Spring is almost here – and with it comes all those home projects you’ve been putting off. When you’re ready to jump into your spring cleaning chores, don’t overlook your plumbing.
Here’s a plumbing checklist to help you get a head start on identifying and fixing issues that could turn into problems down the road.
Kitchen and bathrooms
- Check faucets for drips or leaks, making plumbing repairs as necessary.
- Install strainers in all sinks to prevent debris from clogging the drain lines.
- Check toilets for hidden leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank; if the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
- Inspect your toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks.
- Make sure toilets flush properly. If a full flush doesn’t happen with minimal effort, it probably means that some parts are worn out from use; contact us for plumbing service to get the problem solved.
- Clean mineral deposits from shower heads and aerators (the screw-on tips of your faucets). Unscrew each and soak them in vinegar overnight, then gently scrub them an old toothbrush to remove mineral deposits.
- Check the thermostat on your water heater; make sure it is set at no higher than 120°F to get the best balance of energy efficiency and performance (the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 115-120°F).
- Drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out efficiency-reducing sediment, carefully following manufacturer’s instructions for doing so – or get professional water heater maintenance from Swezey and let us do it for you.
- Consider a water heater upgrade if your unit is more than 15 years old; the energy efficiency improvements alone will more than likely pay for the investment in just a few years.
- Move any flammables away from your furnace or boiler; remember, the fumes of some flammables can travel by air to pilot lights, so keep them a safe distance from each other.
- Check appliance hoses for bulges, leaks, or cracks; repairing or replacing them as needed.
- Check for and snake slow drains, especially flood drains in your basement.
- Test run your sump pump in advance of spring melting and storms.
- Check under-sink pipes for leaks and repair as needed.
- Look for slow leaks in your home by taking a reading on your water meter before bedtime; check the meter again then next morning after not using water overnight. If the reading has changed you have a leak that should be repaired.
- Consider adding a flood alarm, especially if you live in a flood-prone area or spend a lot of time away from home (if you own a vacation home, for example).
- Clear outdoor drains, gutters and downspouts.
- Look for bird nests in plumbing vent pipes.
- Turn on outdoor water; check faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely.
Don’t wait for a big plumbing problem – stay on top of leaks and other plumbing problems with professional plumbing service from Swezey for your Suffolk County home. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of our plumbing pros.