Home Maintenance Checklist: Laundry Room
In busy households, the laundry room can be one of the most regularly trafficked parts of the house. Washing machines and dryers carry a heavy burden in keeping a household running, and so does the plumbing associated with these appliances. Ignoring or neglecting regular preventative maintenance in the laundry room can lead to the inconvenience of having to use a laundromat at best, or messy household floods at worst. Follow Roto-Rooter’s simple checklist for laundry room maintenance to keep things running smoothly.
Clean Dryer Lint
Clean the dryer lint trap after every single load.. A full lint trap will prevent clothes from drying thoroughly, requiring extra cycles and using extra energy. Plus, excess lint is a fire hazard. 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.
Use Strainers over the Drains
Wet lint can accumulate over time, clogging your pipes. Put strainers over all your drains, including the washing machine hoses. Specially designed strainers that fit over washing machine hoses are relatively inexpensive and can be found in the plumbing section of a hardware store or through online retailers like Amazon.
Use a Pipe Cleaning Agent
Even when you use strainers, some lint still escapes into your pipes. The lint and soap scum combine with grease and other debris to cause build-up and contribute to clogs. 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.
Flush the P-Trap
Located near every drain is a P-trap. This u-shaped pipe is lower than the rest of the pipe. It’s designed to retain water, creating a seal that prevents gasses from escaping into the room and causing odors. Drains that aren't used very often can begin to smell as the water evaporates. If you smell odors coming from your floor drains, pour a bucket of water into it to create a fresh seal in the P-trap.
Check the Hot and Cold Hoses
Examine 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 find these parts in the plumbing section of a hardware store. You may want to consider updating older rubber hoses with braided, stainless steel hoses that are burst-resistant.
Use a Sensor Valve to Protect against Flooding
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. Roto-Rooter plumbers can install one for you if you'd like, or you can purchase one at a hardware store and install it yourself.