When you own a washer and dryer, gone are the days when you have to visit the Laundromat. At least you hope that is true. Ignoring plumbing and appliance maintenance is a quick way to get a ticket back to the Laundromat. Following is a checklist that will help you keep your laundry room running smoothly.
Clean the dryer lint trap after each load of laundry is washed. You should also have your dryer vent cleaned on a regular basis. If you dry three to five loads of wash a week, clean it once a year. If you dry several loads a day you should clean it every three to six months.
Keep the lint out of your drains that could cause a clogged pipe. Put strainers over all your drains, including the washing machine hoses. You find strainers for the hoses in the plumbing section of a hardware store.
Even when you use strainers, some lint still escapes into your pipes. The lint and soap scum combine with grease and other debris to build up inside the pipes. About once a month use a pipe cleaning agent such as Roto-Rooter's Pipe Shield®. This will help dissolve the soap and grime, allowing it to wash down the drain. In addition, Pipe Shield® puts a protective coating on the pipe walls that prevents scum from accumulating, which helps avoid the need for a plumber to come and clean your drains.
Located near every drain is a p-trap. The u-shaped pipe retains water at all times because it is lower than the rest of the pipe. This creates a seal that prevents gasses from escaping into your room. Drains that aren't used very often can begin to smell as the water dissipates. If you smell odors coming from your floor drains, pour a bucket of water into it. This will create a fresh seal in the p-trap.
Check the hot and cold water hoses that connect to your washing machine. If there are any signs of cracks or splits, replace them immediately. You can get these parts in the plumbing section of a hardware store. You may want to consider replacing rubber hoses with braided, stainless steel hoses that are burst-resistant.
A sensor valve will help protect you against extensive damage from a flood. The valve attaches to the water source and has a sensor on the floor. When it detects water it will automatically turn off the water. Our plumbers can install one for you if you'd like, or you can purchase one at a hardware store and install it yourself.