It may not feel like it yet, but spring is on the way. So now is a good time to find a warmish weekend (they’re coming!) and do some upkeep on your plumbing system! DIY plumbing maintenance doesn’t have to take more than a few hours, but it can go a long way toward improving your plumbing system during the spring.
General Plumbing Tips
- Prepare for those April showers by testing your sump pump. Pour some water into your sump pit and make sure the pump turns on, drains the water and shuts back off quickly.
- If you have any drains that you rarely use, such as in a guest bathroom, run some water so the P-traps fill up. The P-trap is the curved bend at the bottom of your drain that prevents bad smelling and possibly hazardous sewer gases from rising up into your home.
- Find out if you have any slow leaks in your home. To do this, check your water meter at night before you go to bed. Check it again when you wake up before you use any water. If the reading has changed, you may have a leak – call a plumber for a more thorough inspection.
Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Tips
- If you have any leaky faucets, now might be a good time to fix them. You can try to do this yourself, or you can call a plumber.
- While you’re checking your faucets for leaks, check your toilet, too. Put a few drops of food coloring in the top of the toilet tank and wait for about a half hour. When you come back, check the toilet bowl to see if any of the color got in from the tank. If the water looks colored, call a plumber – those kinds of leaks can add up big time.
- Check to be sure all your drains, particularly shower drains, have strainers in them that will catch hair, soap and debris to prevent clogs.
- Clean any mineral deposits off your shower heads by unscrewing them and soaking them overnight in a Ziploc bag full of white vinegar. When you’re done soaking them, scrub any residue with an old toothbrush to get them totally clean.
Appliance Plumbing Tips
- Check the temperature on your water heater to make sure it is at around 120 degrees. This will prevent scalding in case of accidental leaks and help you save energy.
- Flush your water heater by slowly draining several gallons from it. There is a valve on the bottom of your water heater to which you can attach a hose to assist in the removal of 5-10 gallons. This will remove and corrosion causing sediment that could reduce heating efficiency and shorten the life of the heater.
Outdoor Plumbing Tips
- Get a ladder and some work gloves and clean out the yard drains, gutters and downspouts.
- Check any outdoor faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely and shows no signs of leakage. If you see any outdoor faucets dripping, or if there is a leak inside your house when you turn the hose on, you may have a pipe that froze during the winter and cracked.
By following these spring plumbing tips, you can get your home in tip top shape for the warmer temperatures ahead. For more spring plumbing tips, or for professional plumbing service in your Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC home, call Magnolia Plumbing today!