You know that leaky faucet that's been driving you crazy for months? The gurgling sounds from the pipes that wake you up at night? The water heater that takes forever to warm up your shower in the morning? It's time to stop procrastinating and give your plumbing system some much-needed TLC. As a homeowner, keeping your plumbing in working order is critical; after all, water is the lifeblood of your house.

In this article, you'll learn some simple plumbing maintenance tips to keep things running smoothly, how to spot and fix common problems yourself to save money on costly fort collins plumber call-outs, and when it's best to call in the pros. By the time you've finished reading, you'll feel empowered to grab your wrench and get to work; your plumbing woes will be a thing of the past, and you can get back to enjoying a trouble-free home.

Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Tips to Avoid Costly Repairs

Preventative plumbing maintenance is key to avoiding expensive emergency repairs down the road. By performing regular checks and tune-ups on your plumbing system, you can catch small issues before they become big problems. 

Here are some tips to keep your plumbing in working order:

  • Run your water for a few minutes each week. Letting your water run for 3-5 minutes once a week helps prevent stagnation in the pipes and clears out any built-up sediment. This simple step can help prevent clogs and keep your water flowing freely.
  • Check for any drips or leaks. Walk around your house and inspect under sinks, behind toilets, near the water heater, etc. for any signs of drips or water damage. Even a small drip can waste gallons of water over time and may indicate a bigger problem. Fix any leaks you find right away.
  • Flush your water heater. For water heaters with a drain valve, attach a hose and run water from the drain valve for a few minutes every 6-12 months. This removes built-up sediment from the tank and helps your heater run more efficiently.
  • Plunge and unclog drains when needed. Don't wait for drains to back up completely before taking action. Use a plunger to try and unclog drains in sinks, tubs, and showers when you notice water draining slowly. For tougher clogs, try using a commercial drain cleaner or renting a mechanical snake.
  • Check hoses and valves. Inspect the hoses and shutoff valves connected to sinks, toilets, washing machines, water heaters, etc. Replace any hoses that are worn, kinked, or leaking. Make sure shutoff valves are working properly in case you need to turn off the water in an emergency.

Performing occasional plumbing checkups and preventative maintenance like running your water, checking for leaks, flushing the water heater, and unclogging drains can help avoid expensive plumbing repairs. Staying on top of any issues with your plumbing system will give you peace of mind and keep your plumbing system running smoothly for years to come.

Signs You Need a Professional Plumber—and When to Call One

As a homeowner, it's important to know when to call in the professionals for plumbing issues. Some signs that you need an experienced fort collins plumber include:

Leaky or Burst Pipes

If you notice water dripping from pipes, especially in the basement or crawlspace, it's time to call a plumber. A small leak can quickly turn into a gushing burst pipe, causing water damage. Plumbers can locate the source of the leak and repair or replace damaged pipes.

Clogged Drains

If drains are slow to drain, gurgling or making noises, or completely clogged, call a plumber. Trying to unclog drains yourself with liquid drain cleaners or plungers often just pushes the clog further down the line. Plumbers have the proper tools to clear clogs and resolve any underlying issues.

Malfunctioning Water Heater

If your water heater is leaking, making strange noises or rumbling sounds, not heating water properly, or the water has a strange smell or color, it's best to have a plumber inspect it. They can flush and repair a fixable water heater or install a new one if needed. It's not worth risking a burst tank or the hazards of a malfunctioning unit.

Toilet Trouble

If toilets won't flush, are leaking from the tank or at the base, or overflow, call in the pros. Plumbers can quickly get toilets back in working order or replace parts like flappers or fill valves. They also have the tools to remove clogs in the drain line.

Don't hesitate to call a licensed plumber for any plumbing issues you're unsure of or uncomfortable handling yourself. They have the experience and expertise to effectively diagnose problems, perform necessary repairs and help you avoid costly damage. Your plumbing system is too important to DIY-leave it to the professionals!

DIY Plumbing Repairs - What You Can and Can't Do Yourself

As a homeowner, there are certain plumbing repairs you can tackle yourself to save money. However, some jobs are best left to the pros to avoid damage or injury. Here are some guidelines for DIY plumbing versus calling a plumber.

DIY (Do it Yourself)

For minor clogs or leaks, you can often fix the problem yourself. Things like unclogging drains, fixing leaky faucets, or installing new fixtures are reasonable for a DIYer with some patience and the proper tools. Make sure to turn off the water supply before attempting any repairs. For clogs, try using a plunger, liquid drain cleaner, or a mechanical snake. For leaks or drips, replace worn out washers, O-rings or cartridges inside the faucet. When installing new fixtures, carefully follow the included instructions.

Call a Plumber

For major repairs or those involving gas or sewer lines, it's best to call in a professional. Things like replacing water heaters, water softeners or sewer pipes can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. A plumber has the training, experience and proper equipment for these kinds of jobs. They can also handle problems like slab leaks under your foundation or repiping your entire plumbing system.

Trying to force a repair yourself to save money may end up causing water damage or other issues that cost much more in the long run. As a rule of thumb, if the job requires cutting into pipes, welding or soldering, or involves sewer or gas lines, it's better to spend a bit on a plumber. Your wallet and peace of mind will thank you.

With some practice, many common plumbing repairs are within the skills of a DIY homeowner. But for major or complex problems, a professional plumber is worth the investment. Knowing when to call in the experts can help avoid costly mistakes or damage to your plumbing system.


You now have all the tools and knowledge to tackle most common plumbing issues in your own home. While some tasks may seem daunting, with patience and perseverance you can handle repairs and maintenance yourself, saving time and money. Don't forget to turn off the water supply, take proper safety precautions, and ask an expert if you have any doubts. With regular inspections and care, your plumbing system should serve you well for years to come. You've got this - now go unclog those drains, fix that leaky faucet, and make sure your water heater is running efficiently. The power over your plumbing is in your hands!