Avoid Problems – Don’t Let Plumbing Fixtures Go Unused blog
Brian Brooks March 21, 2019

Avoid Problems – Don’t Let Plumbing Fixtures Go Unused

If you’re going out of town for any length of time, it’s a good idea to have someone flush your toilets and run some water in your showers and faucets. If you have an unused bathroom or other plumbing in your house, make it a point to run these fixtures at least weekly. Doing this will avoid some common plumbing issues.


Mold can easily set up shop in unused fixtures, especially toilets. If it does, use bleach in the bowl, but avoid using bleach in the tank. It can damage the flapper and other rubber and plastic parts.


Minerals like manganese are present in some municipal water supplies. They can be extremely staining to porcelain fixtures, especially when they sit for a long time and settle

Sewer Gas

If drains completely dry out because the water in the trap evaporates, this can open up a pathway for sewer gases to escape into the room. The gas contains hydrogen sulfide, and it smells awful. It’s usually not dangerous, but it can cause people to feel faint. Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Problems with Anti-Scald Valves

If you have an unused single-handle shower fixture, make sure to run it long enough for warm water to come out of the shower during your weekly. Doing so avoids damage to the anti-scald valve.

Dried Out Seals

The seals in your fixtures, drains and water lines are made to be wet. If they completely dry out, they can change shape and stop sealing.

If you’ve got someone checking your mail or otherwise keeping an eye on your house, ask them to go through each room with plumbing and briefly turn on all faucets and showers and flush each toilet at least once a week or so. Doing this will help keep your fixtures from staining and keep your plumbing in good order.