Spring Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

5 Apr

Spring has sprung, meaning warmer days, flowers, spring cleaning, and… plumbing problems? The fact is that winter is tough on plumbing, making spring maintenance essential.

Follow our Spring Plumbing Maintenance Checklist to keep your plumbing system working efficiently and prevent water damage.

1. Check Pipes

Winter can damage your home’s plumbing systems — and you might not realize this until spring arrives. When temperatures plummet over the cold months, pipes begin to freeze. When this happens, the pipe can burst. In other cases, cracks form in the pipe, resulting in slow but severe leaks that can go unnoticed for weeks or even months.

Consequently, the first order of business on your spring plumbing maintenance checklist is to inspect pipes and pipe connections for leaks. Pipes in uninsulated areas (like attics, crawlspaces, basements, and exteriors) are especially vulnerable to freezing. 

So, ensure that you examine these closely for any cracks. Additionally, look under your home’s sinks for any signs of moisture.

While checking for leaks, keep an eye out for condensation accumulating on the surface of the pipes. As temperatures warm in spring and summer, moist outside air comes in contact with the cold pipes, causing the lines to “sweat.” Sweating pipes can trigger mould and mildew growth in as little as 24-48 hours.

If your pipes are sweating, you need to insulate them. Self-adhesive pipe sleeves are one solution. Contact Brothers Plumbing to learn more about preventing sweating pipes.

Although condensation and leaks cause water droplets to accumulate on the pipe, there is one significant difference: leaks appear in a specific area, whereas sweating occurs along the entire length of the pipe.

2. Check Toilets

Next, check the toilets for leaks and malfunctioning flushes. Look at the water bowl, water tank, surrounding pipes, and wall connections for water or evidence of moisture.

A colour test is an easy way to see if the tank is leaking. Add a few drops of food colouring to the tank and wait 30 minutes. If you see colour in the bowl, you have a leaking toilet tank.

Another sign that something is wrong with your toilet is if it’s constantly running. A running toilet (a toilet that won’t stop flushing) is caused by a failed flapper or seal. 

Fortunately, flappers are relatively easy to replace! As running toilets waste immense amounts of water, thus raising your monthly utility bills, you should deal with it as quickly as possible.

3. Check Drains (And Add Drain Screens)

If you have any problems with your drains, winter weather will only worsen them. Remember, you should never pour grease, oil, or fatty substances down the drain. But it’s so much worse to do this in winter. 

Cold temperatures cause hot oil and grease to cool down rapidly in the pipes, stiffening and congealing into a solidified layer of fat. It turns into a horrific blockage, resulting in a clogged drain.

The cold also causes kitchen and bathroom clogs to freeze, making them impassable. 

Once spring begins, these blockages will sometimes thaw, and your drain will become slightly more usable. However, this doesn’t always happen.

To test your drains, run the hot water tap in every sink in your home. The water should drain quickly. A slow drain is a clear sign of a clog somewhere in your pipes. You may also hear a gurgling sound.

If you have a slow or clogged drain, it’s time to deal with it. It will not improve independently — and the longer you leave it, the more it smells. Get the issue resolved and add a drain screen to prevent future clogs.

4. Check the Water Heater

Look around the water heater for signs of leaking and ensure all the hoses are still in place. Additionally, consider flushing your hot water heater to remove stray sediments from the tank.

When water is heated, minerals separate from the water molecules. These can then settle, hardening at the bottom of the tank and along the sides. 

Over time, mineral accumulation (scaling) can make your water heater less efficient and cause premature wear and tear. By flushing the heater every spring, you can prevent scaling from getting out of hand.

5. Check Appliances

Any appliance that uses water (dishwashers, washing machines, ice makers) should be inspected for a leak. 

Replace water supply hoses if you notice any bulging, leaking, or discolouration. Additionally, check that all connections are still snuggly fitted.

6. Check the Sump Pump

You should test your home’s sump pump regularly (every three to four months). A working sump pump is essential for preventing massive and costly water damage from leaks or burst pipes.

Testing a sump pump is easy. Pour a bucket of water into the basin and wait to see if the pump activates. It should drain the water and then shut off. If it doesn’t, contact Brothers Plumbing for sump pump services in Bloor West Village.

7. Check Outdoor Plumbing

Harsh winter temperatures can damage outdoor taps and pipes, causing them to crack and buckle. Turn on the faucets to check for water flow and inspect any pipes for leaks. 

While you’re at it, examine downspouts, gutters, and drains for blockages. Leaves, sticks, and other debris can cause significant clogs, which you must address before the spring showers start.

8. Check Vent Pipes

Vent pipes funnel sewer gases out of your home’s drain pipes and allow fresh air in. This is a necessary process. When these vent pipes are restricted due to clogs, you encounter slow drains.

Since vent pipes are exposed to the elements and winter’s frigid temperatures, winter clogs are common. Ice and frozen vegetation block airflow, reducing draining efficiency in winter. However, solid debris can also fall into your home’s plumbing system through these vents. When this happens, your vent pipes will stay blocked into spring.

Consequently, checking the vent pipes for clogs and cleaning them if necessary is essential. 

Professional Plumbing Services in Bloor West Village

Brothers Plumbing in Bloor West Village provides many world-class plumbing services. Our crew is committed to delivering lasting results, quality craftsmanship, and excellent customer service. We stand behind our work 100%.

For plumbing services in Bloor West Village, call Brothers plumbing at 800-741-8471 or contact us here.

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