I’ve always understood the importance of proactive maintenance. I make sure to have the grease, oil and filter in my car taken care of by a licensed mechanic every five thousand miles. Every year, I climb up on a ladder and clean the gutters and inspect the condition of the roof. I’ve enrolled in an HVAC maintenance program with a local company to keep the furnace and air conditioner running reliably. I replace the air filter in the heating/cooling unit every month and clean the lint trap of the dryer after every use. I don’t know why I never considered regular upkeep for my home’s plumbing system. The plumbing is used more than any other system or appliance. My husband, three kids and I take showers every single day. I clean, wash clothes, wash dishes, wash hands, brush teeth and water plants continually. I can’t even guess how many times we flush the toilet everyday. Our household requirements places a lot of wear and tear on fixtures, pipes and drains. When the water heater burst and flooded the basement, I called a licensed plumber to install a new tank. He mentioned that enrolling in a service plan would have avoided this problem. Annual inspection and troubleshooting of the plumbing system catches potential clogs, minor leaks, and all sorts of issues that could lead to major damage, disruption and expense. I’ve now signed up for a plumbing maintenance plan. Every year, a professional plumber comes to the house and looks over every aspect of the plumbing system, from the garbage disposal and dishwasher to the septic and faucets.