Spring is a great time to check your home's plumbing system to ensure that there are no problems that could lead to water damage, energy waste and higher utility bills. Here are the plumbing systems to check in every part of your home.
- Check for drips, including faucets, ice makers and under the sink
- Look for signs of hidden leaks under sinks, including stains, mold and mildew
- Run the disposal, does it sound louder than it should? Does it rattle? Have a plumber check the unit
- Do the drains empty quickly, or are they slow to empty. If they're slow have a plumber inspect the drain lines
- Look for water leaks around the base of the toilet
- Check for cracks in the toilet tank and bowl
- Does the toilet run for longer than it should? Does the handle need to be held down to empty completely? Parts may be worn out and need replacement
- To check if the toilet is leaking, add several drops of food coloring to the tank. Check the bowl 30 minutes later. If the water has become colored, there is a leak
- Check drains by filling sinks, tubs and showers with water. Do they empty quickly?
- Check faucets and shower heads for mineral build-up. Soak fixtures in vinegar overnight to dissolve the deposits
General Plumbing Check
- If plumbing fixtures are unused for long periods of time, open and close faucets and valves under sinks and toilets to prevent seals from sticking.
- Check the water heater thermostat. It should be set to 120 or lower to prevent scalding
- Flush the water heater tank to remove sediment at the bottom of the tank that can reduce efficiency and lead to corrosion. Check your water heater manual for the proper procedure for draining and maintaining the unit
- If the water heater is over 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model
- Ensure there ere no flammable liquids store near the water heater
- Check washing machine hoses for signs of wear including bulges, cracks and tears. Replace old worn out hoses with newer braided stainless steel hoses
- Pour a bucket of water down floor drains to keep the trap sealed and prevent odors
- Check for signs of water leaks in ceilings and under sinks
- Ensure that pluming vents outside the home are no obstructed by bird's nests or debris
- Ensure your sump pump is working properly by pouring a bucket of water in the pump pit. The pump should turn on a drain the water away
- Check outside faucets for leaks