Spring is finally in the air, and that can only mean good things! Of course this is only true if you inspect your home and ensure that all of your pipes and drainage systems are as ready for the nice weather as you are. Here are five major Spring Plumbing Tips to help you prevent and defend your home from major plumbing problems.
1. Test your sump pump:
A sump pump is commonly found in the basement of homes. The sump pump’s job is to help the area under a building stay dry and to prevent it from flooding. To test your sump pump, pour a few buckets of water into the sump pit (which is a hole in the floor where sump pumps are usually installed). The pump should turn on quickly, expel the water and then shut off without any problems.
Sump pumps are sometimes connected to septic systems. This is a bad thing, because if you pump water from your basement into a septic tank it may overflow. This is messy, expensive and not environmentally friendly.
Another thing to remember is that storm drains should never be connected to sanitary drains. This is because it creates more work for the sewage treatment plants. Sumps should pump the storm water outside or a to storm water reservoir where it can go back into the ground naturally.
2. Check your faucets for drips or leaks:
If any of your faucets are dripping or a leaking, make repairs to conserve water. Examine all faucets and outside hose bibs to ensure the free flow of water. If you turn on a hose for the first time and there is a leak, or if an outdoor faucet drips, it’s possible that a frozen pipe has cracked and needs replacement. It is also prudent to open and close any water supply valves found under your sinks or toilets, as exercising them will prevent them from sticking.
3. Examine your water heater:
The temperature setting on your water heater should be set no higher than 120°F. Ensuring the appropriate setting prevents scalding, which in turn reduces energy use.
Another great spring plumbing tip regarding water heaters has to do with preventing the reduction of heating efficiency and the shortening of the water heater’s life. To avoid both the former and the latter, flush out corrosion (which causes sediment) in your heater. Do this by draining several gallons from the water heater tank.
Also remember that newer water heaters are more energy efficient than older ones. If your water heater is more than 15-years-old, it might be time to replace it. You can determine when your water heater was made by looking at the first four digits of its serial number, which indicate the month and year it was produced.
4. Drain out your drains:
Ensure that drains in the yard, eavestroughs and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free from debris.
In order to prevent soap and hair from clogging the drain lines, make sure all of your drains have strainers. Prevent odours from entering your home by pouring a gallon of water into any seldom used drains – this fills the traps. This is also applicable to floor drains, although floor drains should also be snaked; especially if they are slow. Snaking floor drains supports their ability to transport water away properly in the event of a flood.
It is always smart to check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks, and if you reside in an area where sewers are prone to backing up into homes, connect a backflow valve in the floor drain to help prevent this from recurring.
5. The Royal Flush:
Test all of your toilets for hidden leaks. Doing this is easy. Simply add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, within 30 minutes, the colour will be visible in the bowl. It’s also a good idea to ensure that all of your toilets are properly flushing. Having to hold the handle down or jiggle it in order for the toilet to properly flush is a sign that tank parts may need replacement.
These five Spring Plumbing Tips are just a small example of what Chasles Plumbing Professionals can do for you. For more help or information, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We are here to assist you whenever necessary, 24/7.