The Best Plumbing Tips and Best Practices for Spring
Springtime is a busy time for the components of your home, and you may find that everything from your gutters and downspouts to your water heater and sump pump are tested heavily. If you aren’t careful, issues with those systems can cause hidden leaks from damaged pipes, so it’s important to make plumbing maintenance a part of your routine spring cleaning routine. Remember these plumbing tips when you do spring cleaning and maintenance around your home.
1. Make Sure Your Sump Pump is Clean and Functional
Sump pumps are used heavily in the Cincinnati, OH area because of their ability to pump away standing water before homeowners even realize it is a problem. However, it’s important to maintain sump pumps to ensure they are working properly before any kind of flooding occurs. Test your sump pump every month, and clean debris out of the sump pit to protect your system from clogs. Here are a few tips for how to do this.
- Fill Sump Pit: To make sure your sump pump turns on and runs properly, pour a large bucket of water into the sump pit to see if the system turns on. Your sump pumps should activate as soon as the float switch rises, and the water level should begin to taper down. If the system doesn’t turn on, call a plumber to schedule repairs.
- Clean Pit: Check the interior of the sump pump pit to make sure the area is clean and dry. Remove leaves or other debris.
- Test Backups: Test any backup battery sump pump by using the method described in step one above. Issues with your backup pump should also be reported to protect your system from issues during a situation when the primary system becomes overwhelmed.
2. Look Over Your Water Heater
Check your water heater for the signs of physical damage, rust, and corrosion. Oftentimes, the bottom part of water heater tanks can become damaged from the weight of the water and the presence of moisture, so look for rust or signs of previous water spots. If you see signs of these issues around the bottom of the tank, your system could be at risk of imminent failure, so contact a plumber to have your system inspected.
3. Keep Gutters Clean
Never ignore dirty gutters. During your spring cleaning, remove all leaves, dirt, and debris from your gutters, since these issues could keep water from flowing away from your home appropriately. Check gutters by using a garden hose to pour water into the lines, and watch how it flows away. Remove clogs from downspouts by using a shop vacuum.
4. Be On the Lookout for Outdoor Leaks
As you landscape your yard during the spring, it’s easy to damage sprinkler lines used for garden and landscaping irrigation. It’s also possible for outdoor faucets to be damaged by cold winter weather. When you turn on your outdoor water in the spring, be on the lookout for water damage. Sometimes, outdoor leaks can manifest as marshy landscaping or overgrown plants. If you find an area where you suspect damage, uncover the sprinkler lines and look for the broken pipe. Have a plumber replace the damaged components. Always inspect hoses and hose bibs before you use them in the spring to prevent flooding.
5. Inspect Water Valves
Your home is filled with plumbing supply lines in your home that fuel the water-using fixtures throughout your house. These valves are important for times when you need to cut off the flow of water at the source, such as when a toilet is overflowing. Test these valves during your springtime maintenance to make sure they aren’t stuck, and that they move easily. Spend a little bit of time to look for the supply pipes running to the faucets and toilets throughout your home.
6. Check for Indoor Water Leaks
Oftentimes, water leaks inside your home are hidden and difficult to spot. Unfortunately, these leaks may be driving up your monthly water bill or causing wet rot right under your nose. Here are a few places you should check for water leaks, and what to do if you find one.
- Washing machine hoses: As rubber ages, it can become brittle and develop cracks, which can cause leaks. Check washing machine hoses periodically for damage and signs of previous water damage. If any issues are present, replace the hoses with braided metal hoses or place a service call for a professional plumber.
- Toilet tanks: Sometimes, fractures within the body of the toilet itself can allow water to leak from the toilet tank into the toilet bowl. Leaking toilets can create water damage, but more frequently this issue can waste water, as the tank can continuously drain into the bowl and cause the system to flush. To check for cracks, place a few drops of food coloring in the upper tank, and wait 15 minutes. Check the bowl to see if you can spot dye.
7. Schedule Professional Plumbing Maintenance
It’s always smart to have a professional plumber come in and inspect your plumbing system in the spring. Having an experienced plumber look over your pipes and fixtures can help you to prevent issues all year long. During spring cleaning, notify a plumber that you would like an inspection. During these visits, plumbers will look for everything from damaged pipes and fixtures to problematic drains, appliances, and even gas lines. If you have emergency backup systems, your plumber will also check them for issues.
Consider signing up for a True Comfort Membership plan to have these inspections performed routinely. These comprehensive service plans make it easy for you to keep your plumbing system in tip-top shape for a low monthly price.
Get Help with Your Home this Spring
It’s always easier to take care of your home when you have a team of professionals at your side. Take advantage of our range of plumbing services by making us a part of your springtime home maintenance. We are always here to help, so give us a call today.