Spring is a time of year when many homeowners like to get their houses in order. Spring is a great time to have a lot of your plumbing maintenance performed, it’s starting to warm up and it’s good to clear away some of the debris that could have built up after winter storms. Regular plumbing maintenance is a good way to make sure your plumbing is working effectively, efficiently, and helps your plumbing last longer. Here is your spring cleaning plumbing checklist.
Water Heater Maintenance
Water heaters definitely make it to the top of your plumbing checklist. The better they have maintained the longer they will last and the more efficient they are. Sediment build-up happens over time with both tank storage and tankless water heaters.
Tank Storage Water Heater Maintenance
With tank storage water heaters the sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank. This forms a barrier between the heat source and the water making your water heater work harder and less effective. Sediment buildup can also eat away at the tank itself making it prone to leaks. To combat this, tank storage water heaters should be drained and flushed once a year. This helps remove the sediment that collects over time. Additionally, the pilot should be checked for a strong flame and the tank should be inspected for signs of corrosion.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Tankless water heaters are touted as low maintenance, however, that does not mean they are no maintenance. Buildup can still occur within the water heater, so your tankless water heater should be descaled to remove sediment that can build up on the heat exchange.
Water heater maintenance for both tank storage and tankless water heaters should be performed annually, however, if you live in an area that is prone to hard water you may want to increase the frequency, as hard water can do a number on your appliances. If you don’t already have a water softener, you may want to look into getting one. This can help protect your plumbing from excessive sediment buildup which can not only affect your appliances but also mess with your water pressure.
Check Supply Lines
One of the most common sources of a leak is from water supply lines. Water supply lines that supply water to appliances like refrigerators and washing machines can often fail unexpectedly. Ideally, these lines should be replaced every 5 years to be on the safe side. Over time they can fray and become prone to leaks. Oftentimes unsuspecting homeowners are caught off guard, which is why it is a good idea to inspect your water supply lines at least once a year. If you notice any frailty, replace it right away. This is an inexpensive fix and can save you money on unnecessary water waste and damage.
Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are part of your home’s drainage system and help redirect rainwater away from your home. This can protect your home’s foundation and prevent flooding. Gutters and downspouts often get clogged with dead leaves and other debris that accumulate during the fall and winter months. Spring is a good time to clean this debris away. They also make gutter shields that can help prevent debris from collecting inside of your gutters. You can install these yourself or have them installed for you. If you live in an area with a lot of trees, this may be a good solution.
It is a good idea to inspect your plumbing fixtures for leaks at least once a year. Check around toilets, faucets, and under sinks for any leaks. If you notice something, have repairs made right away. The faster you have repairs made, the less damage and less waste will occur. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the signs of a water leak which include:
- The sound of dripping for rushing water
- A moldy or mildew smell
- Visible water damage
- Unexplained puddles or pools of water
- A higher than usual water bill that cannot be explained
Plumbing Tips For Spring
A lot of homeowners choose to make home improvements during the spring. A lot of big and small home improvement projects find themselves on honey-do lists during the springtime. But before you embark on your weekend projects, it is important to keep your plumbing in mind. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Know where your lateral lines are. If you are digging around the yard, make sure you don’t damage a main water supply line or sewer line. This can lead to a big mess and expensive repairs.
- Keep your plumbing in mind when you plant new trees or shrubs in your yard. Roots naturally grow towards the water, and underground plumbing pipes provide a beacon of moisture for roots. Avoid planting anything too close to main water and sewer lines. Slow-growing plants are best, as they take more time to reach your plumbing.
- Invest is a stud detector. If you are making improvements inside, say hanging pictures or shelves, invest in a stud finder. Nailing into your walls blindly can cause damage to water supply lines behind your walls. Even the slightest leak can cause a lot of damage over time. So be careful and check before you drill or nail.
Get Help With Plumbing Maintenance
We get it life can get pretty hectic, and your plumbing checklist is probably not at the forefront of your thoughts. This is why a lot of plumbing maintenance can get neglected. Lesco can help you with your plumbing checklist! Schedule your appointment today!