Spring is here! Days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting warmer. It’s the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning on the plumbing of your home or commercial facility.
We put together a little punch list for you. It won’t take a lot of time to complete, but it will help make sure your plumbing is in good working condition.
In Kitchens and Bathrooms
Leaky, drippy faucets aren’t just a nuisance, they waste both water and money. Good thing they’re a quick, easy fix you can do yourself. Set aside a Saturday afternoon, knock it out, and enjoy a little savings on your next water bill.
Make sure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap and other debris from clogging the drain lines.
Go ahead and give the water supply valves under your sink a few turns in each direction just to keep them from sticking.
Inspect around your toilet’s tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. Here’s a hack for you: Put six drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If your toilet is leaking, you’ll see color appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
Make sure your toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush, or you’re jiggling it to stop the water from running, you may need to replace some worn tank parts. It’s easy to do (Thanks, Internet!), it’s inexpensive, and you’ll notice a lower water bill.
Check any exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
In and Around the House
Check the temperature setting on your water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient.
Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
If your home has a sump pump, pour a few buckets of water into the sump pit. If it’s operating correctly, the pump should turn right on, drain the water, and then shut off.
Make sure any yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris.
Check faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips or if there is leakage inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
If you’re like most of us, we let these tiny checks and balances of our plumbing slide during the cold winter months. Hey, we’re only human!
But take advantage of this new season and give your plumbing the tune-up it needs to keep humming along until those colder months come back ‘round.