Tag Archives: property maintenance

Land And Lake Management

There is a lot of land in the United States That is not being used. Some of this land is native habitat and conservation land, and that is great. Such lands serve multiple purposes meeting important needs like preserving native habitats for maintaining biodiversity, wildlife preservation, erosion control, and aesthetics, to mention only a few. I consider this to be productive, and this is not what I am talking about.

The fact is, that much of the land mass of the United States is owned by people who do not use the land to produce anything, but who bought the land with some vague vestigial sense of an agrarian lifestyle, but who have little concept of what that entails. The same is true with ponds and lakes.

There is an indelible imprint on the human psyche urging us to posses land and live near water even though modern technology has solved most of our agricultural and water delivery needs in most of the western world. It is primal self-preservation which spurs us on.

I will be the first to say that there is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, it may be wise in the event of a tragedy of some type, (don’t think that such a tragedy cannot happen) but what do we do with that land, and those bodies of water if you are not quite ready or able to plow yourself right into farming?

People love being near lakes.

Even if you are just saving the land for the day when some great disaster strikes, or until retirement, whichever comes first, you can’t just let acres of land and water sit idle. They will revert, and what they revert to will not be pretty! They must be maintained, just as our homes and lawns must be maintained, and most of us lack the knowledge, skills, and equipment to handle more than an acre or two of land or water.

Your options are, to do nothing, to do the work yourself, to pay someone to do the work, or to find creative ways to handle the opportunity. That’s where Home And Garden Press can help!

In our sections on Land Management, and Lake Management, we deal with these issues, and offer advice and creative solutions for the perplexing problems of property owners.

Maintenance Checklist: Plumbing

Maintenance Checklist: Plumbing

Safety first!

Anytime that tools are used, there are dangers, so use them appropriately, and follow all applicable safety practices. Plumbing safety practices go beyond those of most other maintenance topics. There is more potential for microbial activity. Take special care when servicing plumbing drain waste and sewer lines.


Hot water heater attic installation

Plumbing is both an indoor and outdoor concern. We will start with the indoor, or interior of the home.

Hot water heater

Things to check:

Look for leaks and drips, particularly around fittings and connections. This is the most likely place for a leak to occur.

The TP, or top pop valve is always a concern, this valve “pops off” if pressure reaches a dangerous level inside the hot water heater. Most are set to open at around 150 pounds per square inch. TP valves should be checked at least once a year. TP valve activation is usually accompanied by hissing, or the sound of running water, and possibly, the presence of moisture.

Hot Water Heater Repairs: Top Pop Valve


As with all other plumbing fixtures, leaks are the most prevalent at the fitting connections. The flushing and filling mechanism opens a drain when the handle or button is moved, and then seals the tank to allow refill, while simultaneously opening a supply line valve which refills the tank to a predetermined level, and the water supply valve is closed by a rising float.

This float and flapper mechanism is simple, but there are a few things which should be checked. The seals, and the flapper may shrink, or crack, which can cause annoying leaks, the filler mechanism may wear out, or become clogged, preventing proper operation. This is evidenced by intermittent, or constant running water. A good inspection would involve looking at the mechanism as it is working, checking for leaks around the supply, drain, and other fittings.

Showers and tubs

Showers and tubs have supply lines, and drains, and with showers, there will be a shower valve, supply line, and a shower head. Check for leaks around these.

Some repairs can be accomplished fairly easily, but most require getting into the plumbing chase, or the wall behind the tub or shower. In such cases, unless you are an accomplished handyman, the work might be best left in the hands of a professional plumber.


Sinks have drains and supply lines, both of which are easily accessible, and these areas should be should be checked for leaks. Repairs are straightforward. Most have shut off valves installed under the sink.


Most exterior plumbing supply line problems involve line breaks due to activities like digging. The majority of outdoor plumbing problems have to do with clogged drain lines. There are, of course, outdoor water supplies to external faucets, and irrigation lines as well. Where irrigation is concerned, back flow prevention is important, and proper irrigation head adjustment is a must for both your lawns health, and water use.

Things that should be checked are wet spots in the lawn, or around the foundation.

Related repair articles coming soon:

Changing a top pop

Repairing a faucet washer

Replacing a valve seat

Repairing a solder joint by sweating