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Spring is definitely upon us, and with spring comes the annual tradition known as spring cleaning. But while you’re busy polishing and cleaning all the “things,” don’t forget your plumbing. Following the long winter, your plumbing needs a bit of a refresh, just like the rest of your home. And besides, adding your plumbing to your spring-cleaning checklist is a good way to get in the habit of maintaining your plumbing each spring, which can help your system last longer and increase its performance. Similarly, it’s a good time to get your plumber on the line if you run across any troublesome plumbing system components.
- Inspect all pipes. If you can’t access your entire pipe system, it’s invariably smart to schedule your plumber for the job. Be on the lookout for damage, leaks, or anything out of the ordinary, and have a professional plumbing tech follow up with a fix to nip problems in the bud before they get out of hand and end up costing you more.
- Look for leaks and damage from hose bibbs, and replace them if necessary. Again, contact your plumber if you’re uncomfortable with hose bibb replacement. Keep in mind, if a hose bibb continues to leak after you replace a spout, then you may have a cracked or damaged pipe that needs attention.
- Use a plumbing snake to remove any clogs in floor drains. It is a good idea to fill the trap in floor drains with a gallon of water. This will prevent bad odors and sewage gases from seeping into the home. Look into having our professionals install backwater valves on any floor drains. This goes a long way toward preventing back-ups in your sewer system.
- Get beneath all sinks in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, and clean the traps well. Consider installing mesh strainers on all drains. This will keep out debris and hair that can cause major clogs in the future.
- If you have a sump pump, now is the time to check it, ensuring that it’s in good working order before the spring and summer storm season starts. Test your sump pump by pouring water into its basin and turning it on. I should begin to work immediately. Make sure there is no corrosion of the pump’s on/off switch.
- Clean showerheads and sink faucets to remove any mineral buildup. Remove your faucets’ aerators, clean them, and replace them if necessary.
- Inspect your water heater, looking for leaks, corrosion, and cracks. It is smart to flush your water heater if it hasn’t been flushed in the past few months. Adjust the temperature to 120 degrees F now that warm weather has arrived. Now is a good time to also think about insulating an older water heater to help it run more efficiently. If you’re unsure how to do it yourself, call on your local plumber for help. And if your unit is getting up there in age, think about getting a replacement if possible. More and more homeowners are going with tankless water heaters in lieu of less-efficient tank-style heaters; your plumber can help you decide if this type of water heater is a good fit for your home.
- Inspect the supply lines that service your washer, dishwasher and faucets. Be on the lookout for leaks, tears and bulges in these supply lines. If you notice any, it’s time to get your trusted professional on the job to repair them and stave off potential damage.
- Clean your garbage disposal according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Take note of any foul odors that may indicate a problem in your unit’s lines.
- Test toilets for slow leaks. Add a few drops of food color to the water reserve tank. Wait a few minutes, and then observe the toilet bowl for signs of the food color to appear. This indicates that your toilet is leaking and costing you additional dollars each month from use. Call out your plumber for a fast and efficient fix.
- Clean your washer’s lint trap to improve its efficiency and performance.
- Finish up outside. Clear away debris and leaves from roof vent pipes, gutters and downspouts. Check the condition of outdoor water hoses and spigots, and repair or replace anything that’s out of order.
As you do your plumbing inspection, be observant for signs of mold, which can be a strong indicator of leaks. If a leak is causing your mold problem, get your plumber out to your New Orleans, LA, home right away, since mold can be dangerous to health and also causes expensive repairs. Mild cases of mold can be cleaned away using bleach or vinegar solutions. However, larger or more complex mold infestations require assistance from a mold remediation service.
Should You DIY Your Own Plumbing Inspection?
While it’s useful to run through this list of springtime tips, the truth is that nothing equates to the trained eye of a licensed plumber. Your plumber has specialized knowledge and training and comes prepared with high-tech equipment that lets him quickly and easily check your plumbing to make sure it’s in tip-top shape and ready for the season. And while some homeowners are confident in their DIY skills, there are many complex problems that can’t be handled by even the most avid DIYer. For these reasons, getting a professional to handle at least a once-yearly plumbing inspection is the best idea for most homeowners.
Reach out to bluefrog Plumbing + Drain in New Orleans, LA, to get your plumbing spring-ready and guard against any potential problems springing up and causing you trouble later. Our expert techs are licensed and bonded – and ready to hop to attention whenever you call.