Spring means a lot of homeowners and businesses begin to make upgrades and repairs after the long winter. Plumbing systems while reliable should get some attention during this period. Here is a plumbing checklist featuring some of the things to look for while doing spring-cleaning.
- Drains. Check your drains by running water for a short period of time to see if it flows out without backing up. If it does, pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda into it and allow to work for a few minutes, then flush it out with boiling water. This solution should remove deposits that cause backups. If your drain catches a lot of grease or oily fluids, try using hot water and detergent as it will attack the molecular structure more directly. Finish the drain service by covering them with mesh filters to prevent debris and hair from collecting in the pipes.
- Leaks. Since leaks can cause substantial damage and attract insects, it is always a good idea to make sure that you identify and fix them quickly. You can check for leaks by ensuring that all faucets and valves are off, then look at your water meter and take note of its reading. The next day, having not used any water overnight, recheck the meter. If you see a different number, it may mean there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
- Pressure. Elevated water pressure can lead to explosive blowouts and severe damage. Normal water pressure should be 55 pounds per square inch or less. If it is higher than that, have a professional plumber install a pressure reducing valve. The valve will limit the amount of pressure in your system and eliminate the risk of blowouts.
- Water supply lines. Washing machines, some refrigerators, faucets, and toilets all use rubber supply lines to provide them with water. Check these lines for cracks, bulging, leaks or other abnormalities and replace if necessary.
- Unpleasant odor. Occasionally, sewer gas or odor caused by bacteria will collect in plumbing pipes. An enzyme cleaner poured into the affected pipe will neutralize these odors. For added protection, you can install a backflow valve to prevent sewer water from getting into your drain pipe. If the odors persist, consider snaking the drain or pipe to remove any lingering debris.
- Sump pump. Periodic inspection of a sump pump is simple and straightforward. To check its condition, pour a gallon or two of water into the sump pit and watch to see if the pump activates. It should turn on instantly and after removing the water, shut itself off. If it doesn’t, it needs repair or replacement.
- Shut-off valves. Check if your various shut-off valves work as advertised with no leaks and freedom of movement in both directions.
- Water heater. Water around or under your water heater is not a good sign. That’s an indication that the tank is leaking and needs to be fixed to prevent water damage. Water heaters more than 6 years old are more susceptible to these types of leaks.
At Bieg Plumbing Company, we hope that you enjoy and have a productive spring season. Should you require any assistance with your spring plumbing checklist, or should you incur a leak or other problem, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have been helping homeowners and businesses in the St. Louis area deal with plumbing issues for nearly 60 years.
If you are ready to give your plumbing a spring-cleaning, contact us to schedule an appointment.