Tips For Utility Area Maintenance and Repairs
All water heaters should be frequently checked for leaks. It’s important to check the pipe connections, the valves and underneath the unit. Simple preventive maintenance will help you avoid lasting damage from a leaking water heater.
Take time to test the temperature/pressure relief valve once a year to make sure it’s working. Be careful when you do. The water in the tank is HOT and can cause scalding burns. Pull up or push down on the valve handle; hot water should come out of the overflow pipe. If it does, the valve is working properly.
Periodically drain a bucket of water from the drain faucet at the bottom of the water tank. Again, take care not to get burned by the hot water. Draining a bucket of water will remove sediment from the tank bottom that could corrode the unit as well as reduce its heating efficiency. (See Fall Tips)
Check all water lines, connections and valves for signs of leakage, especially where connections have been crimped. With a flashlight, check under the tank for small leaks that could be caused by rust and corrosion.
Closing and reopening the water faucets that supply the washer each month is a good idea, especially if you have hard water. Otherwise they may bind up and not be able to be closed when needed, or leak at intermediate positions.
It is a good idea to inspect your fill hoses for weak spots or bubbles.
It is also a good idea to replace the washers inside the hose ends every year or two.
When you have the hoses off for washer replacement check for buildup on the screens in the fill valves onto which the hoses attach and clean the screens as necessary.
If your machine has variable water level/temp settings, especially if they are push-buttons rather than rotary knobs, you should change the settings through all positions once in a while- or they tend to function only in the setting you always use and freeze up there. Maytag and some Whirlpool units are particularly prone to this.
DO not overload the washing machine. It will clean you clothes less efficiently, and it will cause undue stress on the moving parts of the machine causing premature wearing down and breaking of the machine.
Load clothes loosely into machine. Never try and compact clothes to fit more in!
Sump pumps require proper maintenance like any other plumbing fixture to avoid malfunction and unnecessary repairs. Insure there is no debris around the float. Inspect and clean sump pump and pit.