Spring is a good time to take a look around your home to find any plumbing issues that could lead to expensive repairs down the road. Problems like hidden water leaks and slow drains can grow from small problems to extensive damage if left unchecked. Here are some areas we recommend inspecting regularly.
- Check the faucet for drips.
- Check under the sink for signs of water leaks, including water stains or mold.
- Inspect the operation of the garbage disposal. Does it make unusual sounds or sound louder than it should?
- Are kitchen drains emptying slowly? Have them cleaned if necessary.
- Look for drips and leaks around toilets
- Check for cracks in the toilet tank and bowl.
- Does the toilet run for longer than it should? Does the handle need to be held down to empty completely? Have worn out parts replaced if necessary.
- To see if the toilet is leaking, add several drops of food coloring to the tank. Check the bowl 30 minutes later. If the water in the bowl has become colored, there is a leak. Have the toilet repaired if necessary.
- Check drains by filling sinks, tubs and showers with water. Do they empty quickly? Or do they need cleaning?
- Check faucets and shower heads for excessive mineral build up. Soak fixtures in vinegar overnight to dissolve the deposits.
- Install a low-flow shower head. This will save a significant amount of water and reduce your water heating bill.
- If plumbing fixtures are unused for long periods of time, exercise fuacets and valves under sinks and toilets to prevent sticking.
- Check the water heater thermostat. It should be set to 120 or lower to prevent scalding.
- Flush the water heater tank to remove sediment at the bottom of the tank that can reduce efficiency and lead to corrosion. Check your water heater manual for the proper procedure for draining and maintaining the unit.
- If the water heater is over 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
- Ensure there ere no flammable liquids stored near the water heater.
- Check washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or other signs of wear. Replace the hoses if they have deteriorated.
- Pour a bucket of water into floor drains to fill the trap and prevent odors.
- Check for signs of water leaks in ceilings and under sinks.
- Ensure that plumbing vents on the roof are free of obstructions such as bird nests and debris.
- Check that the sump pump is working by pouring a bucket of water in the pump pit. The pump should turn on a drain the water away.