Spring Plumbing Tips
Spring is a wonderful time of the year. As signs of new life begin to appear, the days get longer and the vail of winter begins to lift, many homeowners use the opportunity to take on home improvement projects like spring cleaning.
Before you start on that kitchen remodel or bedroom addition however, it’s a good idea to inspect your plumbing system for any damage, cracks or leaks that might have occurred over the winter.
While doing a cursory inspection helps, it’s also important to perform some other tasks to make sure that everything is in working order.
Check for Leaks in Outdoor Spigots and Sprinklers
As you begin to plant your garden and fertilize and 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 causing leaks you’ll notice when you first 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 ones inside your home are susceptible to damage from freezing winter temperatures as well.
Taking a few minutes to closely look under your sinks and 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. The easiest way to clean your shower head is to fill a bag with vinegar and baking soda and attach it around the shower head with a rubber band.
Leave the bag on the shower for a minimum of 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 good chance you turned it up during the winter.
When you go to turn it back down in the spring look carefully for signs of leaks. If you notice corrosion, moisture or rust around the control panel, 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 only 10 years. If your unit is old, it’s essential that you inspect it on a regular basis.
Drain the Sediment from Your Water Heater
It’s inevitable that sediment is going to build up in your water heater over time. This can reduce the efficiency of the unit which means it takes more energy to heat water and costs you more money every month.
Even though this 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 of it but checking your toilets for leaks every so often is a good idea as well. The best way to perform this task is to put food coloring in the toilet’s water tank.
Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and check to see if the water in the toilet bowl is the colored. If it is, your toilet has a leak that needs to be addressed.
Clean Your Gutters
Over the course of a long winter debris piles up in your gutters. Pine needles, twigs, leaves and other debris can cause drainage issues and leaks inside your home during a rainstorm if they aren’t cleaned out.
The arrival of spring probably gets you excited. Long days and warm temperatures motivate you 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 our plumbing system are functioning properly after a long winter.
The last thing you want to deal with as summer grows near is a broken pipe or household leak that’s costly and puts all those other projects on hold.
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