Spring cleaning is often a time to remove dirt from forgotten corners, declutter the home, toss old clothes, and refresh the garden. It is also an excellent opportunity for spring plumbing maintenance. Besides preparing yourself for the warm weather and exciting summer season to come, your plumbing system needs some preparation as well! As you go through the items in your house, why not check on the plumbing too? Spring plumbing maintenance is an easy and effective way to check the drains, water mains, and sewer lines in your home for damage, leaks, and clogs. More importantly, fixing plumbing issues prevents them from escalating into costly problems. Here are some expert tips for your annual spring plumbing maintenance.
Place a Strainer on All Your Drains
A strainer is a simple yet effective tool that filters most of the solids poured into sinks and tubs. Strainers catch hair and food particles to prevent clogs. Check the diameter of your drains before purchasing your strainers, or contact a professional plumber to assist.
Likewise, it’s a very good idea to add a screen or grating above all outside area drain and yard drain covers. Doing this prevents leaves and various debris from blocking area and yard drains. Once an outside drain gets blocked it may not only flood the general outside area, but cause flooding inside your property as well.
Check Your Fixtures & Appliances For Leaks or Damage
You may be losing water to leaks in your fixtures. Check all your toilets for leaks by dropping color into the toilet bowl. Observe the color change after 30 minutes. If the color has flowed off, it means water is still running, even without a flush. Call a professional plumber to fix the leak or advise on toilet replacement. Also, replace all drippy faucets and taps in your home to control water loss. Remember also to check appliances such as the water heater, sump, and washing machines for efficiency and leaks to reduce water leaks.
Check Water Pipes For Damage
Spring plumbing maintenance provides an excellent opportunity to check all your plumbing for damage. During winter, water in some pipes may freeze, expand and damage pipes. If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, there are several things you can do to prevent catastrophic water damage.
- Shut off the water mains valves to stop the water supply into the house or other parts of your home. After turning off the main valve, flush all the toilets in the house to empty the tanks. If the toilet cisterns run dry and there is no water coming in, then the valve is off.
- Next, use an air compressor to pump air into the pipes to force the freezing water out. In most cases, the pipes that freeze over are those in unheated spaces such as kitchen cabinets, basements, garages, and attics. Also, external supply and drainage pipes in pools and hoses tend to freeze.
- Alternatively, you can turn up the heat in your home and use fans to direct heat into unheated areas of your home. The heat will slowly thaw the water in the pipes. Open all the doors in your cabinets to make sure the heat reaches all corners. Also, open the faucet that receives the water and release the pressure inside the pipes.
Water Main Maintenance
There are several steps you can take to ensure your water mains function correctly.
- Go to your main valve and twist the knob around to ensure proper function. Over years of neglect or not being used, the main valve may freeze in place. If you attempt to move a stuck valve, you can break it, wreaking havoc in your home. Therefore never use excessive force. Always use even pressure, and leverage when required – but never excessive force.
- Check the nuts, bolts, and gaskets in your home. These small components hold various components of your water mains together and sometimes rot before the pipes. As such, it is crucial to perform an annual inspection and replace them if necessary. Note that while you can perform an inspection by yourself, it is best to call a professional plumber to do the replacement.
- It is also wise to check for leaks in your mains. First, check for indicators such as lower water pressure and wet patches in your yard. Alternatively, you can switch off the water supply to your home and check if the meter is still running even if you are not consuming water actively.
- If you identify any leaks in your home, contact Balkan Plumbing to repair your mains immediately. Professional plumbers verify leaks in your plumbing works, replace pipes safely, and work quickly to resolve the water supply disruption to your home.
Check Your Drain As Part Of Spring Plumbing Maintenance
It is important to clean out your drains once in a while to prevent huge clogs and costly maintenance.
- Pour boiling water in your kitchen sinks to melt the clogs, and pour more water in to flush away the clogs.
- Use baking soda and vinegar to resolve clogs. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed closely by half a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit overnight and pour hot water into the drain in the morning.
- Open your water trap at the bottom of the sink to remove sediments. A trap is an S-shaped, P-shaped pipe at the bottom of your sink. Sometimes, it can resemble a bottle (bottle trap). However, if the trap is inaccessible to you, contact Balkan Plumbing.
- If you are not using the kitchen and bathroom fixtures for a while, check them for a foul smell. In most cases, a foul smell indicates that the seal in your traps is broken and allowing odors into the house. Pour water down the drain, especially in unused kitchen appliances, to keep the water seal.
- Use a cup plunger for clogs in your sinks and tub. Remember to seal the overflow outlet on the fixture and remove the strainers.
- Purchase an auger or snake to remove stubborn clogs. The auger uses a cable to dislodge stubborn clogs. You can then pull the line out and repeat the process until you remove all clogs. However, if you push the cable as far as you can and cannot eliminate the clog, contact Balkan Plumbing.
Spring Plumbing Maintenance Includes Your Home Sewer
- There are home remedies to clean your drains and sewers. Some folk suse hot water, or baking soda and vinegar to eliminate grease clogs. Grease clogs often happen due to fats poured down the drain. Over time, these fats solidify in the sewers and prevent proper drainage.
If you try essential hacks and nothing works, call a professional sewer line maintenance company to check your sewer lines.
- Tree roots sometimes make their way into your sewer line. Usually, the roots identify a water source and use any available crack to start growing in your pipes. Over time, the roots expand the gap, causing sewer seepage into the surrounding ground. In this case, the ground could be your yard. Contacting Balkan Plumbing is the safest way to fix sewer line damages and prevent root growth near your sewer line.
- Sometimes, old sewer lines collapse, which causes slow drainage from your home. Professional plumbers can use sewer cameras to inspect your sewer line, figure out where your problem is, and fix it as quickly as possible.
- Professional plumbers also have the right tools, such as high-power augers and water jets, to remove stubborn clogs that are far from your reach.
- Lastly, if you notice backwater in your drains, ask the professional plumber to check for a backwater valve. This valve prevents backwater from main sewer lines.
Check Your Outdoor Plumbing Too
After checking your indoor plumbing, remember to inspect your outdoor pipes and fixtures. If you have water that drains to a pool, water fixture, or yard, check for any water puddles after the ground dries up. Remember also to unclog the drainage pipes in your yard and replace any missing grating.
Professional Spring Plumbing Maintenance
An annual plumbing checkup is a great way to resolve plumbing problems and prevent costly replacements. You can schedule your spring plumbing maintenance to keep your plumbing systems in great shape. Contact Balkan Plumbing today for a thorough inspection and maintenance.