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Our Best 10 Spring Plumbing Tips

With warm weather clearly in our future, be sure to add these plumbing maintenance tasks to your chore list. You may have a plumbing issue that you aren’t aware of, or issues that are small now but can become big. Spending a little time this spring to do some plumbing maintenance at your home is well worth the time!

We’ve compiled some of the most helpful (and easy!) plumbing maintenance tips that you can check off in a weekend:


Check Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures

Turn on all outdoor water spigots (hopefully you shut them off last fall to prevent frozen pipes). Check for any leaks coming from the valves or fixtures.

Run water through your garden hoses and check for any damage to the hose or connectors. Leaky hoses waste water and run up your bills.

Turn on and run your sprinkler system if you have one. Broken sprinkler heads don’t water accurately and will increase your water usage unnecessarily.

Inspect Your Plumbing Vent Pipes

Sometimes, confused little birds think vent pipes are a great place to build a nest. Leaves and other falling debris can clog up vent pipes. A blocked plumbing vent pipe will impact your plumbing fixtures ability to drain quickly.

Clean Out the Gutters

When your gutters are clogged, rainwater will not drain properly away from your house. This standing water around your house will make its way back into your basement or crawl space, adding excess water and moisture to your home. It will also make your sump pump work overtime. Make sure all downspouts clear well, and are directed to move water at least 10’ away from your house.


Check Toilets for Leaks

The average leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water per day. That’s over 6,000 gallons a month – for just one leaking toilet!

  • Inspect the toilet tank and bowl for cracks and leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank, wait 15-30 minutes. If color shows in the bowl, you have a leak.
  • Replace old, cracked fill valve and flapper units as they will lead to leaks and excess water usage.
  • Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from continuing to run, you may need to replace worn tank parts.

Check for Plumbing Fixtures & Appliances for Leaks and Clogs

A faucet or shower head that leaks 120 drips per minute wastes 11 gallons per day, or 330 gallons per month!

  • Check all faucets and shower heads for drips and leaks.
  • Run water in all sinks and showers to make sure drains are clearing properly. If you have a slow drain, it indicates a clog which should be taken care of immediately.
  • Check your washing machine hoses. They can become brittle and crack with age, so replace ones that look in bad shape. Make sure all the hoses are attached securely in place.
  • Check behind and under dishwashers, refrigerators, and other water appliances to make sure there aren’t any visible leaks or stains that indicate a leak.

If you find a small clog, try to open up the drain by gently plunging it. Never use chemical drain cleaners because they are caustic and can cause additional damage to your pipes.

Test Your Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump, make sure it is operating properly. Never run a dry pump, so pour a few buckets of water in the sump pit to make sure it turns on quickly, pumps, and shuts off without any problems. Consider investing in sump pump monitor for total peace of mind.

Make sure the sump pit is clean of debris and buildup. Also check the discharge pipe, and clear of any leaves and debris that may have build up over winter.

Inspect Your Hot Water Heater

If your water heater is 10-12 years old, it’s time to think about a replacement. When a hot water heater goes, it can be catastrophic. Inspect all around your water heater for signs of a leak or corrosion. If you see any warning signs, call a plumber immediately.

The temperature on your water heater should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.

Check for Signs of Mold & Mildew

Mold and mildew growth is a sure sign of a water leak or excess moisture. Any of these scenarios is very bad for your home and potentially your health. Determine the cause immediately or call in a professional to assess the situation.

Words of Plumbing Wisdom

While it’s not as exciting as planting flowers, catching a small plumbing problem now can save thousands of dollars later. It’s never worth putting off plumbing repairs because they only get more expensive and damaging the longer they go on. Plumbing leaks and problems also waste a lot of water which is bad for the planet, reduces energy efficiency, and drives up your utility costs.

Schedule Spring Plumbing Maintenance

We hope this list helps you give your plumbing some springtime attention. If you spot any issues, or you have concerns, schedule a visit from your plumber. A thorough inspection will help determine exactly what repairs or replacements you may need and set your mind at ease.

Gelinas HVAC Can Help with All Your Plumbing Needs

If you have any questions, please contact us to schedule a service visit to ensure that all the plumbing in your home is working properly.