Winter is NOT coming. It’s going away. And as the snow melts, you need to prep your home plumbing for spring, with some “spring cleaning”. Spring is the ideal time to check your plumbing system for little damages that you might have missed during the cold months. So while you’re spring cleaning the rest of your home, give your plumbing system, as well, a thorough check.
Here are some spring plumbing tips for you to follow this spring, to get the maximum efficiency from your plumbing system.
The first thing you need to do is check all your faucets for leaks. Even a single leaky faucet can inflate your water bills by quite a huge margin. Turn off all the faucets in your home and leave a small dry bowl beneath it. Check again in a few hours. If there is any water collected in the bowls, the faucet is leaking. To fix this problem, you can check this previous blog of ours.
Check drains for strainers
All of your drains must have strainers to stop food, soap, hair and similar things from entering and clogging up the drain pipe. Check every drain for strainers. Clean the existing ones to allow water to pass through easily. If there are no strainers, add one onto the opening of the drain and if the existing strainer is broken or damaged, replace it.
Clean infrequently used drains
If some of your drains aren’t used frequently, then spring is the time to give those pipes some exercise and make sure they are running smoothly. Pour a gallon of (preferably hot) water through the drains to remove any debris collected in the pipes. If the flow of water is slow in any drain pipe, then probably, it’s clogged. Use a drain snake to dislodge any clog within the drain pipes.
Check pipes under sinks for leaks
Leaks on the pipes under the sinks often go unnoticed. So check these pipes to see if any are leaking. If you find any leak, have it repaired immediately. The faster you repair a leak the less money you’ll waste on inflated water bills.
Check toilet for hidden leaks
Water often leaks quietly from the tank to your toilet bowl without you noticing, leaving you with a huge bill at the end of the month. To check if your toilet is leaking, add a small amount of dye into the toilet tank and make sure no one uses the toilet for the next few hours. If the water in the toilet bowl changes to the color in the bowl, the toilet is leaking and you need to fix it. (Go through this blog to find out how)
Check toilet flush
See if your toilet flush handle works properly or not. If the handle needs to be held down, for quite some time, for the flush to work, or if you need to jiggle the handle to stop the water from flowing, your toilet flush isn’t working properly. Check all the parts and replace worn or damaged ones to get your toilet flush to work properly. It’s rather inexpensive.
Check the toilet for cracks
Check the toilet bowl and the toilet tank for cracks. If the crack is above the water level, it only needs to be monitored frequently to make sure it doesn’t grow bigger. If the tank is cracked, you can use a porcelain sealer to seal the crack. Let the sealer dry for a few days before using the tank. If the toilet bowl is cracked, your only option is to replace it.
Your shower head will collect a lot of grime and mineral deposit that affects the water flow. To clean it out, fill a Ziploc bag with white vinegar and place it so that the showerhead is entirely submerged in the vinegar. Tie it in place with a few heavy rubber bands and leave it for 24 hours. Remove the bag afterwards and turn on the shower for a while to get rid of all the dissolved debris. You can also use this method to clean the faucets.
Exercise water supply valve
Your water supply valve is rarely used. As a result, it tends to get stuck, making it hard to use. Turn the valve on and off a few times until the valve no longer gets stuck. Repeat every few days to make sure the valve remains unstuck.
Check water heater temperature
Check the temperature on the water heater. It should not be higher than 120°F. If the temperature is higher, the water will likely scald. On top of that, your energy bill at the end of the month will be extremely high.
Flush water heater
Sediments on your water heater can cause corrosion and decrease energy efficiency, resulting in a huge electricity bill. If you have a tank style water heater, drain several gallons of water through it to flush out the sediments. For tank-less water heater, flush it a few times to remove the sediments. Always check with your water heater manufacturer to find the safest way to flush your water heater.
Additional Tip: If your water heater is more than 15 years old, consider changing it for a newer and more efficient model.
Warning: Make sure you leave no flammable objects near the water heater.
Check for slow leaks
Slow leaks are the silent killers in the plumbing system. They are barely noticeable, yet cause a lot of damage. To check for a slow leak, turn off all the faucets and taps in the house and then, check the water meter before going to bed. Check the meter again first thing in the morning. If there is change in the reading, you need to look for a leak immediately.
Check appliances like washing machines and dish washers for any leaks, especially around the hoses. The hoses tend to develop leaks pretty easily. If possible, change the existing hoses for stainless steel ones as they are more reliable and less prone to bursting.
Check sump pump
Check your sump pump to see if it is working properly. To test your sump pump, pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the sump pump. Pour it slowly until it starts pumping out water. The pumping should start once the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll need to have it checked and repaired as soon as possible.
Clean your rain gutters and remove all debris collected. Also, check for cracks and damages in the gutters. Blockage and damages in the gutters can cause water to spill into the walls and foundation of the house during spring rain and damage the house, so they need to be checked thoroughly.
Install/ check backflow preventer
Check your backflow preventer to see if it is working properly. If you don’t have one, you might want to install one, as backflow preventer can protect your home against sewer back up and prevent significant water damage.
Check outdoor faucets and hose bibs
Outdoor faucets and hose bibs tend to freeze and break during winter. So, check all of them to see if they are in good condition and working properly. Make sure there is no leakage and the water flows freely.
Follow through with these inspections to ensure your plumbing is in good working condition for spring.
If you have any questions or if you’d like to share your own tips, let us know what you think in the comments below.
And if you found this blog to be helpful, spread the word…..