With a few easy steps, you can prolong the life of your plumbing fixtures. First, install a water softener to prevent the build-up of scale deposits, reduce wear and improve water efficiency. Next, schedule regular plumbing maintenance. A qualified professional will recognize signs of impending trouble, such as knocking in the pipes, low water flow, dripping sinks or wet spots along the pipes. When a technician is familiar with the plumbing in your home, he or she will be better able to recognize and address problems before they develop into full-scale emergencies.