Maintaining your home plumbing can be a daunting task, but a little preventive maintenance can save water, money, property damage, and countless headaches later. It can be hard to know what to do and when, so we’ve provided this helpful checklist to help you plan how to prevent plumbing disasters both inside and outside of your home.


  • Clean your garbage disposal.
  • Pour boiling hot soapy water or use a non-corrosive drain cleaner to clear any residual buildup in your drains. We recommend Bio Ben, our house brand bacterial cleaner. Also, check your P-traps for any collected debris and clean it out.
  • Replace mesh lint traps on washing machine discharge hoses.
  • Inspect the condition of your washing machine hoses for leaks.


  • Check for evidence of leaks. Look for signs of water damage on your ceilings or walls, as well as corrosion on any visible pipes.
  • Remove and clean water aerators and showerheads to remove calcium and other buildup.
  • Inspect vent pipes to be sure they haven’t been blocked with snow/ice or debris.
  • Check to see that your sump pump is working properly. Clean dirt or debris from the pump or in the pit if necessary.
  • Inspect caulking around bathtubs and showers. If any spots are dried out, missing or damaged, remove the old caulk and reapply silicone.


  • Have your water heater inspected for wear and flushed to remove sediment from the bottom. Gas water heaters may also need to have the burner unit cleaned.
  • Test your water pressure. It should ideally be between 40-65 psi.
  • If you have tress in your yard that could encroach on your sewer line, have a certified arborist come look and do appropriate pruning.
  • If you have steam heat, drain your boiler to get rid of accumulated sediment.


  • Inspect your gutters for damage and clean out any accumulated leaves and other debris if necessary.
  • Inspect your outdoor spigots for leaks.
  • If you have a pool or sprinkler system, inspect all of the pipes, valves and other components for leaks, normal wear and tear, or other damage.


  • Keep an eye out for water pooling in your yard or low water pressure. This can be a sign of a water pipe leaking underground and must be handled by a professional.
  • Keep your pool clean and free of debris so that your pool pump doesn’t have to work as hard.
  • If you want outdoor plumbing work done, such as to install a sprinkler system or hot tub, schedule it now, so it can be done before cold weather sets in!


  • Be sure to clean your gutters to ensure that they are not blocked by falling leaves or other dirt and debris.
  • If you have not made your annual maintenance appointment for your boiler, now is the time to do so!
  • Shut down your sprinkler system for the winter before freezing temperatures set in. Drain all the water from the system. Insulate the main shut-off valve and above ground piping.
  • Turn off the water to any outdoor spigots. Drain water from hoses and store for the winter.


With this checklist, you can be sure to do all the necessary preventive maintenance for your plumbing throughout the year! And when you run into a problem you can’t fix yourself, your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is here to help at 1-800-259-7705.