Winter has melted away and April showers have brought about May flowers. So comes the season of Spring and, if nothing else, so comes the season of Spring cleaning. Besides the dusting, sweeping, disinfecting, sanitizing and washing, to take care of your home you definitely don't want to forget protecting your home against plumbing problems. To help out a bit, following are some tips on what you can do to keep all your drains well-maintained.
Slowly drain some few gallons from your water heater in order to push out the nasty corrosion that causes sediment build up. This will help increasing the life of your heater by increasing energy efficiency.Check the washing machine, dishwasher and any ice maker supply hoses for leaks or bulges. Any hose showing such a defect should be replaced. Also, if it is over ten yers old it should be replaced. The new stainless steel hoses out there are much more dependable, if you're in need of a replacement.
The lint trap in your washing machine may have some build up. Be sure to clean that out. Also, though this involves some wherewithal, you can place a wire trap over the end of the hose that drains the washer. Since this could require some expertise, it might be wise to contact a professional to do the work for you.
You can fairly easily check for hidden leaks in your toilets. All you have to do is apply a few drops of food coloring into the tank atop the toilet. You will see color appear in the bowl in about half an hour if the toilet is leaking.
To prevent sticking, turn the water supply valves underneath your toilets and sinks. You can also manually check if your toilets are flushing properly. If you find that the handle must be held down in order to flush the entire bowl or that it perhaps has to be tinkered with to stop running water, then you probably need to replace old, defective parts in the tank.
Clean any mineral build up apparent in your shower heads. What you want to do is unscrew the had and soak it in a plastic bag filled with vinegar. You can also apply the bag of vinegar to the shower head directly without unscrewing it, using a rubber band. Let the shower head soak over the night and then gently brush out any built up sediment. As always, check faucets and drains for leaks. For these, you'll want to get a professional to come and make repairs. In the end, however, it will save you money as you lower the costs of your water bill.
The funnest part of Spring cleaning: hop on the ladder and make sure the gutters are open, cleaned out and free of sediment build up. Fulfill this same exercise with the yard sprains and downsprouts.
Check for birds nests in unwanted areas such a vent pipes and gutters. Check for any held over frozen pipes from the winter that have cracked and must be replaced. You'll know this is the case when there is a leak inside the home the first instance the hose is put on or if a faucet outside is dripping.
Check if your home has a sump pump. If it does, then you can make sure it is working correctly simply by pouring some buckets of water into the pit of the sump. Watch as it should fairly soon turn on and pump out the water then subsequently turn off without a hitch. If you live in an area where the sewers backup into the home, then you might want to get a plumber to install a backflow valve into the drain in the floor. This will help prevent any subsequent sewage backups. Throw a gallon of water into drains that aren't used with much frequency in order to prevent nasty smells from entering the house.
Also you're advised to have your floor drains snaked to make sure they adequately and quickly push out water during a flood situation. On that note, it might be wise to install a flood alarm depending on your area's susceptibility to flooding. These alarms are similar to smoke alarms, operating using a battery and sounding off when it water rushes onto it to alert of potential leaks and/or flooding. You can ask your plumber to set one up for you
While many of these tips can be performed by the layman, some will need the professional expertise of a real plumber in order to ensure efficiency, safety and keep you away from hidden costs in the future. With a combination of professional help and smart planning from your end, you will guarantee a beautiful season outside the home and within.