Plumbing Tips for Spring – Interior Home Prep
As spring approaches, it is time to get ready for warmer weather. There are plenty of items to check both inside and outside of the home. Here are some fast and easy ways to prevent plumbing problems from occurring after the seasons have changed.
1. Examine toilets: It is vital to check a toilet for leaks. To do this, drop some food coloring into the tank and wait an hour to see if the bowl water changes color. If that happens, it means the toilet is leaking. This can waste a great deal of water and raise monthly water bills. A plumber can easily fix the problem. Also, it is important to make sure the toilet is properly flushing. If it is necessary to wiggle the handle, it’s time to replace one or more of the parts inside the tank — they’re usually inexpensive.
2. Clean the showerhead: Many homes have water filled with minerals that deposit over time. Vinegar can be used to open the clogs in a showerhead and return it to like-new condition. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it around the showerhead. After soaking overnight, the mineral deposits should be gone.
3. Tend to drains: It is essential to make sure all drains have strainers that prevent clogs. Bathroom pipes can collect hair and soap, and kitchen pipes may collect pieces of food. These can lead to blockages that must be opened by a plumber. For the do-it-yourself person, try these methods on how to clean and unclog drains without the use of chemicals or fancy tools.
4. Inspect all pipes: Bathroom and kitchen sinks often have pipes you can easily see by opening the cabinets underneath. It is vital to inspect all pipes for leaks. Replacing damaged pipes will avoid expensive water damage.
5. Check the washing machine and dishwasher: The washing machine and dishwasher are two appliances that contain many hoses. Check for bulges or leaks in these hoses, and if there are any signs of weakness, or if the items are older than 10 years, it is wise to replace them. This will avoid messy leaks.
6. Inspect the water heater: It is essential to make sure the water heater’s temperature setting is not above 120 degrees. This will prevent scalding and save energy. Also, when a home has a conventional tank-style appliance, it is important to drain a few gallons and flush away sediment that builds. This sediment causes corrosion and lowers efficiency. A tankless water heater should be flushed to remove deposits as well. Read and watch a video on the importance of water heater safety here.
The above tips are just a few easy ways to get your home ready for spring. Checking these things will help avoid costly water and repair bills, and certain items may be easily fixed without help. However, if the repairs seem too difficult, a qualified plumber will be able to solve the problem quickly and efficiently.