Spring Cleaning? Try Some Spring Plumbing!

The departure of winter compels many homeowners into an annual rite of spring: a thorough cleaning of the entire home. While you sweep dirt from every corner and throw away accumulated junk, why not give your plumbing system some tender loving care, too! The following maintenance tips will help you save water and prevent problems in that home you just cleaned.

Around the House

  1. Pour a gallon of water down infrequently used drains. This will prevent sewer gas from coming up dried up traps.
  2. Run warm water down bathroom and kitchen drains while adding a bio-enzyme such as Bio-Clean. These enzymes are safe for the environment and help break down hair and sludge.
  3. If your home utilizes a sump pump make sure the pump is working properly. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on quickly, pump the water, and then shut off immediately after. Be sure to use active bio-enzyme products to help break down grease and sludge build up.
  4. If you have experienced sewer backups in the past have your sewer lines camera inspected. Sometimes treatment with an aquatic herbicide such as RootX can help prevent stoppages and pipe damage.
  5. Hook a hose up to the water heater and drain the sediment from the bottom. Not only will the increase the useful life of the water heater, but it will also increase your water heater’s heating efficiency.

Outside

  1. Make sure gutters, downspouts, and French drains are clear of debris. Remove drain grates and remove leaves and dirt. It might be messy but once dirt hardens it a real pain to remove, if even possible, from drain lines.
  2. Cut back vines and bushes so that gas meters, shutoff valves and sewer cleanouts are accessible. The last thing you want is to be digging through the yard to find these items should you have a leak or clog.
  3. Have your AC unit tested for proper refrigerant levels. Simple and inexpensive AC maintenance can significantly increase the life of your air conditioner.
  4. Check for bird nests and other debris in vent pipes. This is a common cause of gas appliance problems.
  5. Check your water meter. Tell the family to stop using water for 5 minutes. The meter box is that metal box marked water out near the curb. If no one using water but the meter is still moving you likely have a leak.
  6. Inspect the home’s emergency shut off valve. Usually, it located at the front corner of the house. It’s one of the most important pieces to your home’s plumbing system. If you suddenly spring a leak you’ll need this to shut the water off and prevent a flood.
  7. Take your homes “blood pressure”. High water pressure is often times the culprit when it comes to faucet and pipe failure. A simple water pressure gauge can tell you what your pressure is. A shower with lots of water pressure is great, but normal household plumbing fixtures are designed to run at 60 psi.
  8. Check hose bibs and spigots for water leaks to make sure they turn off properly. During winter freezing and lack of use can cause hose bibs to drip or jam.

Spring cleaning can be a tedious chore, but finding little leaks and problem earlier is the key to a safe and clean home. Let us know if your maintenance check reveals any plumbing problems if so we are happy to help.