Whether you’re renting a property or living in your own home, there’s nothing more inconvenient than a home maintenance issue. Basic tasks such as flushing the toilet or boiling the kettle can suddenly become major struggles if you have a fault in your plumbing or electrical services.
Most of us will dismiss minor maintenance problems and are reluctant to take action until we experience a significant disruption, but the time to act is before any issues start to arise. There are lots of quick and easy things you can do to avoid running into pesky problems in the future. Here are some handy tips for plumbing, electrical and hot water system maintenance.
Keep Track Of Your Utility Bills
One way to detect maintenance issues early on is to keep track of how much you’re spending on water, gas and electricity. If you notice a sudden spike in your bills or a gradual unexplained increase, there could be something amiss.
Of course, there will be natural fluctuations in your bills throughout different parts of the year. During winter, your electricity charges will go up in response to using more energy to heat your home. While in Perth’s hot summer months you’ll use more water on your lawn and garden from regular sprinkler use. All of this is perfectly normal. What you’re looking for is an unusual pattern or trend.
If you find you’re suddenly paying a lot more for your gas services, you could have a gas leak on your hands. A gas leak is not an issue to take lightly. Make sure you get a professional plumber out to inspect your home straight away.
Alternatively, if your water bills have started to skyrocket, it’s likely that you could have a leak in your plumbing. A leaking toilet will usually lead to a rise in your water bill, but even seemingly small leaks can have a big impact.
Fix Leaking Taps
If there’s water spurting out of your bathroom or kitchen tap, you’re obviously going to call a plumber to come out to your home as soon as possible. While you probably won’t react with the same amount of urgency if your tap is only slightly dripping, you should still get a professional out to look at it.
No matter how minor a leaking tap might seem, it’s important to get it fixed in a timely manner. Early detection is the key to preventing most plumbing problems, and by fixing a leaking tap while it’s only a minor issue, you’ll be less likely to require emergency plumbing assistance later down the track.
The washer and the o-ring are the most common causes of a leaking tap. Over time, these parts become less effective due to corrosion and general wear and tear. It’s relatively easy for a plumber to swap out these parts if they can get to it quickly enough, but if the faulty parts are left to deteriorate, the damage could become more widespread, leading to costly repairs.
In some cases, a leaking tap could also indicate an underlying problem in your plumbing. The sooner you can get a plumber to take a look at the situation, the better.
Replace Hot Water System Parts
It’s important to have your hot water system routinely serviced. As your water heater is located outside your home, parts of your hot water system can rust, corrode and wear out due to exposure to the elements and ongoing use.
Compared to installing a brand-new water heater, it’s fairly simple and cost-effective to replace some parts of your hot water system. By keeping the individual parts in good working order, you’ll be able to prolong the lifespan of your water heater and reduce the risk of your system breaking down. A malfunctioning hot water system can lead to low water pressure, a lack of hot water and other unpleasant situations. By looking after your water heater you’ll be able to reduce the risk of these maintenance issues.
One part of your hot water system that should be regularly replaced is the sacrificial anode. Most tank-based hot water systems contain a sacrificial anode to prevent mineral build up and sediment forming inside the tank. The impurities cause the sacrificial anode to gradually rust and degrade instead of the hot water system. Once the anode breaks down, a new one must be installed to protect the tank.
Smoke Alarm Maintenance
It’s very easy to forget about your smoke alarm, but given its life-saving capabilities, it’s critical to keep your smoke alarm in top working order at all times. By regularly testing your smoke alarm, you can keep track of whether or not the battery or the entire unit is in need of replacing. You can test your smoke alarm by simply holding down the ‘test’ button until you hear a loud alert tone.
There are a couple of ways to extend the life of your smoke alarm and help it stay in a good condition. Often dust and cobwebs will build up around the unit and impair the function of the alarm. You can vacuum around your smoke detector with a soft brush attachment to remove the debris from the vents of the alarm. Insects are also a potential problem that you can overcome by using a surface spray around the smoke alarm. Make sure you don’t spray inside the actual smoke alarm.
Your smoke alarm needs to be replaced every 10 years and will require a licensed electrician to disconnect your old one and install the new one. The team at GA PERRY are smoke alarm experts, it is important to get up to speed with smoke alarm maintenance in your home.
Electrical Maintenance Inspections
It’s always better to fix small electrical problems before they become much larger and potentially life-threatening situations. Electrical issues can sometimes be a bit more challenging to identify than plumbing problems. As your electrical wiring is mostly unseen, you’re not likely to notice frayed or damaged wiring until it becomes a major complication.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any issues, it’s a good idea to get a qualified electrician to perform a maintenance inspection on a regular basis. Similar to having your car serviced, this will help you to keep an eye on the condition of your wiring so you can take care of any minor issues. On top of saving you money in the long term, this will also ensure the safety of all who live within your home.
Sometimes electrical maintenance issues will present themselves in noticeable ways. If your switchboard is frequently short circuiting, this could suggest issue with your electrical wiring. Alternatively, if you notice that your wall sockets are loose or wobbly, it’s best to get an electrician to repair the outlet as soon as possible.
By simply being vigilant and taking early action you can prevent a lot of home maintenance problems from becoming emergency situations. It’s much better to invest a bit of your time and money in regular maintenance inspections, rather than having to spend a significant sum of money on extensive repairs that could have been avoided. To learn more about how to reduce your costs, read our blog on how to reduce your electricity bill.
If you’d like to organise a maintenance inspection of your home, call GA Perry today. Our team is available 24/7 and we service the entire Perth metropolitan area.