It may be winter now, but spring will be here soon! When the weather changes, the experts at Terry’s Plumbing recommend checking and maintaining your home’s plumbing. Many of these suggestions are best done when the winter is finally over and temperatures are almost certainly not going to drop below freezing again.
Your home’s sump pump may have been inactive in recent weeks or months. When spring arrives and rain starts to fall, sump pumps tend to see more action. Now is the time to test your sump pump and ensure that it has lasted through the winter. To do this, dump several buckets of water into the pit where the pump is located. The sump pump should turn on, drain the water and turn back off again. If this doesn’t happen, contact a plumber before the next substantial rain.
When the temperature outside drops below freezing, indoor and outdoor pipes can freeze. Sometimes this can cause pipes to develop cracks. Check your yard for wet, boggy areas that aren’t draining well. This could be an indication of a pipe leaking underground.
If you see no signs of a leaky pipe in your yard, conduct a test to determine whether or not your home has leaks. Turn off all faucets and check the reading on your water meter. After waiting an hour, check the water meter again. If the reading on the water meter has changed, this is a sign that your house has a leak.
If your home has a leak, there’s a good chance it’s the toilet. Turn off the valve that supplies water to the toilet, then conduct the test described above one more time. If your home’s water meter no longer detects a leak, this is an indication that the toilet was indeed the source of the problem.
Spring is a great time to remove the minerals from your home’s shower head. Fill a plastic baggie with vinegar, then use a rubber band to attach the baggie to the shower head. Leave the baggie on the shower head for an hour, then remove the baggie and use a plastic scrub brush to wash away the hard water stains on your shower.
Some people turn up the temperature on their water heater for the winter. Over a long period of time, this can reduce the efficiency of your water heater and burn out its elements. To reduce the strain on your appliance, turn the temperature on the water heater back down when the weather warms up.
While you’re turning down the temperature on your water heater, drain the sediment in the unit to keep your water heater functioning properly. We’ve described this process in detail here.
To ensure that there was no damage to your exterior water faucets when the temperatures froze over the winter, turn on the faucets that connect to your exterior hoses. Run the faucets for several seconds, then turn them off and check for leaks.
Now that spring is here, Terry’s Plumbing is ready to help you get your home ready for the challenges of spring. To make an appointment, contact us today at (412) 364-9114.