We all love to see Spring roll around, but it often brings a lot of new troubles with it. Throughout the Winter, your pipes and fixtures have been contracting with the colder temperatures. In the Spring, they’ll expand with the warmth. That can lead to cracks, leaks, and broken seals. And that’s in addition to other problems like mineral build-up over time, and normal wear and tear. So every Spring, it’s a good idea to do a little inspecting around the house.
1. Plumbing tips for your bathroom
- Check for water damage. Straddle the toilet and rock left and right to detect spongy, rotting flooring. Look for leaky and loose tiles on the walls, and scan for rolled vinyl or stains around the toilet.
- Make sure to keep a trash bin in your bathroom. You don’t want people to be tempted to flush things they shouldn’t be flushing like cotton balls and paper towels.
2. Plumbing tips for your water supply
- Run the bathtub, and then the kitchen sink. Check the tub. If water pressure has significantly reduced, you may have calcium and mineral deposits clogging your supply pipes.
- If you can reach your pipes through the basement or crawlspace, do a visual inspection for leaks.
- Open cupboards and closets on the opposite side of showers, sinks and toilets and check for condensation and mold. If you have some moisture or if the drywall is rotting, you probably have some pipes in the walls that need to be replaced.
3. Water Heater Plumbing Tips
- Look at your water heater’s serial number. The first four digits will be month and year. If it’s over fifteen years old, it’s time for a replacement.
- Leaks, of course, need to be addressed. But look for signs of rust, too. A little bit of superficial patina may be normal, but any substantial rust is going to cost you big in the long run.
- It’s always a good idea to have your plumber run an annual inspection on your water heater. If it’s been more than a year, you might as well add it to your Spring-cleaning checklist.
4. Sewer Plumbing Tips
- You’ll want to check the sewer pipe that runs underground. The city can provide you with an underground utility map, and they may even have an interactive map on their website. If you can smell any sewer gas odor, if your lawn looks a little too green in some spots or if you have indentations on your lawn, that could be a problem.
- Use a video camera to record your inspection. This way if you’re not sure what you’re looking at, you can simply send the video to your plumber and they’ll tell you if they see any issues.
5. Home Appliance Plumbing Tips
- Check the hoses running from your washing machine. You can easily find leaks by turning the valves on and off.
- Check your garbage disposal’s seal by plugging the sink, filling it up with a couple inches of water, draining it, and checking under the sink for any drips.
- If you use a water filtration device in your kitchen sink, make sure the internal filter isn’t expired, and the hoses and seals are still tight.
Owning a home really is a dream come true. You don’t need to call the landlord just to paint the walls, you don’t have to worry about rent going up. But it’s a dream come true that we pay for with added responsibilities. When something goes wrong, it’s your job to fix it. So prevention is key. Take some time every Spring to check for leaks, rust and cracks, and take care of minor problems before they become big problems.