Spring Plumbing Tips

As spring weather can be unpredictable, so can plumbing issues. We are sharing several tips that homeowners can do to save themselves and reduce the need for an emergency plumbing repair.

Check faucets for drips and leaks.

The average household’s leaks can account for 10,000 gallons of waste water every year. Repairing leaks can dramatically reduce water costs and help to avoid a larger, more expensive problem in the future.

Check sump pump.

With the amount of rain we experienced this past winter, it’s a good idea to make sure your sump pump is operating properly. To check, pour several buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, remove the water and turn off without any issues. If this does not happen, it may be time to replace your sump pump or have it looked at by a professional.

Inspect outdoor faucets and hose bibs.

To ensure proper water flow, we recommendation checking outdoor faucets and hose bibs. If an outdoor faucet drips or you take notice of water leaks inside your home after turning on an outdoor faucet for the first time, you may have had a pipe freeze over the winter. A frozen pipe could have cracked and needs to be replaced to reduce any additional damage.

If you left your hose attached to an outdoor faucet over the winter, we recommend that when you turn the water on, have someone near the water line in your basement or check it immediately yourself to ensure that a pipe did not burst.

Clean shower heads.

It’s best to clean shower heads and faucet aerators to remove any mineral deposits that have accumulated over the past year. Vinegar makes a great cleaning solution to do this. Remove the shower head and place in a bowl of vinegar to soak overnight. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush to remove any deposits. Rinse, dry and replace. If you’re unable to remove the showerhead, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and place the shower head in the bag. Wrap a rubber band around the shower head and bag to hold it in place. Soak overnight and then remove any leftover debris with an old toothbrush.

Make sure your toilets flush properly.

If you need to jiggle your toilet handle to stop the water from running or need to hold the handle down to flush, it may be time to replace worn out tank parts. It’s a quick fix that can help your toilets work properly and reduce unnecessary water use.

Another tip is that you’re noticing your water bill increasing but unable to find a leak, place a few drops of food coloring (blue or green) in the tank of your toilet. Let it sit for 30 minutes. If the colored water leaks into the bowl, there’s a leak. Most of the time it’s a worn flapper that doesn’t fall back into place to seal the drain. This causes your toilet to leak water into the bowl when not in use. If you don’t notice colored water in the tank, you don’t have a flapper leak. You may still need to replace parts inside the tank, like the fill valve or ballcock that have worn with use.

Check your water heater.

First, check the temperature of your water heater. If the temperature is set to higher than 120°F, it’s best to turn to it down to prevent hot water from scalding skin. It will also help save money and energy. Second, check the manufactured date of your hot water heater. It’s if 10 to 15 years ago, you may want to consider replacing it to avoid an emergency failure and a big mess to clean up. New models are up to 20% more energy-efficient. They can also save up to $700 in energy costs over the life of the unit.

If you’re interested in learning more about water heater replacements, please contact our office to schedule a complimentary installation estimate.