Plumbing Maintenance for Spring
The warmth of spring is in the air and our thoughts are turning to spring cleaning. But while you’re doing your spring cleaning, don’t neglect your plumbing. Now’s a good time to check for any damage that may have happened over the winter and make sure that everything is running as it should. The following are some things to look for as you make your rounds:
Kitchens & Bathrooms
- Check your faucets for leaks. Leaks waste water and money. Address leaks right away.
- If you don’t have them already, put strainers in your drains to catch hair, debris and soap so they don’t cause clogs.
- Look for visible leaks and cracks in your toilets.
- Test your toilet for hidden leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If there’s a leak, the color will leak into the toilet within 30 minutes.
- If your toilet doesn’t flush properly, you may need to replace worn-out tank parts. They don’t cost much and can save money over time by reducing water waste.
- Locate the water supply valves under your sinks and toilets. Twist them from side to side a few times to prevent them from sticking.
- Do you have mineral deposits on your showerhead? Remove the showerhead and soak it in vinegar overnight. Remove the old deposits with a toothbrush.
- Check your dishwasher and ice maker supply hoses for leaks or irregularities. If any show signs of wear or are older than 10 years, replace them.
Around the House
- Check your water heater temperature to make sure it’s not higher than 120°F. Anything hotter can scald the skin, not to mention the increased energy consumption.
- Proper water heater mantainance will help your water heater last longer and run more efficiently. To ensure that corrosion isn’t building up inside your water heater, flush several gallons of water through the water tank. If you’re unsure how to do this, consult your water heater’s manual or website for instructions. Or call the professional plumbers of George Brazil for a spring tune-up!
- How old is your water heater? If it’s more than 15 years old, you might consider replacing it. Newer water heaters are more energy efficient, which will save you money every month.
- Check your washing machine supply line for leaks, and clean out the lint trap if there is one. If you don’t have one, place a wire trap or a section of nylon stockings over the end of the hose that drains the washer.
- To find out if there are any slow leaks in your home, read your water meter before going to bed. In the morning, look at the meter again. If the reading has changed (assuming you haven’t used any water since the last reading), you have a leak that should be repaired by a professional plumber.
- If you have drains that you don’t use very often, it’s a good idea to pour a gallon of water into them. This can prevent odors from entering your home. Slow floor drains should be snaked now and then to make sure they will properly drain if there’s ever a flood. Learn more about drain cleaning.
- Check to see if your sump pump is working properly by pour a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on and discharge the water without any issues.