How to Solve Those Plumbing Problems In the Spring

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How to Solve Those Plumbing Problems In the Spring

Man repairing sink


Spring and Seasonal Plumbing Tips

The season of spring brings both rainy days and nights and flowers that transition from bud to bloom with seemingly dramatic speed. Spring also incites the desire for renewal and for doing a spring clean of one’s home and personal space. As you consider your spring-cleaning routine this year, think about adding some of the below-mentioned maintenance steps to your home check routine. Dr. Pipe offers fresh and helpful advice for dealing with those minor plumbing concerns that, at one point or another, plague us all.

Bathrooms & Kitchens 

  • In both rooms, do a quick check of the under sink pipes while looking for dripping water or possible leaks. If you spot an issue, fix it immediately.
  • Use strainers with every household drain: This prevents unwanted clogs formed from debris, hair, and soap slivers.
  • Examine your toilet boil to see if there are leaks coming from it in any way – you can put exactly six drops of green, red, or blue food coloring into the back tank of your toilet. If a leak in your toilet exists, then the food coloring will appear in the toilet bowl in a half hour or less.
  • Examine the toilet bowl and tank for potential leaks and cracks.
  • On occasion, make sure you use the water valves that supply water to the toilet and sink: By turning them on and off, you can help in preventing the valves from seizing.
  • If you note that you are having trouble flushing the toilet, it is time to repair any well-used, worn out toilet tank components. Doing so can help minimize one’s water bill and it can ensure an easier time when flushing. A sure sign something is amiss is when you have to hold the handle continuously to get the toilet to completely flush or when you have to wiggle the handle to make incoming water stop flowing.
  • Make a regular routine where you clean the deposits of minerals and limescale buildup from the showerheads in your home. Cleaning the showerhead is a breeze: Unscrew the showerhead and place it in container filled with vinegar. You also have the alternative of putting a bag filled with vinegar and hanging it from the showerhead – by using a rubber band, you can leave the vinegar-filled bag on overnight. In the morning the cleanup is as simple as removing the bag and scrubbing the head with an old toothbrush to unclog it.
  • You can benefit from getting an alarm that goes off if it should come in contact with any leaking water, flooding, or drips: These tools are great as an under sink monitoring system.

 Dealing with Appliances 

  • In order to minimize the amount of energy you use and to prevent burns simultaneously, make it a point to check the water heater temperature regularly. It should be no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You need to make a point to drain a few gallons of water from the hot water tank in order to clear out accumulating sediment and corrosion. Doing so increases the efficiency of the water heater and it extends the life of the appliance as well. View the owner’s guide or contact the heater’s manufacturer to find out more about how to drain the tank when necessary.
  • Once your water heater is about 15 years old, it will need to be replaced. If you look at the serial number of the appliance it offers revealing information – in fact the initial four digits appearing in the number of your hot water tank are indicative of the year the tank was first assembled. Keep in mind the newer models of hot water tanks are the most efficient in terms of energy conservation. Also make sure you do not store any items that are flammable nearby your water heater unit.
  • Make it a point to check out your appliances, including the icemaker, washing machine, and dishwasher to see if any leaks exist. Examine hoses for bulges, and replace broken or cracked hoses as required. If the hoses you have are older than ten years, replace them. Rely on durable stainless steel hoses when possible.
  • If you have one, clean the lint trap in the washing machine. Also, to catch additional lint and debris, add a pair of pantyhose to the end of a washing machine’s drain hose. 

General Plumbing Concerns 

  • Even if you don’t use drains a lot, you should still clean them. Something as simple as pouring really hot water down the drains can help free up any potential debris and clogs. Also use about a gallon of clean water and pour it into drains in the floor: This will help clear out odors. If you have a drain in the floor that isn’t working well, snake it out so the water excess is carried away efficiently and reliably.
  • 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 would carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
  • Look for leaky pipes in the basement and under sinks.
  • Test your sump pumps to ensure they are in working order. Pour a couple of buckets of water into the pit of the sump. If the unit is working correctly it will come on automatically, pump out the water you put in it and turn off.
  • If you reside in a region where sewers are more likely to backup into the home, it’s time to install a backflow valve in the drain in the floor to help in sewer backup prevention.
  • Check your water meter before going to bed. When you wake up the next day do not use water right away. Instead, go outside and check the meter to note any changes. If the meter indicates water has been used, then there is a leak in the plumbing system.
  • Get battery operated flood alarms that can alert you when an issue arises.

Outdoors 

  • Clean downspouts, gutters, and drains regularly.
  • Examine vent pipes in the plumbing system – make sure there are no bird’s nests in there.
  • Examine the hose bibs and faucets to ensure the free flow of water. If a faucet outside has developed a drip or if you have a leak inside the home, it could be due to cracked or frozen pipes requiring replacement.

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