There is an annual cycle of winterizing your home for freezing temperatures, and then reversing course to be ready for warmer weather and sunshine. Part of that routine involves preparing your plumbing, as homes are expected to increase their water usage as the temperatures get higher. If you are not already familiar with your home’s plumbing, then now is a great time to get started with some spring plumbing prep. Begin by inspecting some of your plumbing fixtures inside. To ensure that your home can be ready for heavy rainfall, check that your sump pump is working as it should to keep your basement or lower levels from flooding.
Next, inspect your water heater. You might think that you won’t be using as much hot water when it gets hot outside, but it is best for the longevity of your water heater to address any issues from the winter as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may end up dealing with costly emergency repairs next winter when your water heater is needed most.
Look around your bathroom, too. Check for any leaking or dripping faucets, slow drains, or even cracks in the sink or toilet. Run a couple test flushes down the toilet to make sure it drains and fills correctly. It cannot hurt to soak your shower head in vinegar, either, to clear away and mineral deposits that could restrict water flow. In the kitchen, do the same inspection on the sink as you would in the bathroom.
The faucet should turn on and off correctly, with no drips. The drain should be free of any food waste or clogs, and test the garbage disposal so you can have the peace of mind that it can handle the food waste it may see. After you do a plumbing inspection of the inside, look around the outside of your home. A clean roof and clear gutters play an important part in redirecting water away from your home. Water that pools in the gutters will find its way into your home, causing damage to ceilings, walls, or anything else in its path. Downspouts need to be cleared as well, and they should angle down and away from your home.
Outdoor faucets and hose bibs should be inspected, and if you have a sprinkler system, test it as soon as you can. If you left a hose attached to an outdoor bib during the winter, you should check it for leaks or other damage that harsh conditions could have caused. Also, make sure that the connection to the house and the pipes behind it are in good condition and not leaking any unseen water down below.
Last, it is important that you know where your home’s water shutoff valve is located. In many homes, this can be found in the basement near where your home is connected to the main water line. In extreme situations and unseen emergencies, the quicker you can get to the shutoff valve and stop the flow of water, the better.
Every year it is important for homeowners to get a thorough inspection of their plumbing. A consistent routine will better identify problems before they turn into costly repairs. For more information on preparing your home’s plumbing for the spring, call Kellermeier Plumbing at 616-866-5134. At Kellermeier Plumbing, we pride ourselves on being honest and upfront with our customers and strive to provide our clients with the highest level of service.