We often think of plumbing tips as ways to conserve water, lower utility bills and maintain the efficiency of your existing plumbing system. While those are all beneficial things to keep in mind, let’s focus on specific plumbing safety tips every homeowner should know to keep yourself and your household safe in your day to day activities.
Plumbing Safety Tip #1 – Maintain your water heater at 120 degrees
Maintaining your water heater’s temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the safety recommendation against scalding. If it seems the water coming out of your faucet is extremely hot, your water heater likely needs adjusting. If the temperature is set to 120 degrees, but your water still comes out too hot, check your mixing valves and make sure they are set properly, to prevent a potential burn hazard.
On the other hand, setting the temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit creates a risk for bacteria, such as legionella, to develop inside your water heater from stagnant water.
Plumbing Safety Tip #2 – Don’t ignore strange smells
Sewer smells in your home can point to a severe problem in your plumbing system and pose a serious hazard to you and your household. Prolonged exposure to gas that comes from your sewer line can result in dizziness, severe headache, apnea, convulsions, organ damage, failure and eventually death, as your body fails to deliver oxygen to your cells. Any strange sewer smells should be addressed promptly.
Plumbing Safety Tip #3 – Be mindful of your pipes, when drilling holes in your walls
When it comes to your plumbing system, out of sight should never mean out of mind. If you are remodeling your property or drilling in your walls and floors, use a stud finder to locate any pipes that may be running along that area. Puncturing a pipe is bound to cause a leak that will not only create a much bigger problem over time, but also may cause water to come into contact with electrical wires that can also be found inside your walls. This in turn can cause a very severe plumbing safety hazard.
Plumbing Safety Tip #4 – Know the location of your water main
Your main water valve is the entrance way between your water source and your home or business. It’s usually installed on ground level or your basement. It may be located outside, in a utility closet or in your garage. Knowing how to access your water main and how to shut it off is a crucial step in the event of a pipe burst or any major water leak. Think of this as the big, red off button you’d want to press in an emergency plumbing situation. This will prevent your home from flooding, causing severe and costly damage to your property and posing plumbing safety hazards such as the one we mentioned above.
Plumbing Safety Tip #5 – Keep chemicals out of reach of children
Most household, drain and enzyme cleaners contain chemicals that are toxic to the human body, especially to our little ones. They can cause irritation and rashes when coming into contact with skin, severe pain and damage if they get in your or your child’s eye and they can be lethal if consumed. Keep these chemicals stored in an area that is not accessible by your children.
Plumbing Safety Tip #6 – Don’t attempt complicated jobs on your own
We understand that calling a plumber is often first associated with a steep bill and in an unexpected moment, that may not be a desirable solution. However, attempting certain plumbing jobs on your own can lead to incomplete or not properly carried out jobs that can escalate a simple problem and cause more disastrous issues in the future, likely increasing your costs over time. Plumbing jobs can also pose many safety hazards as most tools and equipment require a higher level of knowledge, skill and experience.
Don’t attempt major plumbing jobs on your own. Instead, be proactive about choosing a plumber you feel comfortable with and shop around beforehand, so that when the time comes, you’ll know exactly who to call. Reading our guide on how to choose the best drain cleaning company in Orange County, can be a helpful, first step.
Because your drain system is at the core of your home and has a major impact on your daily life, it’s important to know that it is well taken care of. We hope that when a plumbing concern rises, you’ll feel confident calling VIP Drain Services, your Orange County drain and sewer experts, where we’re available 24/7 for plumbing emergencies!