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I know we have all heard this, "Life is so much simpler if we are proactive." I get it, and you're probably thinking, but, who has time to check things around our homes, and even if we did, what would we check-for, what's important, are there things we could put off till later. Well, I promise, I'm going to make this very simple. I'm going to touch on the areas that will save you from major headaches later on, and by addressing the obvious, this could also save you from a possible significant expense in the future.

A little history: Plumbing dates back to 2700BC, nothing like the plumbing we know today. Originating during ancient cultures like the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese cities having to develop public baths and potable water as well as wastewater removal, for a more significant numbers of people. Here's a cute significant fact; In a historical timeline, in the year 1596 Queen Elizabeth's godson invented the first flushing toilet. His name; John Harrington, hence the nickname "The John."

Plumbing as we know today didn't come until the mid to late 1800's. The first hotel in Boston to introduce indoor plumbing was The Tremont Hotel. A man by the name; Isaiah Rogers was responsible for designing the eight water closets. But it wasn't until the 1840's, that the indoor water closets were commonplace in homes, that is, the affluent and luxury hotels.

YOUR GAS WATER HEATER- There are different types of water heaters; there are Gas and Electric water heaters, solar, some may even run on propane (not usually seen in urban cities), and there is also your more modern tank-less water heaters. Here, we will be referring to the more common, gas water heater. If your water heater is inside your home, these checks become even more critical, because, in case of a significant issue, it could be disastrous. Nonetheless, we should never take for granted an everyday appliance like our water heater.

Check the lines at the top of your water heater for leaks. Leaks as small as they may seem could pose a problem. Leaks are warning signs and should never be left, without repair.

  1. If you see your water heater is leaking from the bottom, it could be due to several things, but don't take any chances, call a skilled plumber to check it.

  2. Corrosion is also a cause for concern. If you see corrosion at the top water inlet and outlet connections, you could have a small leak, a mismatch of metal connections or electrolysis. In any case, call out a professional to check it out.

WATER SHUTOFF VALVES Here is one of the most common little gadgets that we ignore, in fact, some people don't even know what they are and much less what they do. But that's fine because that's why we are here, to help you understand what's important and keep you from having issues in the future. These little gadgets, mostly know as water shutoff valves are essential, and a plumbing appliance that is there for two main reasons; Safety and Convenience. We refer to safety because, in case of a water leak to a faucet or major appliance, you can shut the flow of water without going out to the main. Just the same, a convenience to facilitate the installation and or repairs.

  1. First and most important, as a homeowner, know where your main water shutoff valve is, and more importantly, know how to shut it off. In most cases, it is found outside and next to it will be a meter. In most cases, the valve is turned off and on with a key. This key is a must have and should be kept in a place where you can quickly find it in the case of a plumbing emergency. If you don't have a KEY, get one.

  2. Second, but just as important, are the valves that are between ALL points of water dispensement, with exception to your shower and or tub. Okay, In your bathroom(s) below the sink and behind the toilet, In your kitchen below the sink, in your laundry room and or garage if you have a basin. Any point that dispenses water will have a shutoff valve, if you don't have one, have one put in.

  3. Check these valves regularly, by shutting them off and on and making sure there are no issues. If you find even the smallest leak, have them replaced. It is an excellent idea to check at minimum yearly.

  4. If there are any signs of corrosion, have them replaced.

  5. Valves have a life expectancy, but this is dependent on your quality of water. The harder the water, the lesser the life.

  6. Valves are not equal in quality or design. Spend the extra couple of bucks to install 1/4 turn valves (quality ones). Multi-turn valves are not meant to last.


Folks, this is where we attach our water hoses too. Even the smallest leaks can be significant. If they are leaking, either repair them or change them out. HERE'S SOME FREE INSURANCE If you go on vacation, turn off the main water line. If you have a sump pump, turn off the electric power to the pump as well. If you have never shut off the main water supply for your home, I suggest you test it by turning off the main and turning on the faucets inside the house. Happy New Years!!! Tony Croucier Appease Builders Co. Building Trust and Loyalty One Project Seed at a Time. 800-646-0566

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