Spring is a wonderful time of the year. As signs of new life begin to appear, the days get longer, flowers are blooming, and many homeowners are using this opportunity to take on home improvement projects like spring cleaning or getting their spring plumbing ready for the season.
Before you start on that kitchen remodel or bedroom addition, however, it’s a good idea to give your plumbing systems a little love and look for any damage, cracks, or leaks that might have occurred over the winter. While an inspection is an important step, there are also other steps that you can take to ensure your plumbing system is ready for spring.
Check for Leaks in Spigots and Sprinklers
Before you begin to plant your garden or water your lawn, take some extra time to inspect all of your outside water sources. Cold temperatures during the winter can cause pipes to freeze and crack which leads to leaks. You’ll often notice these leaks first when you turn on your outside water in the spring. In the event that you do notice cracks or leaks, your best bet is to fix them right away.
Check for Leaks Under Sinks and Supply Hoses
Just like your outdoor water fixtures, the fixtures inside your home are susceptible to damage from freezing winter temperatures as well.
Taking a few minutes to closely look under your sinks and at the hoses that connect your washing machine and dishwasher for puddles, mold, corrosion, and rust could be the difference between fixing a leak and ending up with water damage inside your home.
Clean Your Shower Head
When your shower gets used every day, soap scum and grime are going to build up and restrict the flow of water. One of the easiest ways to clean your shower head is to fill a bag with vinegar and baking soda and attach it to the showerhead with a rubber band. Leave the bag on the showerhead for at least one hour before removing it. After you’re done, let the shower run for a few minutes or until the smell of vinegar is gone.
Check Your Water Heater for Leaks
While it’s recommended that you keep your water heater set at 120 degrees, there’s a chance you may have turned it up during the winter for warmer showers. When you go to turn it back down in the spring, look carefully for signs of leaks. Some signs to keep an eye out for include corrosion, moisture, or rust. If you notice any of these symptoms of a leak it’s a good idea to call a plumber for a second opinion.
It’s also important to remember that the lifespan of most water heaters is usually only 10 years. If your unit is getting close to or has reached the 10-year mark, it’s essential that you inspect it on a regular basis.
Drain Your Water Heater
Sediment is inevitably going to build up in your water heater over time. This can reduce the efficiency of the unit which means it will take more energy to heat water and will cost you more money every month.
Even though this process might take a few hours, it’s well worth the effort and will help extend the life of your water heater.
Test Your Toilets for Leaks
You might not think about it regularly but checking your toilets for leaks every so often is also a great idea. The best way to perform a toilet inspection is to put food coloring in the toilet’s water tank. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, and then check to see if the water in the toilet bowl turns the color of the dye. If it is, your toilet has a leak that should be addressed.
Clean Your Gutters
Over the course of a long winter, debris will pile up in your gutters. Pine needles, twigs, leaves, and other debris can cause drainage issues and leaks for your home if they aren’t cleaned out. Taking a little time to clean out all the debris from your gutters at the start of spring can help to ensure that everything stays running smoothly when the April showers roll in.
Get Ready with the Pros
The arrival of spring is a very exciting time. Longer days and warm temperatures are great motivation to get outside and get to work on your home. While the urge to get started on major projects is tough to resist, it’s important that you make sure all parts of your plumbing system are functioning properly after a long winter.
The last thing you want to deal with as the snow starts to clear is a broken pipe or household leak that’s costly and puts all those other projects on hold. Should you encounter a plumbing problem during your annual inspection and need a helping hand, your local Einstein Pros is just a phone call away! With trusted and experienced plumbers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada, our team is ready to provide solutions to any of your spring plumbing needs!