A plumbing problem in your laundry room can disrupt your daily routine. It’s an important room in any home, and it’s imperative to follow some simple rules to keep your washing machine, sink, and all those drains and pipes working efficiently.
The main culprit for laundry room plumbing issues is the washing machine, which is why we’ve dedicated a good portion of the following checklist to one of the hardest working appliances in your home. By following these laundry room maintenance tips, and with regular maintenance performed on your washing machine and dryer, you can avoid costly plumbing repairs.
Always run the machine on a full load. It’s tempting to wash just a few items at a time, but we recommend not doing it. This will avoid wear-and-tear on your machine, and it’ll save you money, too.
Consider this: most washing machines use anywhere between 15 to 40 gallons of water every time they’re used. That’s a lot of water! Also, make sure you wash similar items together. This will ensure your items are all uniformly washed and dried.
Ever try to dry towels with cotton shirts? Chances are if you did, those shirts were still damp when you removed them from the dryer. Of course, to really save money, you may want to invest in a high energy washing machine.
Inspect your drains. Drains in the laundry room are notorious for clogging. If you have pets, you’re going to want to check the drains even more often. Make sure to clean your drain filter on a regular basis and check for backflow protection.
Inspect hoses and filters as well. When checking the drains, look closely at the hoses and mesh filters on your washing machine as well. Over time, your hoses can become brittle and crack, and the filters can get clogged with lint or other debris like hair which will lead to back-ups in the washing machine. Hoses and filters are relatively easy to replace yourself, but once they cause significant back-up after clogging, you’ll probably have to call a plumber.
Replace rubber hoses with stainless steel versions. If possible, consider swapping out your rubber hoses with stainless steel, braided ones. These can stand the test of time (and lint!) better than rubber hoses. In the long run, it’ll save you money.
Use a consistent temperature. Your washing machine uses a lot of energy – up to 90% of it is used just to heat the water. If you’re prone to using a hot water temperature often, try to at least set the temperature at “warm” instead. Cold is even better – and will help reduce stains on your clothes, too. Remember: a really hot temperature of 140 degrees is a potential fire hazard, so only use hot water on occasion.
Clean your washing machine and dryer regularly. Dirt, lint, pet har, and a myriad of other things can remain in your washing machine and dryer long after the load is complete. Clorox and other reputable brands make good washing machine cleaners, and here’s a good video on how to clean your dryer.
As you can see, with just a little time and preparation, you can keep your laundry room in top shape to keep all that washing and drying worry-free.