STOCKTON, CA--No one wants to deal with a plumbing problem. Leaky faucets and temperamental toilets are sure to be a thorn in the side of any homeowner.  Luckily, Jason Kerby and his crew at J&J Services have developed a state-of-the-art checklist of things homeowners should monitor in their plumbing systems to mitigate potential plumbing problems. Jason Kerby is a licensed California Contractor in Heating and Air, Electrical, Plumbing, and General B licenses, with two decades' worth of experience under his tool belt. Kerby sat down with the reporter, to share his tips and tricks for homeowners looking to maintain their plumbing systems.

Said Kerby, “It’s important to ensure that everything is functioning properly and to identify any potential issues that may require attention.”

Water Supply: Check for leaks or drips at all physical plumbing connections, including faucets and fixtures. Verify that the water pressure is adequate throughout the house. Kerby elaborated, “If you have a lot of water pressure, you’ll end up with leaks because it will blow the seals out. But if you don’t have enough water pressure, you won’t get any water flow out of it.”

Drains: Ensure that all sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets drain properly without any blockages. They also check for slow drainage, sometimes indicating a clog forming.

Toilets: Inspect each toilet for leaks around the base, tank, and water supply line. Check flush and refill mechanisms to ensure that they’re working correctly.

Leaks in Fixtures: Look for leaks from faucets, showerheads, or other fixtures. “If you notice a shower with a constant drip, even after it’s been shut off, it probably needs to have the seals replaced,” Kerby explained.

Aerators: “The aerator is a little screen-type device at the end of your [plumbing] devices. Sometimes, that will get clogged up with sediment, creating a lack of water flow. We clean those and replace them if necessary,” Kerby mentioned.

Water Heaters: Water heaters are also included in Kerby’s plumbing inspections. For more information on Kerby’s specific checklist for hot water heaters at 

Water Heater Expansion Tank: “What we’ve been finding is that certain counties in California require water heater expansion tanks to be added to the system. If you have a closed-leak system with a pressure-reducing valve, you need to ensure that the expansion tank is in good condition and doesn’t show any signs of leaks or expansion. If it does, it will need to be replaced.” Kerby said. Kerby also noted that not everyone has a water heater expansion tank.

Water Shut-off Valves: Kerby and his crew locate all water Shut-off valves to ensure they are operational and can be turned on and off easily. Most houses have faucets sticking out of the side near the garage or the front, with a ball valve. In most cases, that’s the main water supply going into the house. “Make sure that can be easily turned and shut off, so if there’s a problem in your house, you can shut the water off,” Kerby said. Kerby also checks to locate the water mains and meters since those also have shut-off valves.Said Kerby, “If you have an issue with your water main coming into your house, you could also go out to the street or sidewalk; or, sometimes, depending on your area, it’ll be in the grass. There’s a concrete box that says ‘water meter.’ Inside that box is another shut-off valve.”

Visible Pipes: Kerby advises homeowners to inspect any exposed pipes visible in their homes. “If there are any exposed pipes in the back of your house or garage, we recommend, and we’ll also do this too, that you check for any signs of leaks, corrosion, or damage. You can prevent worse damage if you catch the problem before it happens. Look for signs of water damage or mold around the pipes that can tell you that there’s a leak inside the wall,” Kerby added.

Water Meter: It’s important to check your water meter to ensure no signs of usage when the fixtures and appliances are turned off. Kerby added, “That can tell you if there’s a leak somewhere that you don’t know about, or there might be a pipe connected to the water main that’s going around the meter.”

Sewer System: Kerby said it’s important to “pay attention to foul odors or gurgling noises from the drains. They may indicate that there could be some sewer line issues. If you have a septic system, ensure that it’s functioning properly and pumped regularly as needed.”

Another sign of sewage backup is an odor coming from the sinks. If you have a septic system, that could mean that the septic is full.

Water Quality: If you or your family are concerned about your water quality, you can test your water quality for contaminants.

Sump pump: According to Kerby, if you have a basement, you most likely have a sump pump, which you should check to ensure it’s functioning correctly. “If a sump pump fails, it could flood your basement. Make sure that there’s no debris because that could damage it.”

Water Softeners and Filtration Systems: Kerby ensures that water softeners and filtration systems function according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, ensuring that salt softeners are in their proper place and preventing salt bridges. A salt bridge is a solidified crust of salt that spans the length of the tank, creating a blockage. This layer of hardened salt prevents the salt from making contact with the water in the tank. Common signs of salt bridges include dry skin, soaps not working well, and scales around the faucet.

For filtration, they check to see if the filter looks clean and when it was last replaced.

Washing Machine Hoses: Check washing machine hoses to ensure they are free of cracks, leaks, or bulges. JJ and his crew will recommend that they be replaced if needed.

Outdoor Plumbing: Inspect outdoor faucets, hoses, and irrigation systems for damage. EX: leaky faucets on the back of houses. “If you notice wet spots near any valves on the ground, you might have a valve leaking, and you’ll want to get that addressed as well,” Kerby added.

Ultimately, it’s always best to contact a professional with any plumbing concerns. If you live in the wider Sacramento area, contact J&J Services.

“If you’re unsure about any aspect of your plumbing system, it’s best to contact a licensed plumber for a professional evaluation. Regular plumbing maintenance can help prevent costly, disruptive problems. At J&J, we’re here to serve you for any plumbing needs,” Kerby assured.

 J&J Services is located at 4067 Calloway Court. Stockton, CA.95215

They are open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join J&J in the WINNERS CIRCLE and you can give them a call at 209-900-8034