Spring is here, and for many people, that means it’s time for spring-cleaning. When you give your home a deep clean, don’t forget about your plumbing, as it’s crucial to help keep your family quenched, clean, and comfortable all year long! While it may not be as top-of-mind as tidying your bedroom, your plumbing could use some freshening up and little TLC, just like the rest of your home. Here are 3 tips to keep your plumbing system running smoothly.
1. Check for Leaks
Now’s a good time to check your plumbing system for leaks and drips. Plumbing leaks not only affect your water pressure and pipes, but they can also run up your water bill and damage your home. A leak that goes undetected can cause pipe corrosion, wood rot, mildew, and mold growth. Repairing the long-term water damage is quite costly and highly inconvenient. Watch for visible signs of a leak, such as puddles of water or water stains on your ceilings and walls.
Check all faucets and pipes under the sinks for drips and leaks, and run hot and cold water separately to ensure your pipes don’t drip. You should also check your toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of food dye in your water tank, and if the dye appears in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that needs to be repaired.
To inspect for slow leaks, turn your water off at night and take a water meter reading. Take another reading in the morning, and if the reading has changed, you have a water leak on your hands. If you’re facing a water leak, you can apply epoxy putty on the source of the leak to temporarily seal it. But for a permanent solution, call the pros at Coastal Mechanical Contractors for help.
2. Clean Your Drains
Your drains can get clogged with dirt and debris that hinder the proper operation of your plumbing system; that’s why it’s essential to include them in your spring-cleaning to-do list. If you don’t clean out your drains, dirt and debris will build up, wreaking havoc on your home’s pipes and sewage lines. Cleaning gets rid of foul odors, eliminates clogs, ensures faster drainage, and keeps expensive repairs at bay, effectively saving you money and extending your plumbing system’s lifespan.
Clean your shower, sink, garbage disposal, bathtub, and dishwasher drains to clear any buildup. One way to clean your drains is to use a homemade mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and salt. Pour ½ cup salt, ½ cup baking soda, and ¼ cup vinegar down the drain. Leave it sitting for 15-20 minutes, then flush with hot water.
If this doesn’t work, snaking your drains will do the trick, remove the stubborn debris, and get your drains flowing again. Please do not attempt to use a plumbing machine if you don’t have plumbing knowledge and experience, as incorrect use can severely damage your pipes and drains. In this case, calling a professional is the best option.
3. Flush Your Water Heater
Springtime is an excellent time to get your water heater ready for the upcoming year. Over time, sediment made up of debris and minerals can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater, causing corrosion and clogging and forcing your water heater to work harder to heat the water. Long-term sediment buildup can cause more severe issues like loss of water pressure, pipe bursting, or complete water tank breakdown. Flushing your water heater will remove sediment, increasing the lifespan of your water heater and reducing your energy bills.
To drain your water heater:
- Shut off the water supply to your water heater and turn off the power.
- Give the water time to cool off as it’s typically scalding, and then attach a hose to drain the water tank.
- Turn a hot water tap such as a sink faucet to relieve pressure and allow the water tank to drain faster.
- Check the water heater temperature and ensure it’s set at 120 °F. This will make the water warm enough for a hot shower, laundry, washing hands, and dishes while avoiding scalding and saving you money on your energy bill.
Spring-cleaning your plumbing system can help ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently. While some spring-cleaning problems can be DIY, others require more expertise. At Coastal Mechanical Contractors, we have the tools and expertise to help you with all plumbing needs. Our expert plumbers are available 24/7 for any plumbing emergencies. Contact us today to schedule a service!