Spring cleaning is a great reminder to take care of annual maintenance around your home as well as clean up around the house. While there are many tasks that we always remember to take care of, there are some that fall by the wayside even though they are very important. One such task is checking our home’s plumbing system. Coming out of winter especially, your home’s plumbing system could be hiding issues that are waiting to strike at the most inopportune times. Getting a jump on those problems can help you avoid some nasty surprises down the road.
Tips for Plumbing System Maintenance in the Spring
Spring is one of the best times for plumbing maintenance. Your plumbing often takes a beating during the winter months due to the colder temperatures, and you don’t want to wait until summer to give it a once over because by then, minor issues could have turned into big problems. Here are a few tips for what to add to your springtime plumbing checklist:
- Sump Pump – This is a simple one. Just pour about five gallons of water into your sump pump’s basin to make sure that it is working correctly.
- Toilets – Are there any ongoing issues with the toilet? Does it overflow often? Do you have to jiggle the handle to get it to stop running? If so, you may need to have it checked by a professional plumber. It could have a clogged drain or some of the toilet’s parts could be worn out and need to be replaced. Another thing you should check for is slow leaks. You can check your toilet for leaks by putting several drops of food coloring in the tank. If any of that food coloring shows up in the toilet bowl after 30 minutes, you probably have a leak (assuming you made sure no one used the toilet during that time).
- Outdoor Faucets – One issue that you may come across here is damaged pipes. If pipes were frozen during the winter and suffered any damage, it could show up now. If you turn on the faucet for the first time in a long time and it drips, you may need to have the pipes checked for damage.
- Showerheads – Mineral deposits buildup on showerheads over time. You can clean showerheads by soaking them in white vinegar. In some cases, you can remove the showerhead and soak it in a container of vinegar overnight. If the showerhead can’t be removed, you can fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it around the showerhead overnight.
- Hoses – Give the hoses on your washing machine and dishwasher a once over. Make sure they don’t have any cracks, bulges, or other signs of damage. If they are damaged, replace them. Consider using steel hoses if you don’t already.
- Gutters, Downspouts, and Yard Drains – This should be straightforward cleaning. Just clear any leaves and other debris from your gutters, downspouts, and yard drains, so that they can work properly.
- Check for Leaks – In some cases, your plumbing system can have slow leaks that are difficult to find. A good way to find out if you have this problem is to read your water meter before bedtime, don’t use any water overnight, and then read the meter again when you wake up in the morning. If the meter reading has changed, you may have one or more leaks in your plumbing system.
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