As you work on spring cleaning and get things ready for summer, don’t forget about one of the most important systems in your house – plumbing.
Spring cleaning typically includes using a lot of water for all that washing. This increase in consumption is the perfect time to inspect your plumbing for leaks, damage, and other issues. Checking your plumbing as part of spring cleaning can save you a lot of headaches, and heartaches, down the road.
Make sure your plumbing pipes and fixtures are working efficiently now by reading through our spring plumbing tips:
Outside plumbing can really take a beating over the winter. Turn on all your outdoor spigots and look for leaking or cracked hose bibs. Also check inside just behind the outdoor faucet to make sure there are no drips from a cracked pipe that could have frozen over the winter. If you have a damaged outdoor pipe, shut off the water supply to that pipe immediately. Call a professional plumber to repair the pipe as soon as possible.
If you have an outside HVAC condenser or venting unit, make sure you clean up any winter debris that may have gathered around it. It’s important to keep coils clean with plenty of air circulation. Also trim any shrubs around outdoor units. Making sure nothing is touching the equipment is a good rule of thumb.
Never open up the housing of an outdoor unit. Any cleaning or repairs to the inside of your unit should be completed by a professional.
Spring is a good time to check for dripping faucets, slow or clogged drains, and sweaty pipes. A slight pipe freeze over the winter can leave a cracked, leaking pipe come spring. While it’s hard to find leaks in walls, check under all your sinks to make sure pipes and hoses are secure and there are no signs of leaks. Remove everything from under sinks. These areas tend to become catchalls so drips and dampness is often missed. Pulling out everything allows you to look for leaks or puddles. It’s also a great opportunity to get rid of some old cleaning supplies and other junk that’s collected.
Also check around toilets, the dishwasher, and the washing machine for drips, water stains, bulges, or dampness. Pay attention to any musty smells that could indicate leaks behind the scenes. Also, mold growth can indicate a leak or too much moisture in an area and should be attended to immediately. If you suspect a leak, call in a professional plumber right away.
Just like we get our heating systems ready for winter with a fall inspection and cleaning, spring is the time to get your air conditioning serviced. Change the filters, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure drain pans are working properly. Considering the energy that A/C consumes, an annual professional cleaning will keep them operating at top efficiency, and extend the lifespan of your unit.
Sump pumps are important in many Maine homes in the springtime. Malfunctions are usually the result of poor maintenance. Sump pumps have a limited lifespan depending on how heavily they are used, if they are a cheaper brand, and if they have not been properly maintained.
During the spring, when demand is greater on the pump, keep a close eye on how effective it’s removing water from the sump pit and out through the discharge line. If your sump pump is having issues, the demand can become too much for it to keep up with and you are left with a wet or flooded basement. Avoid expensive property repairs by keeping your sump pump well-maintained. Your owner’s manual should outline proper maintenance, and professional inspection and service can be a good idea if you have any concerns.
Just like all appliances, hot water heaters require proper maintenance. You should check it every so often to make sure there are no leaks or signs of rust. There should never be soot around the control panel. We typically use more hot water through the winter when the weather is cold (nothing feels better than a nice hot shower when it’s freezing out), so spring is a great time to look for signs of wear and tear. If it is making strange noises, smells funny, your water quality has declined, or you notice it’s running more than usual, it’s time for a professional inspection. If your heater is more than 10-12 years old, it might be on it’s way out. Considering the tremendous damage a burst hot water heater can cause, having a professional inspection is a small cost for peace of mind.
Warm Waters is here for all your plumbing and air conditioning service needs. Please CONTACT US today if you have any questions or concerns that we can help with!