If you have a designated bathroom for guests and extended family who come to visit, it can go weeks or months without being used. The good news is that that inactivity makes it easy to clean and tidy up. But inactivity can also cause a whole host of plumbing problems. Here are three problems you can avoid with a bit of proactive maintenance.
Run the faucets to keep the gaskets lubricated.
Many of the pipes connected to your sink and shower faucets have rubbery gaskets that help keep connection points water-tight. But if the faucets go unused for too long, the gaskets can start to dry out. This makes them brittle and easy to break. The same thing can happen in RVs if you have one you use only occasionally. So keep the gaskets in good shape by occasionally letting water run through the whole system.
Make sure the emergency shut-offs aren't stuck or calcified.
Everyone needs to know how to shut off the water in your house if there's a plumbing emergency. While you might not want your children shutting off the water to the whole house, they can definitely use localized shut-offs to stop a leaking sink or an overflowing toilet.
But if you have a localized shut-off that isn't used that often, hard water minerals can build up on the inside. That means your guests won't be able to shut it off or, even worse, might break it in trying to twist it free. So check all of your shut-offs every six months to make sure they're easy to operate.
Don't let your plumbing trap's water evaporate.
Your bathroom's drain has a U-bend beneath the floor. Water sits in the bottom of it to stop sewer smells from making their way up the pipe. But, if new water isn't added, it will evaporate and gases will start to leak into your home. Run water down the drains at least once a month, especially if you live in a hot climate.
If you have a guest bathroom that gets little use, be sure to utilize the tips identified above. For other plumbing questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
-A R Engh Team