A well-maintained plumbing system is crucial for any homeowner. Not only does it contribute to the overall functionality and comfort of your living space, but taking care of your plumbing can also help you save money on repairs and replacements in the long run. At Shoreway Plumbing, we are dedicated to providing exceptional plumbing services for residents of Menlo Park, CA and the surrounding areas, and we understand the importance of proper maintenance. Although some plumbing issues require professional help, there are many routine maintenance tasks homeowners can perform to keep their plumbing systems running smoothly. In this comprehensive guide, we will share essential plumbing maintenance tips that every homeowner should know.

A properly working plumbing system is essential for the overall health of your home. It ensures that you have clean and safe water for daily activities like cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Additionally, a well-maintained system can help prevent damage to your property caused by leaks or blockages, which could result in costly repairs if left unchecked. By following the best practices shared in this guide, you can ensure that your plumbing system is functioning efficiently and prolong the lifespan of your pipes and fixtures.

1. Common Plumbing Issues and How to Avoid Them

It’s important to familiarize yourself with common plumbing issues so that you can take preventative measures to avoid them. Here are some of the most frequent problems homeowners may encounter:

– Leaky faucets: This can be caused by worn-out washers or other internal parts that may need replacement. Regularly inspect your faucets for signs of wear and tear, and replace faulty components as needed.

– Slow drains: Clogs in your drain can result from a buildup of hair, soap scum, or other debris. To keep your drains flowing smoothly, clean them regularly with a drain snake or use a strainer to catch debris before it enters the pipes.

– Running toilets: A constantly running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water and may indicate a problem with the toilet’s flapper, fill valve, or other components. Routinely inspect your toilet for any issues and fix them as soon as possible.

– Burst pipes: Freezing temperatures can cause water inside your pipes to freeze and expand, leading to burst pipes. To prevent this issue, insulate your pipes and maintain a consistent temperature in your home during colder months.

2. The Importance of Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Regular plumbing inspections and maintenance can help detect potential issues before they become significant problems. Here are some tasks you should include in your routine maintenance plan:

– Check for leaks throughout your home, paying close attention to areas around pipes, faucets, and appliances that use water, such as your dishwasher and washing machine.

– Clean or replace faucet aerators and showerheads to maintain optimal water flow and reduce mineral buildup.

– Inspect your water heater for any signs of rust or leaks, and drain and flush it on an annual basis to remove sediment buildup.

– Schedule professional plumbing inspections every couple of years to ensure that your system remains in top condition. Professional plumbers have the expertise and equipment necessary to diagnose and repair any issues that may be missed during a routine inspection.

3. DIY Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Plumbing System in Top Shape

There are several tasks that homeowners can complete on their own, saving time and money on professional services. Consider implementing the following DIY maintenance tips:

– Routinely clean your sink and tub drains using a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar, followed by hot water to flush away any buildup. This chemical-free solution is environmentally friendly and can help keep your drains clear.

– Periodically check your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit and ensuring the pump properly removes the water. Regular testing can ensure your pump is ready to prevent flooding during heavy rainfall.

– Insulate exposed pipes in your basement, crawl spaces, and attic to protect them from freezing during cold weather. Pipe insulation can be found at most hardware stores and is relatively easy to install.

4. When to Call a Professional Plumber

Although many maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners themselves, certain issues require the expertise of a professional plumber. Contact a professional if you encounter any of the following situations:

– Persistent leaks: If you’ve tried repairing a leaky faucet or a pipe and the issue persists, it’s time to call a professional, as there could be a more significant problem that needs to be addressed.

– Major clogs: If you’re unable to clear a clog using a plunger or drain snake, it’s best to consult with a plumber to resolve the issue.

– Sewage backups: This is a serious issue that may require professional equipment and expertise to diagnose and repair.

– Water heater issues: If your water heater is leaking, rusting, or experiencing a loss of hot water, a professional plumber should address the problem.


Proper plumbing maintenance can help protect your home, save you money in the long run, and contribute to a more comfortable living environment. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to keep your plumbing system in top shape. Remember to always consult a professional plumber when encountering situations beyond your expertise.

Ready to take the next step in maintaining your home’s plumbing? Get in touch with our expert local plumbing services today to schedule a professional inspection or learn more about the wide range of services we offer on our website.