Spring Clean Your Plumbing and Pipes

Spring is here! At this time of year, many homeowners find themselves doing more chores and maintenance around the house. If you’re a homeowner who likes DIY projects, spring is also a good time of year to take care of repairs to your home’s plumbing. At Terry’s Plumbing, we recommend that homeowners across the city perform a few basic chores and maintenance tasks to keep their home’s plumbing in proper working order.

Fill Unused Drains

Every drain has a P trap filled with water. This water in the P trap creates an airtight seal that prevents sewer gas from wafting into the house. In drains that go unused, like in your home’s basement shower or Pittsburgh potty, the water P trap may evaporate with time. If the water completely evaporates from the P trap, this could allow the entrance of sewer gas into the home. To prevent this from happening, flush that Pittsburgh potty or dump a gallon of water into that unused floor drain.

Check Water Meter for Leaks

The best way to determine whether or not your home has a slow leak is to check the water meter for signs of a leak. To do this, shut off all the water in your home and perform a water meter reading. Wait about 45 minutes or an hour, then read the water meter again. If the meter reading has gone up, this means that your home has a leak somewhere in the pipes. To check for leaks in your home, do the following:

  • Check exposed pipes for leaks. Check your home’s exposed pipes. Usually exposed pipes are found under sinks, in the ceiling of the basement and behind plumbing service panels. Check the pipes for signs of corrosion and look for puddles of moisture under the pipes. If you find evidence of a leak, have it repaired by a reputable plumber.
  • Do a toilet bowl food dye test. The toilet bowl is one of the most common places where leaks may be found in the home. To find out whether or not your toilet bowl is leaking, drop about six drops of food coloring in to the toilet tank and let the water sit in the tank without flushing. Check the toilet bowl in about 15 minutes. If the toilet is leaking, the water in the bowl will be colored. To fix the problem, replace the parts in the toilet tank.

Drain Water Heater Sediment

Water heater sediment can cause your water heater to lose efficiency and can even cause the premature demise of the unit. Draining your water heater sediment once every spring, especially if your home has hard water, can extend the life of your water heater and reduce your energy bills.

Adjust Water Heater Temperature

While you’re draining the water heater, check the heater’s thermostat setting. The water heater should be about 120 degrees. If the temperature of your water heater is more than 120 degrees, set it back to a safer temperature. This will help prolong the life of your water heater and will also prevent your home’s hot water from scalding or burning members of your household.

Clean Slow Drains

Clear slow drains by pouring vinegar into the drain and allowing the vinegar to sit for about an hour. Flush out the vinegar with hot (not boiling) water.

Contact Terry’s Plumbing

At Terry’s Plumbing, we find the source of leaks, repair leaks, drain water heaters, repair and replace toilets and perform a variety of other plumbing related services that can help keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly. To make an appointment, contact us today at (412) 364-9114.