Spring warmth means a lot more time outside in the fresh air, and inside, spring cleaning time for your home. But don’t forget in the flurry of activity to do some basic plumbing checks and maintenance after the winter months have passed! Cold temperatures can put stresses on a plumbing system that warmer weather and heavy spring rains can reveal.
Here are some quick checks and easy maintenance you can make in the spring around your home to maintain your pipes and appliances in good condition:
In the Kitchen and Bathroom:
Check the faucets for leaks that may have appeared slowly over the winter and that can cost money over time. Make repairs sooner rather than later if you find any. Also, check the water supply valve under each sink and the toilets to be sure they are working properly and not sticking or leaking.
Check that each drain in the kitchen and bathroom has a filter to catch hair and other debris to prevent clogs and slow build-up in the drain. If you are missing one, buy one today!
Be sure all the toilets flush easily, without a need to shake or hold the handle. If it is difficult to flush, they have worn parts that need to be replaced and could be costing you money on your water bill!
Check your toilet tanks for hidden leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If there is a leak, the dye will begin to appear in the bowl within minutes. Also inspect your toilet bowls and tank for any other cracks or leaks.
Easily clean mineral deposits from your shower heads by filling a sandwich-sized plastic bag with vinegar, putting it over the shower head and fastening it with rubber bands. Soak it overnight, then in the morning remove it and gently scrub with an old toothbrush or a rough sponge to remove the deposits.
Water Heater Maintenance & Safety:
Make sure your water heater’s temperature is set no higher than 120°F. This prevents scalding and reduces energy use. Also be sure nothing flammable is stored near your water heater or furnace!
After checking the manufacturer’s manual (usually available online if you do not have a physical copy), carefully flush out several gallons of water from the heater. This will remove built-up sediment which can corrode your heater, reduce its efficiency, and shorten its lifespan.
Think about buying a new heater if yours is over 15 years old. Newer heaters are more efficient and can save you money.
Check gutters and drains to be sure they are clear of debris to avoid flooding during heavy spring rainstorms.
Check outdoor faucets and hoses. If an outdoor faucet drips or if there are leaks inside your home the first time the hose is used, you may have had a frozen outdoor pipe that needs to be replaced.
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