How to Avoid Plumbing Disasters

How to Avoid Plumbing Disasters

Whether you live in a house or a condo, plumbing snafus occur when you least expect them and the last thing you want is to try and figure out what to do when there’s water pouring across the living room floor.  It all starts with your water shut-off valve.  Of course, the first and most important question is:

Where is the water shut-off valve?

The primary water shut-off valve turns off water to the entire residence.  Knowing where it’s located before a water crisis is extremely important.  It’s also important that you do simple and routine maintenance on the valve to be sure it’s working properly.

At least once a quarter, turn the water shut-off valve off and then on.  Clear away any debris or vegetation that may inhibit access and add a little WD40 as necessary to make sure the action is smooth.  Repair broken handles and stripped valves when you notice it otherwise, you’re likely to discover you can’t cut the water off when you have a broken pipe or gushing water heater.

But this isn’t the only valve to be concerned with.  Other water shut-offs that will need inspection include:

  • under kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • near the toilet
  • by the water heater
  • behind the washing machine


It’s also a good idea to check other plumbing when you’re doing maintenance on the valves.  Do an inspection of

  • faucets
  • shower heads
  • toilets
  • washing machine hoses


When maintenance is delayed there’s a greater potential for water intrusion and damage to personal belongings. It’s a simple thing to do a quick check on all plumbing fixtures and valves.  So, add it to your calendar and you’re less likely to be wading through water in the future.

Water Damage Culprits
Gutters, Simplified