With the onset of warmer weather as the cold and harsh winter weather winds down, many unexpected plumbing issues await discovery. The best thing is to address these issues before they escalate into big emergencies later. Read on for 10 plumbing tips this spring.
1. Check the sump pump
A sump pump is designed to drain water that may have accumulated in the crawl space or basement. You should regularly check the sump pump in your home to ascertain that it is in good condition and working as expected. If the pump does not function properly, it could flood the house.
To test whether or not the sump pump is in excellent condition, you should fill the pit with water to activate the switch. If the water starts flowing out of the discharge pipe, the sump pump is working in order. However, if it does not, or when there is a weak flow, the pump may be faulty. Consider pouring a vinegar mixture down the pump to eliminate mold and mildew accumulated over the winter to fix the problem. If this does not yield the desired results, contact your local plumber.
2. Inspect the water heater
As your water heater operates, minerals and sediments often accumulate at the bottom of the system. Over time, the build-ups may result in corrosion, leading to leaks. The sediment and mineral deposits also compromise water heating in your home. The heater also has to work twice as hard and for a more extended period to heat the same amount of water, increasing energy consumption and bills.
You should consider flushing the tank to eliminate the mineral and sediment build-up. To flush the water heater, you should turn the gas or power supply off and open the drain valve at the tank’s bottom. Next, allow all water to drain out until you notice clean water seeping out of the valve. When all the sediment and mineral build-up has been flushed out, you should lock the valve and turn the gas or power on.
3. Check the basement pipes
Be sure to inspect the exposed pipes in your basement for leaks. The basement pipes are more vulnerable to bursting and freezing in winter, so you should ascertain that they are in excellent condition before the onset of the warm weather. Contact your plumber if you notice signs of water damage, including dump spots and stains on the basement walls or floors around the pipes. When unnoticed, a leak in the basement could result in thousands of dollars in damage to your property.
4. Clean the gutters
Gutters funnel water away from home. Over time, they get clogged due to the accumulation of dirt, dust, pine needles, leaves, and debris, preventing them from performing their function. This causes water to seep into the basement or crawl spaces, which could cause flooding and damage to your home. Be sure to clean your gutter regularly to ensure water exits your house without causing leaks to your home’s foundation.
5. Inspect your home appliances
Check appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and ice makers for leaks to prevent costly damage. To check for leaks on your home’s appliances, you should listen for any hissing or dripping sounds from the units or look for water stains around the systems. Be sure also to determine whether or not the hoses are connected securely or holes or cracks in them. Call a plumber immediately if you notice anything suspicious.
6. Look for leaks around the toilet
A toilet is one of the essential elements of any home. However, a toilet leak can go unnoticed for an extended period, resulting in substantial water bills. Since plumbing and pipes crack and freeze due to extreme temperatures, you should inspect your toilets in spring to identify leaks and notify your plumber as soon as possible.
An excellent way to determine whether or not you have a toilet leak is by pouring two to five drops of food coloring into your toilet’s tank, then waiting out for 20 to 30 minutes. If the food coloring finds its way into your toilet’s bowl, it indicates the system has a leak.
7. Check your outdoor faucets
Outdoor faucets are some of the most overlooked parts of your home plumbing, but they are the most common areas for leaks. To check for leaks, you should look at the ground near the faucet. If you notice any wet spots, it indicates the presence of a leak. Turning the water on and checking whether there are any drips is another effective way to determine whether the faucet is leaking. Be sure to have the faucet’s leaks fixed as soon as you notice them to prevent severe issues such as mold growth or water damage around your home.
8. Turn the valves
Your supply pipes are fitted with valves that enable you to shut off the water flow in case of a leak. These valves may become stuck when left idle for so long. Exposure to water may also cause them to rust, so you should regularly turn the valves to ensure they are working in excellent condition.
9. Check the water pressure
If you suddenly start experiencing a low water pressure, it could signify a water leak or blockage. Be sure to have your home’s plumbing system checked by a professional when this happens to prevent irreversible damage.
10. Schedule regular spring plumbing maintenance
The best way to stay ahead of any plumbing issues in your home is by scheduling routine maintenance with an experienced and reliable plumber. A licensed plumber can quickly identify problems with your plumbing system and fix them before they escalate into severe damages that require expensive repairs. While you could schedule professional plumbing maintenance at any time of the year, spring is a convenient time as it falls before and after the most challenging plumbing seasons.
You do not have to incur substantial water bills and expensive plumbing repairs this spring season. Consider implementing the above strategies to keep your plumbing system healthy and avoid emergencies.