Preventive Maintenance To Avoid Clogged Pipes & Other Problems

In the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area, rely on Barrell Plumbing & Heating to fix clogged pipes, maintain water heaters, and do heating and air-conditioning repair. Our clients always appreciate our work.


Preventive maintenance helps keep your plumbing in working order, so you can avoid costly repairs. Here are a few ways to avoid plumbing problems:

• Check Under Sinks for Moisture or Small Leaks • Clear Overflow Holes on Tubs and Vanities
• Repair Leaky Faucets Immediately • Clean Faucet Aerators Annually



Check your toilet for leaks at least once a year by adding a small amount of red food coloring to the tank. Later, if the toilet bowl water is red, that means there’s a leak and you need to replace the tank ball.

Clogged Pipes & Drains

Prevent clogs by fitting all your drains with strainers and cleaning the strainers regularly. Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink, and avoid using caustic liquid drain openers. They can get trapped in your pipes and cause severe damage.

Water Heaters

Shut off the power and read your owner’s manual before doing maintenance on your water heater. Drain water from the tank at least once every three months, and periodically inspect the burner. The flame under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. Have your water heater inspected by a service technician at least once every two years.

Garbage Disposals

Extend your garbage disposal’s lifespan by using cold water while it’s running, and don’t overload it. Never use it to dispose of large solids, and avoid caustic drain openers.

Forced Air & Steam Heating

Regularly vacuum your forced air heating system furnace’s blower compartment and blower coils. You should also regularly check fan belt tension and lubricate the fan and motor bearings. If you have a steam system, check the shut-off valve for leaks.

Other Heating Maintenance

Consider techniques like setting your ceiling fans at slow speeds and reversing them during the winter to push warm air down. Other ways to optimize heating system performance include:

Bleed Hot Water System Radiators Annually

Clear Heating Registers & Vents

Keep Furnace Area Clutter-Free

Listen for Odd Sounds When Heating or Cooling Systems Start