Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to get all of your home maintenance done. It’s time for a Spring plumbing checkup!
Now that the unpredictable winter is behind us here in Georgia, spring has arrived, and with it, the anticipation of beautiful summer weather. But, before you start relaxing in your yard and having BBQ parties, you should make sure everything in your home is in good working order.
This routine check-up includes, most importantly, your plumbing. So in this post, we’re going to give you 8 of our best spring plumbing tips.
When the weather starts changing, disaster can strike in the worst places, including in your pipes. Take the proper precautions, and you can rest easy and enjoy the summer.
Keep reading to find out more.
1. Check on the Sump Pump
Even in Georgia, it’s possible to suffer the ill effects of winter. If there’s been even intermittent snow and freezing weather, it can take a toll on your house’s plumbing. So you’ll want to start in the basement and work your way up.
The first thing to look at is your sump pump. Between the snowmelt and the heavier rains of spring, your basement could flood in no time.
First, check to ensure that your system is working properly by pouring a bucket of water in the sump pump pit to activate the switch. If you notice any debris, clear it, and use a vinegar cleaning mixture to break down mildew.
If you do all this, your basement will be able to handle any incoming water.
2. Inspect Your Pipes
Starting in your basement, check all of your exposed pipes for leaks, cracks, rust, or any damage from icy weather. In Atlanta, the back and forth weather that we sometimes experience can be a nightmare for pipes.
Your basement is the most vulnerable area, but once you’ve investigated those, make sure to look under sinks and faucets to make sure the others are okay as well. Unfortunately, you can’t examine your underground pipes up close, but we’ll discuss some of the signs of pipe issues later in this article.
Damaged pipes, if caught early, can be treated quickly and without much cost. It’s when you let the cracks and leaks get worse that you’re going to experience significant, expensive problems. That said, early detection and maintenance are crucial during your spring checks.
3. Look At Taps and Toilet
The way that your taps and toilets run can tell you a lot about how your plumbing is doing. Check them one-by-one in your bathroom(s) and kitchen and see how the water comes out. If it looks normal, that’s a good sign.
More telling, however, is what happens when you turn the faucet off. If you notice any leaks, it’s likely something in the mechanism that needs to be replaced. This leak might not be an emergency, but running water will run up your water bill.
If you notice the water draining slowly or backing up entirely in the sink, toilet, or tub, maybe accompanied by a foul smell, then you could have a severe pipe issue.
During a long winter, when the ground freezes, your pipes can suffer severe damage. When this is the case, you need to call a plumber before it becomes an emergency.
4. Leaking Appliances
Spring plumbing maintenance includes checking your appliances. Spring brings plenty of rain, and rain brings moisture. With more moisture in the air, this presents even more risk for mold.
Inspect the areas around your dishwasher, laundry machine, and any other appliances that are connected to your plumbing. If left to leak, your appliances could get irreparably damaged.
The other thing to worry about here is mold. Since Georgia is humid in the summertime, mold is already a potential issue, but when appliances are left to leak, your floors and walls are even more likely to develop mold.
If you’ve never had mold, then you may not know what to look for, and it can spread undetected until it’s a real problem. Mold can lead to many health issues, and when the infestation is severe, sometimes it takes a major procedure to get rid of it.
5. Inspect Your Toilet
Your toilet flushes are another indicator of how your pipes are working, but you can also check for leaks using the food color method. Simply drop some food coloring into the tank of your toilet and wait 30 minutes. If the water in the bowl turns colors, then you’ve got a leak.
You can usually fix these leaks by replacing certain parts of the toilet. However, if you’re not familiar with the anatomy of a toilet, it’s probably better to have a professional plumber take care of it.
6. Check for Outdoor Leaks
If you’ve got pipes attached to sprinklers and outdoor faucets, they can potentially freeze and burst over winter. So when the weather starts turning, walk around your house and investigate these areas for leaks in the spring.
Leaks that appear inside when you turn on these water features are usually signs of a damaged pipe, which you’ll need to get promptly repaired or replaced.
7. Feel the Water Pressure
The water leaks that you can’t see are often the most costly. For example, if you get in the shower and your water pressure isn’t up to usual standards, it could be that you’ve got a leak somewhere down the line.
Before you panic, check that the showerhead isn’t clogged with sediment and that the feature is properly connected to the shower wall. If these things look normal and you’re still getting low pressure, call a plumber.
8. Water Heater
You should keep your water heater set at 120 degrees, but many people tend to turn it up in the colder months. Keeping the temperature too high can result in damage to your water heater, not to mention the burns you could get from the hot water.
If you have to turn the temperature down, check the water heater for signs of damage (corrosion, leaking). Finding a puddle or rust is normal because water heaters only last about ten years, but if you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to notify a professional.
Take Care of Spring Plumbing Early
It’s never a bad idea to monitor your plumbing year-round, but performing these spring plumbing maintenance tips every year after winter will keep your pipes in better shape. If you have any concerns about anything we’ve discussed here, contact us at Millwood Plumbing Inc.
Millwood Plumbing has 30 years of combined experience serving Atlanta residents. Whether you need routine plumbing maintenance or emergency services, we’ve got your back. Visit our site today to learn more and get a quote.