July 22, 2015 1:18 am
To prevent accidental flooding caused by appliance or plumbing failure, conduct a thorough inspection of the:
Basement Sump Pump – Once a month, ensure the sump pump is free of debris and discharging water properly. To test the system, pour a few buckets of water into your sump pit. In a matter of seconds, the pump should discharge the water and shut off by itself. If your sump pump operates frequently, consider installing a battery back-up that will operate in the event of a power outage.
Washing Machine Hose – Many homeowners leave washing machine water supply lines turned on, so if a hose bursts, water can discharge at up to 500 gallons per hour. If you’re machine hoses are more than five years old, replace them with stronger, steel-braided hoses, which last twice as long.
Ice Maker Water Line – Ice maker water lines usually fail because the refrigerator was moved and the line was pinched. Vibration can also damage a water line over time. Inspect lines once a year to ensure the water line is unobstructed. Additionally, consider replacing plastic or copper lines with steel-braided lines, which cost about $10.
Dishwasher Water Supply Line – A dishwasher’s water supply line usually leads from your kitchen sink’s supply faucets beneath the sink. The dishwasher drain hose also runs between the appliance and the sink or disposal. Inspect the line twice a year for signs of wear and tear or evidence of a leak.
Water Heater – Whether failing slowly or suddenly, water heaters are known to rupture. Inspect the tank and all plumbing fittings twice a year, keeping in mind that life expectancy averages 11 years. Check on your water heater more often if it is more than eight years old.
After inspecting, place battery-operated flood alarms (which retail for about $15 each) on the floor near each of these appliances. If water is present, the alarm will sound and allow you time to act sooner. Automatic shut-off valves with their own audible alarms (which retail for about $100 each) can also save thousands in flood cleanup costs. For the best outcome, have a plumber install valves produced by the appliance manufacturer.
Published with permission from RISMedia.