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As the seasons change and our temperatures drastically drop and rise, Spring is a perfect time to test your home’s plumbing. Many minor problems can easily be spotted and fixed before developing into something more serious, and a little time and attention is worth the effort.
Kitchen & Bathroom:
- Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
- Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap, and debris from clogging the drain lines.
- Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
- Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running, you may need to replace worn tank parts. They are inexpensive and you will notice a lower water bill.
- Clean mineral deposits from shower head by unscrewing it and soak in vinegar. Or, fill a plastic bag with vinegar, place it over the shower head and hold in place with a rubber band. Soak overnight, then remove and gently scrub with an old toothbrush to remove deposits.
- If your home has a sump pump, make sure it operates properly by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on quickly, discharge the water, then shut off without any problems.
- Pour a gallon of water into drains not frequently used (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to be sure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
- Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for any signs of leaks.
- Make sure yard drains, gutters, and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris.
- Check for bird nests in plumbing vent pipes.
- Test faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips or there is leaking inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.