How to Avoid a Flood and Keep things Looking New

My Pops always used to say there is a trick to every trade.  That is most certainly true when it comes to plumbing, so take a minute to look these over.  A little knowledge will definitely help you keep things looking nice, and protect your property as well.

It seems like disaster always likes to strike when no one is around.  Why this seems to be the case, I’m not sure, but it’s almost a guarantee – if your house is going to flood, it’s going to happen when you are on vacation!  That’s why Green Hippo Plumbing always recommends turning off the water to your home, even if you’re just going on a short weekend trip.  Water doesn’t wait for anyone, and it’s really quite amazing the damage water can cause in a very short period of time.  As an Upland plumber, I’ve noticed most shut off valves are located near the front of the house or just inside the garage door.  Look for a pipe coming out of the ground and going into the house.  A lever or a knob on that pipe should be your shut off valve.  A knob indicates that you have a gate valve and you should take care.  As gate valves age they can seize and become difficult to turn, so if you have to turn too hard, it’s probably time to replace it.  Just give Green Hippo Plumbing a call, and we can help you with that.  Hopefully, though, you have a ball valve shut off (recognized by the lever) which is more dependable and shuts the water off completely.  Often times you will see two valves; one of them is for your sprinklers.  If your home is plumbed properly, you will be able to shut off the water to your house and still leave the sprinklers on to water your lawn and plants while you’re away.  You don’t want to come home to a dead lawn, so shut off the water to your house and test run the sprinklers to make sure everything gets water.  Taking heed to this one simple step before you leave for vacation will ensure a peaceful return home from your journey.

Keeping things dry while you’re gone is important, but so is keeping things looking nice.  You may have noticed that over time, the fixtures in your home stop looking so nice.  Well, one reason for this is that the hard minerals in the water build up over time, leaving that not-so-pleasant crusty film that I’m sure you’re aware of.   Cleaning off minerals can be quite difficult.  I recommend starting with a “mild cleaner” like vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.  The best method, however, for dealing with mineral build up is to avoid it altogether.  Simply keep a terry cloth towel nearby and wipe down the fixtures after each use.  It’s a hard habit to start, but it will keep things looking like new.  I must give one further admonition – stay away from harsh cleansers – your Upland plumber has seen many expensive fixtures ruined because of a weekly cleaning routine with strong chemicals.  When it comes to cleaning fixtures, gentle is the best approach.

By following these tips to avoiding floods and keeping things looking like new, your home should definitely be ratcheting up on the contentment scale!


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