Spring Plumbing Tips – Even though there’s a storm up north dumping 2 feet of snow in Nova Scotia, and here in Ontario we still see plenty of snow on the ground, underneath it all there are signs that spring is on its way.
So we thought we’d put together a handy spring checklist for you to follow to get your plumbing ready for the warm weather.
In your bathrooms and kitchen:
- Save water by checking your faucets for drips and leaks.
- Make sure that all drains have strainers to prevent clogging.
- Check toilets for hidden leaks. If you add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and the color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes, it means you have a leak.
- Jiggle the water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
- Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn tank parts. They’re inexpensive and you’ll notice a lower water bill.
- Clean your showerhead. Unscrew it and soak it in vinegar or fill a plastic bag with vinegar; place it over the shower head and hold in place with a rubber band. Soak overnight then remove and gently scrub with an old toothbrush to remove deposits.
- Set your water heater no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
- Drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
- Make sure flammables are not stored near the water heater or furnace.
- Check dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker hoses for tears or leaks. Replace hoses showing signs of weakness or older than ten years. Use stainless steel hoses wherever possible. They are more reliable and less prone to bursting than other types.
For your home:
- Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be checked to ensure they will drain water quickly in case of a flood.
- Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
- If your home has a sump pump, make sure it operates properly by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off without any problems.
- Install a backflow valve in the floor drain if you live in an area where sewers sometimes backup into homes. This device will prevent future backups.
- Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned and free of debris.
- Check for bird nests in plumbing vent pipes and barbecue grills.
- Check outside faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips or if there is leakage inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
Thanks for reading our Spring Plumbing Tips and don’t forget to check out our reviews on Homestars