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Ask Art: How Often Should I Check My Bathroom Plumbing?

Bathroom Plumbing

Since the first flushing toilet was designed back in 1596 by Queen Elizabeth I’s godson, bathroom plumbing has evolved to flush, rinse, and wash away all our muck. When things go wrong in your plumbing, you usually have to deal with a mess that has been brewing for some time.

Regularly checking your bathroom plumbing can help you avoid this situation, but how often should you do it? Here are some of the factors to consider.

Signs That You’re Heading For A Blockage

Much like your body, your plumbing system is all connected. Problems that seem to be separate issues can all point to a blockage deep in your plumbing system. Here are the top three early warnings that your plumbing is heading for a shut-down.

  • Water Draining Slowly

    Do you find yourself showering with a growing pool of water at your feet? Or brushing your teeth and watching toothpaste foam swirl around but not going anywhere? That’s a sure sign of a clogged drain.

  • Bad Smells

    If walking into your bathroom is always a smelly business, you should probably have your plumbing inspected.

  • Flooding

    This goes beyond water running out slowly. This is when the toilet level rises after you flush, a shower pool that stays put, and a sink that makes you think you left the plugin. In short, a total back-up of your system can cause flooding that would lead to property damage.

Contributing factors

Some plumbing systems will be more prone to blockages than others. Check where your bathroom fits in:

  • Frequent vs. Seldom Use

    High traffic through a bathroom is a leading cause of blocked drains purely because of the higher volume of solids, soap scum, and hair that gets washed down.

  • Hairy vs. Not-So-Hairy

    As comical as this may sound, a ‘hairier’ family will need to attend to their drains far more often to keep them clog-free than a less hair-endowed family. You can make use of a shower grate to manually prevent hair from being washed down the drain.

  • Single vs. Multi-Person Homes

    A single person will be far less prone to causing blockages than a family of five, or eight, as the bathroom usage and volume down the drain are lower.

  • Older Home vs. Newly Built

    A new home with less plumbing history is not likely to get backed up as quickly. Older homes, on the other hand, may well have debris that’s been collecting for years. Older pipes are often narrower and tend to clog quicker, too.

Checking Your Plumbing – Is It Really Necessary?

When it comes to your plumbing, prevention is definitely better than a cure. To catch a plumbing system that’s heading for a blockage, a complete check-up is worth doing for three main reasons.

  1. It helps you to avoid emergency plumbing disasters that usually hit at the most inconvenient times.

  2. Avoid the mess and potential flood damage that comes with a total back-up of your plumbing.

  3. Well-maintained drains last longer and will save you money in years to come.

How Often Should You Have Your Bathroom Plumbing Checked?

If your home fits into the higher maintenance category judging by the criteria above, it would be good to have an annual plumbing check from one of our experienced plumbers. If your home has less contributing factors that can lead to blocked drains, checking the plumbing system every two years should be fine. In either case, remember to keep an eye out for the warning signs of a building blockage and call in one of our experts if you are worried.

For peace of mind, or if you’d like to book your inspection, call us at 1-800-475-1504. Big or small, we fix them all!

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