Most homeowners have had to deal with a minor plumbing problem or two as part of routine property maintenance. For the most part, these issues are small – a tiny leak under the sink, a loose seal, an overloaded washing machine. In rarer cases, they’re a bit more pressing. Things like a backed up toilet or a clogged kitchen drain. These problems have the potential to quickly become a real frustration.
Yet, the thing to remember about plumbing issues is that there isn’t really any such thing as a minor problem. If left unattended and unrepaired, even the smallest of leaks can grow into a flood. This is why it is important for homeowners to deal with cracked pipes, sluggish drains, clogged sinks, and gurgling water heaters as soon as possible.
We spoke to a few qualified plumbers in Melbourne and asked them to explain which plumbing related issues could be hiking up your utility bills.
Your Radiators Are Filled with Air
The first problem is a surprisingly easy one to fix, but it can take a long time for a homeowner to notice that anything has changed. Over time, your central heating system will naturally accumulate air. This travels through the system in bubbles and can end up in radiators. As radiators are usually filled with hot water – this is how they heat rooms – too much lowers the capacity and the overall efficiency of the heat source.
Essentially, your radiators have to work harder to produce the same result. This means that you’ll be spending more money on gas. The fix is a simple one. You can bleed the affected radiators by carefully opening their valves and emptying them of water. Do this after they have been turned off for a while, so as not to scald yourself, and place a container beneath the valve to catch the water. After 15-20 minutes, replace the valves and switch back on.
Your Boiler Needs Descaling
Just as radiators pick up air, boilers accumulate lime scale and all sort of other gunk and nasty stuff on their inside walls. This isn’t really a danger to the structural health of the system, but it does lower its efficiency. Once again, the boiler has to work harder to give you the same result. This increases the size of utility bills and, if you’re already on a tight budget, it could make your finances trickier.
The good news is that you can call a plumbing service and get an expert to professionally clean and descale the interior of the boiler. This is usually done fairly quickly, within the space of an afternoon, and your system should be back to full efficiency within a day or two. You’ll notice that rooms feel warmer, the water is hotter, and in time, your bills should fall again.
The Water Pressure Is Too High
Water pressure is one of those things that homeowners take for granted. It is either tolerable or it isn’t. There are rarely any in betweens. Yet, it isn’t just low pressure that can be a problem. Overly high water pressure is bad for pipes, boilers, and water heaters. It puts an unsafe amount of pressure on these components and degrades their structure.
So, while it might make for a great shower, very fast water should be checked out. It can send electric and gas bills skyrocketing. You can ask your plumbing maintenance provider to take a look at your water supply and determine whether it is within the normal range. If it isn’t, they can take steps to correct it and, potentially, extend the life of all the plumbing in your home.
Why Plumbing Maintenance Is Always Essential
Taking good care of the plumbing in your home is an essential part of keeping the property in tip top condition. It might not seem like a big deal now, but you’ll change your mind quickly if your toilet overflows or you can’t get any hot water. It is only after disasters happen that we realise how much simpler prevention is than the cure. So, avoid the need for repairs by treating your plumbing gently and having it serviced on a regular basis.