When you are a homeowner, being that you’re responsible for the maintenance and repairs for your house, it’s important that you do all that you can to keep everything in tip top shape. This would include your plumbing system.

And although initially working on your plumbing without the assistance of a professional might seem a bit intimidating, there are actually some things that you can do that are relatively easy – things that can prevent you from having major plumbing problems later down the road.

If you’re interested in knowing what some of the top plumbing system maintenance tips for homeowners are, please keep reading.

Conduct an energy audit. A very important preventative step that you should take is to conduct an energy audit. The reason why this is so beneficial is because it can help you to locate any leaking pipes (or leaking toilets) that may be inside of your home. Any kind of leak in your plumbing system will only get worse over time. That’s why it’s best to find out about them as soon as possible. For tips on how to properly conduct an energy audit, visit Energy.gov and put “DIY energy audit” in the search field.

5 Home Plumbing System Maintenance Tips

Watch what you pour down your drains. Although your plumbing system is sturdy, that doesn’t mean that it’s built in such a way that you can pour anything down your drains. In fact, certain items can cause major blockages over time. So, when it comes to things like cooking oil, butter, sauces, animal fat and harsh chemicals, try and keep those out of your sinks. It’s actually better if you let them solidify in your refrigerator so that you can scoop them up and put them in a trash bag.

Use a wet-dry vacuum. Speaking of drains, one thing that’s virtually impossible to keep out of the one in your bathtub is hair. The good news is that there is something that you can do to prevent your hair from clogging up the drain too much. You can use a wet-dry vacuum every 2-3 weeks. Just put an attachment on the vacuum and then place it directly on the drain. Turn it on and it will pull the hair right on out.

Try homemade solutions. Say that you contacted someone who works at a plumbing company like Northeast Plumbing & Mechanical to ask them for a tip on what you can do to unclog a drain or even your toilet. When it comes to your drains, one thing that you might want to try is a plunger. Oftentimes, by placing it directly over the drain and then applying some pressure directly onto it, the clog will dissipate. As far as your toilet, in most cases, all you need is a cup of dish detergent and a pot of boiling water. By pouring the detergent into your toilet and then following it up with the boiling water, the clog will first loosen up and then dissolve.

Insulate your pipes. During the winter season, it’s important that you protect your pipes. That way, they will not freeze up, crack or break. To make sure that they stay warm, all you need is to apply a bit of insulation. You can use foam or fiberglass to get the job done. For step-by-step instructions on how to insulate your pipes, go to This Old House or Home Depot and put “insulate pipes” in the search field.