As the weather begins to get warmer and the first buds appear on the trees, you might be thinking about all the spring cleaning you need to do or where you are headed for vacation this summer. Amid the excitement for sunnier, more fun days, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of properly functioning plumbing in your home. Regular maintenance is essential to preventing expensive and extensive catastrophes from happening within your home. Since seasonal changes can affect your plumbing, it is important to check the system during the spring and summer. Here is a complete plumbing maintenance checklist for spring and summer for you to follow:
Why Worry About Plumbing Maintenance?
First off, you should know why plumbing maintenance is necessary. Not only do the pipes in your house bring clean drinking water running, the plumbing system also works to remove waste efficiently. Yet, despite these two very important tasks, most homeowners overlook maintenance and only worry when a problem arises. Unfortunately, plumbing problems can do major damage to your home in a short period of time. Not only will need to pay for the repairs, but you will also end up dealing with an outrageous water bill. Preventative maintenance can help you avoid this scenario. You can seek out problems before they become destructive as well save money on your utility bills and conserve more water. If you’re wondering just how expensive a single leak can be, consider this: It only takes 4,000 drops to make one liter of water. At the rate of one or two drips per minute, your faucet could shed around 1,440-2,160 drips per day (or even more), wasting a minimum of 34 gallons in a single year. That’s a lot of money literally running down the drain. So do the proper maintenance on your plumbing this spring and summer.
Spring Maintenance Tips
As the frost begins to thaw, pipes do too. Spring is the ideal time to start preparing your plumbing system for even hotter days to come and make sure everything is functioning properly after winter.
Do the following for indoor plumbing in the spring:
- Focus on the drains. Your drains are the most valuable piece of indoor plumbing, so check each one to make sure nothing is clogged, draining slowly, or backed up. The moment you find a problem, be sure to contact your local plumber.
- Check for any slow leaks. You can do this by checking the water meter in your house during periods where no one is using water. If the meter goes up within two hours of no water being used, you might have a leak somewhere.
- Pour some water down drains that aren’t used often to prevent odors from backing up into your home.
- Snake any drains that move slowly.
- Check the toilet bowl and the tank for any dysfunctions. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water in the tank. If color somehow seeps into the bowel when the toilet was not in use, you could have a leak.
- Replace any worn hoses on appliances hooked up to the plumbing, such as the washer machine. Be sure to quickly switch out any hoses that appear to be bulging or leaking. It is recommended to use stainless steel hoses, since they are more reliable and durable.
- Set your hot water heater to no higher than about 48-49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) to make it more efficient in the hotter months. Also make sure you move any items away from the heating unit.
- Test out your sump pump, if you have one. Pour a bucket into the hole where the sump pump is located. The pump should activate immediately to drain the water. If it doesn’t start up or cannot drain the water effectively, you know you have problems.
Simply put, springtime plumbing maintenance indoors is all about ensuring you have no leaks caused by expansion and contraction in the winter. Now, let’s have a look at what to do outside during the spring:
- Turn on any outdoor spigots to make sure they are not leaking. If any leaks or dripping is seen, you will need to do repairs as soon as possible.
- Clear the gutters and downspouts of any debris, such as fallen twigs or bird and squirrel nests.
- Clean out the plumbing vents.
Summer Maintenance Tips
Where spring was the season of checking for leaks, summer is more about a full inspection. Warmer temperatures ensures that waste and water can move through piping easier, but there are disadvantages to the summer months too. First, septic problems happen often in the summer. You also have to be concerned about torrential downpours causing backups. Here are some things to consider in the summer:
- Inspect the health of your septic system. Make sure it is not getting blocked up. Schedule a regular septic system pumping to prevent things from becoming overloaded or flooded.
- Note any stoppages or backups in your plumbing and when they happen. Note any weird or disconcerting noises.
- Schedule a regular sewer line snaking and video inspections to make sure there are no root problems, especially if you have trees with problematic roots. You might want to consider trimming the roots or removing the tree to prevent future plumbing issues.
- Check for cracks in the foundation around your home, since this could cause basement flooding.
- If you have a lawn irrigation system, you should check hoses and sprinkler heads to ensure they are working properly.
How A Plumber Can Help
If this checklist seems overwhelming, don’t worry. You don’t have to do anything you are not comfortable with, especially repairs and plumbing inspections. A local, professional plumber can be at your house to assist with spring and summer maintenance in no time. Remember, plumbers can do more much more than unclog toilets. They also can offer services like:
- Repairing kitchen sinks, faucets, and dishwashers
- Repairing showers and bathtubs
- Repairing or replacing corroded pipes
- Installing, replacing, or repairing water heaters
- Repairing or installing/replacing toilets
- Inspecting pipes with video snake cameras and servicing any underground piping
- and much more.
So don’t wait! Your plumbing system should never, ever go unchecked or neglected. With proper maintenance, you will hardly have to worry about any unexpected frozen or burst pipes, leaks, clogs, or whatever problems you may encounter. Just follow this checklist! And if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to call us.