Seasonal Tips for Spring
April showers bring May flowers and the onset of spring, which means it’s time for “spring cleaning.” First Call Plumber offers these maintenance tips to protect your home against plumbing problems.
- Check taps for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
- Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap and debris from clogging the drain lines.
- Check toilets for hidden leaks. TIP: Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
- Inspect tank and bowl for cracks or leaks.
- Exercise water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
- Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn tank parts. They’re inexpensive.
- Clean mineral deposits from showerhead. Unscrew it and soak in vinegar or fill a plastic baggie with vinegar; place it over the showerhead and hold in place with a rubber band. Soak overnight then remove and gently scrub with an old toothbrush to remove deposits.
- Check the temperature setting on the central heating and water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
- Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
- Make sure flammables are not stored near the water heater or any furnace you may have.
- Check dishwasher, washing machine and icemaker supply hoses for bulges or leaks. Replace hoses showing signs of weakness or older than ten years.
- Clean out washing machine lint trap, if equipped, and place a wire trap or a piece of pantyhose over the end of the hose that drains the washer.
- Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains if you have them) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house.
- Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
- If your home has a sump pump, make sure it operates properly by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off without any problems.
- Install a backflow valve in the floor drain if you live in an area where sewers sometimes back up into homes. This device will prevent future backups.
- In certain areas you may want to install flood alarms. Like a smoke alarm, a flood alarm is a battery-operated device that sounds an alarm when it comes in contact with water. It alerts you to potential flooding or leaks.
- Make sure garden drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris.
- Check taps and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor taps drips or if there is leakage inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
If you have problems with CYLINDERS, IMMERSIONS, STOPCOCKS, OVERFLOWS, BALL VALVES, LEAKS, BURST PIPES, TANKS, BOILER REPAIRS, SHOWERS, SINKS, OUTSIDE TAPS, TOILETS, BATHS, BASINS, SANIFLOWS, WASTE PIPES, TRAPS and if you live in any of the following areas, we aim to be with you within the hour:
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