taken it upon ourselves to provide honest and affordable plumbing solutions. Even though this checklist above is designed to keep your entire plumbing system in working order throughout the year, there are times where a plumbing issue pops up out of nowhere. It is in these situations where you need to find a local plumber capable of not only resolving your issue in a timely manner, but also doing so at a reasonable price. Look no further!
Based in North Kansas City, MO, Stine-Nichols Plumbing works throughout the entire Kansas City area and the surrounding cities. We go as far north as Liberty, Smithville and Kearney, as well as working as south as Olathe and Lee’s Summit. We’re more than happy to provide a free quote for any-sized plumbing project. Just fill out the form HERE or give us a call at 816-348-3481 to learn more.