Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve. If there’s ever
plumbing leaks, you can go straight there and quickly turn off the water
to the entire house.
Install shut-off valves at individual appliances and fixtures. That allows
you to keep water flowing in other areas of the house while making site-specific
repairs. Expect to pay $4 to $10 for each valve; expect to pay $50 to
$75/hour for professional installation.
Install a flow sensor that detects plumbing leaks and automatically shuts
off water to the entire house or a specific appliance. You’ll pay
approximately $75 for this device, plus installation charges of $150.
Remove hoses from outdoor spigots in winter to prevent frozen water from
cracking the pipes and causing plumbing leaks, or worse, a flood. Install
frost-free hose bibs at exterior spigots.
Add pipe insulation to the plumbing in cold parts of your house—such
as garages, basements, and crawl spaces—to avoid frozen pipes (and
to shorten the wait for hot water). Pipe insulation tubes cost as little
as 35 cents per foot.
Don’t use exposed pipes as hanger rods for laundry or to store clothes.
Doing so can loosen joints and fasteners and lead to plumbing leaks.
Don’t overload vanities and sink cabinets. When you crowd stuff into
your cabinets, you can jostle water supply pipes and drains, loosening
connections and causing plumbing leaks. If drips occur, they’re
tough to spot amid piles of cleaners and spare TP.
Fix problems quickly. Even small leaks can make pipes corrode more quickly,
and cause significant water damage or mold. Take the time to periodically
scout for signs of leaks and drips.