What’s this? Warmer temperatures? Who knows if they’re here to stay for long (they are coming, we promise!), but frankly, at Magnolia Plumbing we’re tired of talking about winter! Spring is the perfect time to assess your home’s plumbing system, so while you’re doing all the rest of your spring cleaning, check your plumbing system for any little problems you may have missed during the winter. Read on for some helpful spring plumbing tips. Who knows – you could end up saving a lot of money!
General Spring Plumbing Tips
- Prevent odors from rising out of rarely-used drains by pouring a gallon of water down them. If you find any slow drains, snake them to ensure that they’ll be able to carry water away quickly during any spring showers.
- Do a self-check of your plumbing system to see if you have any slow leaks. 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 and you should see about getting it repaired.
- Check for leaks in pipes under the sink or in the basement.
- Pour a bucket of water into your sump pit to make sure your sump pump activates quickly, removes the water and shuts off properly.
- Make sure your backflow preventer valve works properly, especially if you’ve ever had a sewer back up into your home.
Spring Plumbing Tips for your Kitchen and Bathrooms
- Check all of your faucets for drips or leaks. Even leaks that seem small can add up and cost you a lot of money, and fixing them will provide an immediate benefit.
- Check for hidden leaks in your toilet. To do this, put a few drops of food coloring in the top of the toilet tank and wait for a half hour. Go back and check the toilet bowl – if any color leaked into the bowl, you should have your toilet repaired. While you’re doing this, you should also be checking for cracks or leaks in the toilet tank or bowl.
- If you need to hold the toilet handle down, or if you need to jigger it to get it to flush properly, have your toilet flapper valve replaced. It’s a good idea just to buy several flapper valves and have them around just in case. Some people make it a habit to replace all the flapper valves in all of their toilets once a year!
- Make sure all of your drains, particularly shower drains, have strainers that will prevent hair, soap and debris from getting in and creating clogs.
- Clean your shower heads of mineral deposits by unscrewing them and soaking them in vinegar overnight. After they have soaked, scrub them gently with an old toothbrush to get them totally clean.
Spring Plumbing Tips for your Appliances
- If you have a storage tank water heater, check the temperature on it to make sure it is at around 120O. This will prevent scalding in case of accidental leaks, and will reduce your energy use.
- 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.
- Check the supply hoses to your dishwasher, washing machine and icemaker and make sure they don’t have any bulges or leaks. If any of the supply hoses are showing signs of weakness, or if they are more than 10 years old, have them replaced.
Spring Plumbing Tips for Outside
- 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!