April showers bring May flowers, and that means the onset of spring. It’s time for "spring cleaning." Action Plumbing offers these basic maintenance tips to protect your home against potential spring challenges.
- Check all of your faucets for drips or leaks. Making the necessary repairs saves water.
- Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap and other debris from clogging up the drain lines.
- Check toilets for possible hidden leaks. Add five or six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
- Inspect toilet tanks and bowls for cracks or leaks.
- Cycle the water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
- Test toilets for proper flushing. 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're inexpensive and you'll notice a reduction in your water bill.
- Clean mineral deposits from shower head. Unscrew it and soak in vinegar or fill a plastic baggie with vinegar; place the bag 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.
- Check the temperature setting on your hot water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
- Carefully drain several gallons from your water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater. Check on your water heater manufacturer’s website for specific instructions regarding your make and model.
- Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four digits of the serial number indicate the month and year it was manufactured.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient.
- Make sure flammables (like, paint, thinner, solvents, and some cleaning supplies) are not stored near your water heater or furnace.
- Check your dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker supply hoses for bulges or leaks. Replace hoses showing signs of weakness or older than ten years. Use stainless steel hoses wherever possible. They are more reliable and less prone to bursting than other types.
- Clean out washing machine lint trap, if equipped, and place a wire trap or a piece of pantyhose over the end of the hose that drains the washer.
- Pour a gallon or two of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent sewer gas odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
- Check exposed pipes under your sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
- If your home has a sump pump, make sure its operating properly by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off without any problems.
- Install a backflow valve in the floor drain if you live in an area where sewers sometimes backup into homes. This valve will help prevent future sewer backups in your home.
- Inspect for slow leaks in your home by taking a reading on your water meter before bedtime. The next morning, without using any water overnight, take another reading. If the reading has changed you have a leak that should be repaired.
- Consider Installing flood alarms. Like a smoke alarm, a flood alarm is a battery-operated device that sounds an alarm when it comes in contact with water. It alerts you to potential flooding or leaks early, giving you’re a chance to correct the problem or call for assistance.
- Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris.
- Check for bird nests in plumbing vent pipes.
- Check faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips, or if you have any leakage 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.
Action Plumbing has the following convenient location to serve you: Sun Prairie, WI: (608) 837-3638, when you need an expert for all your plumbing needs... Call us when you need some action!
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