Now that spring is here, warmer weather means that you can spend more time outdoors and you won’t have to bundle up so much. The change of the seasons also gives us the opportunity to perform regular maintenance tasks around the home. Many people carry out an infamous “spring cleaning” to freshen the home after having doors and windows closed up for the winter months.
As you go about your spring maintenance, don’t forget to include a look into your home’s plumbing. Here are 5 basic easy tips to keep your plumbing system running smoothly all spring and well into the summer:
1. Clear Outdoor Drains, Gutters and Downspouts
During the winter, everything from dried leaves to sticks, twigs and other debris accumulate on your roof and in your outdoor space. Now that it’s warm again outdoors, you can take the time to clear out debris from your outdoor drains, gutters and downspouts. Many problems in your plumbing can be avoided by making sure water can run freely down the drains.
2. Check Faucets
While not highly likely in lower elevations of Southern California, the occasional freeze may occur, causing pipe damage. It’s good practice to check all of your faucets for leaks anyway, but make it a special point to check outdoor faucets. If a leak seems to appear after turning on your garden hose, or the outdoor faucet only drips rather than flowing normally, you may have a cracked pipe on your hands. In this case, you’ll need the help of a seasoned plumber such as Biard and Crockett Plumbing Services.
3. Drain the Water Heater
Over time, sediment can accumulate in your water heater. This can cause corrosion and which may reduce the efficiency of your heater and also shortens its expected service lifetime. To avoid this, remove the sediment by carefully draining a few gallons of water from the heater. While you’re at it, also check the water heater temperature setting. A good temperature to set it at is 120 degrees F. This will make the water warm enough for a hot shower, washing hands, dishes and laundry, while avoiding scalding. You’ll also save on your energy bill too!
4. Check for Hidden Toilet Leaks
Toilet leaks you don’t even notice can make your water bill soar. Find out if your toilet is secretly leaking with this trick: place a few drops of food dye in your water tank. Then, wait and see if it appears in the toilet bowl. If the dye appears within 30 minutes or so, you have a leak on your hands. Sometimes it’s a simple case of a broken or old seal you can replace yourself, and sometimes you may need additional help.
5. Exercise Water Supply Valves
On your toilets and at each sink, there are water supply valves used to control the water flow. These are awfully handy when you need to perform a repair on one of these items, as you can cut off water to the sink or toilet without turning off water in the whole house. However, these valves need to be turned occasionally so that they don’t become too stiff to use. Turn them a few turns toward the “off” position and then back on so they don’t get stuck.
Follow these five steps and you’ll help ensure that your plumbing system is in good, working shape. You’ll save money on costly repairs and even lower your utility bill.
Now, you tell us about your spring plumbing maintenance routines! We’d love to hear from you!