April showers bring…the plumber? You haven’t heard that one before, have you? That very well may be the song you end up singing when it comes to your home’s plumbing system if you don’t get it ready for spring. That drip-drip-dripping sound that you’ll hear as winter turns to spring won’t be the tinkling sound of a cascading brook going through a spring thaw, but instead the sound of some neglected leak in your house that’s decided to make its debut just in time for the spring weather. To avoid springtime plumbing mishaps, there are things that you can do to help ensure that your home plumbing system is running in tip-top shape both inside and out.
Check Your Sump Pump
If you’ve got a basement or crawl space, you’ll want to make sure that you do spring maintenance on your sump pump. One of the biggest issues that many places across the country are dealing with right now is the incidence of rapidly melting snow. That melted snow and those spring showers you were singing about could end up flooding a basement faster than you can say “GEICO Flood Policy.” A sump pump in perfectly working order will prevent that from happening. Any water that ends up in the basement will flow into the sump pump, where it be safely drawn away from the building.
- Dump a few buckets of water into your sump pump to ensure that it’s working properly.
- Check to see if the sump pump automatically turns on and drains the water away, shutting itself off afterwards.
- Call your friendly neighborhood plumber if the water that you’ve poured into the pump just sits there. When should you make the call? Right away.
Do a Plumbing Check on Your Kitchen and Bathrooms
Your kitchen and bathroom are all about plumbing, so it’s really important that you take the necessary steps to ensure that everything is working smoothly when spring dawns.
- Check all of your sink and bath fixtures for leaks. If they’re easy repairs, fix them yourself, but if they’re resistant to your plumbing prowess, call in the professionals. You may be thinking, “Oh, it’s just one small leak.” That “one small leak” can easily add up to several gallons of water per day. If you have a faucet leaking water, you can determine how much water you’re losing with this free tool from the USGS.
- Flush all of the toilets in the house to make sure that they’re flushing properly. .One quick push of the handle should do it. If you find yourself having to hold the handle down to get a complete flush, the plumbing hardware will have to be fixed or replaced.
- Make sure that all of your drains are protected with strainers in order to prevent clogs.
- Test your toilet to make sure that there are no hidden leaks. Lift off the toilet tank lid and drop a few drops of food coloring inside. If you’ve got a hidden leak, the water in the bowl will turn the same color as the food coloring within half an hour.
- Check your dishwasher hoses in order to make sure that they’re not broken or bloated. Replace hoses that look worn out with hardy stainless steel ones.
Other Springtime Plumbing Tips
A few other springtime plumbing tips that can help you get your home ready in time for spring include the following:
- Install backflow valves into your floor drains. What this will do is help prevent sewage from seeping into your home in case the sewers in your area happen to back up.
- Take care of your outside drains as well by freeing them from debris, soil and leaves. You want to make sure that they’re nice and clean in order to facilitate easy, seamless drainage.
It may seem like a lot to do, but the phrase “prevention is the best medicine” applies to plumbing health as well as human health. A spring maintenance check of your home plumbing system will help ensure you have a flood-free season and a great Pittsburgh summer. We’re looking forward to it!