Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Spring

This year as you do your spring cleaning check your bathroom, kitchen, appliances, equipment and more common areas, both within and outside the home for any plumbing problems that could occur. Also check your drains, gutters and downspouts – which should be clear and free of debris to ensure proper operation. If you let the debris build up, gutters and drains can clog, causing water damage, leakage and mold growth – not something you want to deal with! All it takes is a quick check to make sure things are running properly to prevent major plumbing issues from occurring as snow thaws this spring. If you are unsure call Clear Drain and we can do preventative maintenance for you.

General Plumbing Tips

  • Test your sump pump by pouring some water into your sump pit and making sure the pump turns on drains the water and shuts back off quickly.
  • Whenever you have drains that are rarely used such as floor drains or in a guest bathroom, run some water so the P-traps fill up to prevent odors from rising up in your home. The P-trap is the curved bend at the bottom of your drain.
  • Find out if you have any slow leaks in your home. To do this, check your water meter at night before you go to bed. Check it again when you wake up before you use any water. If the reading has changed, you may have a leak – call a plumber for a more thorough inspection.
  • The most important thing you can do to keep your plumbing system safe this spring is to make sure your sump pump is primed and ready for some hard work. If you have not seen to your sump pump (do not worry – you probably are not the only one), test it by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should kick on in a few seconds, allow the flow of water and then turn itself off automatically. If it does not do it, call your local plumber and have the sump pump seen firsthand – before it completely burns out.

Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Tips

  • If you have any leaky faucets, now might be a good time to fix them. You can try to do this yourself, or you can call Clear Drain.
  • While you’re checking your faucets for leaks, check your toilet, too. Put a few drops of food coloring in the top of the toilet tank and wait for about a half hour. When you come back, check the toilet bowl to see if any of the color got in from the tank. If the water looks colored, call a plumber – those kinds of leaks can add up big time.
  • Check to be sure all your drains, particularly shower drains, have strainers in them that will catch hair, soap and debris to prevent clogs.
  • Clean any mineral deposits off your shower heads by unscrewing them and soaking them overnight in a Ziploc bag full of white vinegar. When you’re done soaking them, scrub any residue with an old toothbrush to get them totally clean.

Appliance Plumbing Tips

  • Check the temperature on your water heater to make sure it is at around 120 degrees. This will prevent scalding in case of accidental leaks and help you save energy.
  • Flush your water heater by slowly draining several gallons from it. There is a valve on the bottom of your water heater to which you can attach a hose to assist in the removal of 5-10 gallons. This will remove any corrosion causing sediment that could reduce heating efficiency and shorten the life of the heater.

Outdoor Plumbing Tips

  • Get a ladder and some work gloves and clean out the yard drains, gutters and downspouts.
  • Check any outdoor faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely and shows no signs of leakage. If you see any outdoor faucets dripping, or if there is a leak inside your house when you turn the hose on, you may have a pipe that froze during the winter and cracked.
  • Check out the faucet for leaks – this is especially common in colder climates where hoses have been left on the hose bib for the winter. If the water supply pipe has frozen the once frozen pipe can be expanded and may have cracked. This pipe will leak and should be replaced as soon as possible by your local plumber, before water damage can occur.