Spring is when most homeowners pack up their winter gear, throw open the windows, and give everything a good scrubbing to make their homes fresh and clean. You should do the same thing to clean out your plumbing system in order to prevent major problems down the road and keep those pipes flowing freely. Here are some tips for plumbing maintenance that every homeowner should follow.
In the Kitchen
- Check your appliances for any leaks and build up around seals. Clean the back of the fridge and make a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to reduce disposal odors.
- Test water supply valves and inspect exposed plumbing under the sink for cracks.
- Check faucets for any drips and tighten washers and handles if needed.
- Clean drains of any clogs to keep them functioning properly.
In the Bathroom
- Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank to check for leaks. If the color seeps into the bowl water in less than an hour, you know you need a quick repair.
- Inspect the bowl for cracks or any leakage.
- Replace flush handles if loose or running without being used. Inspect the tank parts and repair as needed.
- Clean the shower heads of mineral deposits by soaking them in vinegar and gently scrubbing clean.
- Check pipes under sinks for any drips, mold, or mildew. Tighten handles and clean drains.
In the basement or garage
- Inspect any exposed pipes for cracks and drips.
- If you have a floor drain, snake it to clean out the plumbing system.
- Run water into seldom used sinks to fill the sink trap and prevent any lingering smells.
On the home exterior
- Inspect hose bibs and outdoor faucets for leaks that may indicate frozen pipes over the winter and make repairs as needed.
- Clean out gutters, drains, and downspouts to reduce moisture against the outside of the house.
- Check the plumbing vent pipes for any critters than may have taken up residence. Birds’ nests and squirrels can be evicted humanely.
Other plumbing maintenance
- Know where the shut-off valves are in the home and make sure they can be turned easily.
- Consider checking the water meter at night and again after 24 hours to discover an undetected leak.
- Consider any additional upkeep for your hot water tank or tankless system for proper function.
When you take the time to examine and clean out your plumbing system and perform any additional plumbing maintenance, you are taking positive steps to reduce potential damage and other problems that may occur over time. Any effort you make to care for your pipes is time well spent, so incorporate these tips into your spring cleaning this year.