Plumbing problems can be a scourge year round, but they often seem to rear their sludgy heads in the Spring time. Warmer weather brings thaws, and many of the plumbing issues that went unnoticed in the Winter can suddenly become very noticeable. Luckily, many Spring plumbing issues have simple fixes. Check out below to find out fixes for common plumbing issues that often show up in the Spring.
Drizzle Is for Syrup and Pancakes, Not for Showers!
There are few things more irritating than the slow drip and drizzle of the lazy stream of water that crawls out of your shower faucet. Slow-flowing water is usually caused by low water pressure. There could be several reasons for low water pressure, but the good news is that you can usually fix the most common of them yourself. If your faucets are suffering from low water pressure, check the following:
- Check to make sure that your pipes comply with modern building codes when it comes to their size. Water pipes that are too small may restrict the amount of water that’s able to flow through, so replace too-small pipes with slightly larger ones.
- Check to make sure that there isn’t a leak somewhere in the pipes. If there are water leaks in your plumbing system, a good amount of water isn’t able to get through your faucets. A simple way to test to see if you have a leak is to turn off your home’s water valve for about half a day. Check the water meter before you turn it off. If you find that the water meter level has increased in the time that the valve was shut off, you’re leaking!
- Carefully examine the pipes for any rust or debris. Corroded or dirty pipes are frequently the cause for low-water flow. Clean out dirty pipes, and completely replace corroded ones. If you’re not sure how to do it, contact your plumber.
The Sink That Never Drained
It sounds like the title of a bad movie, but it’s actually what you call that annoying and potentially disgusting situation where your sink takes forever to drain. Instead of promptly removing water from the basin, the water pools, turning your sink into a porcelain bowlful of flotsam. In order to avoid this icky and potentially sticky issue, make sure you do the following:
- Pull out the sink’s pop-up plug. Any accumulation of hair or other debris can prevent water pouring into the sink from draining through. You can take the pop-up out and clear out the drain by manually pulling out the debris using tools like needle-nose pliers, or you can get special plumbing tools that are designed to clear out drains. Many plumbers and homeowners swear by a tool called the Zip-it when it comes to clearing drains.
- Use a plunger in order to dislodge clogs. Plungers can be extremely effective in unstopping stopped-up sinks. Make sure the sink overflow is covered with something like duct tape before you start plunging. Covering the overflow will help ensure that you get the best possible suction as you plunge.
- Admit it; some of you are asking what in the world the sink overflow is. The sink overflow is that little hole in the sink that allows the sink to drain faster while helping prevent flooding. The overflow can get clogged with debris as well, so clean it out if you suspect it’s at the root of your draining problem.
Oh, Look…There’s a Moat Forming Around My Home
Springtime means the birds are singing and the leaves are budding on the trees. It also means that leaf debris is falling into gutters, potentially causing clogs. Throw in some heavy April showers, and you’ve got a recipe for flooding. Make sure that you clean your home’s gutters in order to avoid massive clogs and water buildup.
- Exercise extreme caution if/when using ladders to reach your gutters. Wearing rubber shoes if you’re walking on the roof can help prevent slipping or falling. If you’re cleaning near a power line, make sure that you DON’T use a metal ladder.
- Utilize tools like gutter scoops and hoses to make sure that the gutters are thoroughly cleaned and emptied.
- Make sure that your gutter downspouts are unclogged as well.
These are just of the few of the issues that can plague your home in the Spring. These issues are relatively easy to fix on your own, but don’t succumb to peer pressure. Just because your neighbor down the street fixed his overflowing gutters doesn’t mean you can repair a water main break on your own.
If you feel like that a job of this nature is too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to call your local plumber today.