Say “spring-cleaning” and you usually think about washing windows, de-cluttering closets, and cleaning carpets. But spring is the time to do regular maintenance of your plumbing systems and appliances. Use the following checklist to tackle preventative spring plumbing maintenance.
Water Heater Maintenance
- Trade out a heater 15 years or older for a new, energy efficient model.
- Clear any items within a two-foot radiance of the hot water heater.
- Set the temperature no higher than 120°, the recommended level to avoid scalding and save energy.
- Flush out sediment by draining a few gallons of water from the heater tank.
- Improve the efficiency of an older heater by insulating it with a fiberglass jacket.
Drains, Faucets, and Shower Heads
- Repair any drips or leaks from faucets or showerheads; remove mineral deposits by soaking faucets or heads in vinegar.
- Clean clogs or debris from drains; add strainers to catch hair and soap.
- Look for cracks in toilet tank and bowl; find tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank and, after 30 minutes, look for the colored water to leak into the bowl.
- Replace worn tank parts if toilets do not flush easily and completely.
- Ensure water supply valves located beneath sinks and toilets operate easily.
Kitchen and Laundry Appliances
- Replace worn or weak dishwasher, washing machine and icemaker hoses.
- Locate and clean the dryer lint trap.
Drains, Gutters, and Downspouts
- Clear debris from drains, gutters, and downspouts.
- Clear debris from all plumbing vent pipes.
- Check outdoor water spigots for drips or leakage; leaks inside your house may signal a cracked pipe.
- Test the sump pump to ensure it is in good working order.
- Clean inlet and pump screen through which water enters the sump pit.
- Add a backup battery-operated sump pump, if not already present.
When you plan your spring-cleaning ‘do list,’ don’t forget to include preventive plumbing maintenance.