Spring Cleaning Your Plumbing
You can feel it in the air, spring has arrived! Birds are singing, trees and flowers are blossoming and severe weather is being forecasted. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been sneezing your head off because of all the pollen in the air. Yep, spring is definitely here, and quickly followed by summer. So, what does that mean for your plumbing system? Glad you asked. As we go into the last few weeks of the school year, you’re likely gearing up for those summer parties at your home, or more kids over during the day, and of course summer vacations. With the increase of people in your home, this means an increase in the usage of your plumbing system. Outdoor sprinklers, toilets flushing more often, more showers being taken, long periods of no use during vacations – all of these things can take a toll on your plumbing system. Let’s discuss some ways that you can handle those extra plumbing needs as we go into the summer season.
Inspect Hoses and Valves
Most homeowners don’t think about leaks during the summer as they are often associated with frozen pipes during the winter months. However, during the summer months, we often see an increase in leaks and floods. The culprit of those leaks and floods tend to be hoses and connections with the main villan being forgotten washing machine hoses. While all hoses and valves can leak and cause damage, washing machine hoses are typically the weakest link in your plumbing system. We suggest inspecting all of the hoses in your home – kitchen sink water lines, dishwasher water lines, bathroom sink water lines, toilet water lines, and, of course, the water lines for your washing machine – to ensure that they are connected properly and tightly. In addition, we recommend turning all of your shut off valves off and on to ensure that they are working properly.
Check Your Water Heater
During the summer, your water heater isn’t used as much as it is during the winter months. This means that the summer is a great time to check your water heater or possibly even replace it. If your water heater is under six years old, we recommend having it drained and inspected. Be sure to have someone check the anode rod and heating elements. For gas heaters, we recommend having your gas burner assembly looked at and replaced, if needed. If you have an electric heater, your focus will be on the lower and upper elements. If you have a water heater between the 6-10 year range, we recommend to consider replacement as this will help to reduce the risk of costly repairs in the future as well as possibly help to lower your energy and water bills.
Add Outdoor Faucets
During the spring and summer, you’re likely outside more gardening and doing yard work. This means that you’re likely doing more outdoor watering as well and you’re really starting to get tired of messing with the water hose so you start thinking that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a new hose bibb to the front of your home. The spring and summer months are the perfect time to take stock of your outdoor water needs and decide if you need a new hose bibb added.
Prepare for Vacations
It’s Murphy’s Law, you go on vacation expecting a relaxing time only to get a call from your neighbor that your house is flooded. You’re most likely to experience a leak or flood while you’re on vacation due to pressure issues occuring when your plumbing system is not being used. Think of it this way – high pressure is a lot like having high blood pressure, it’s not good. Your plumbing system isn’t designed to be under pressure for an extended period of time. When you’re on vacation, you’re not flushing your toilets, taking showers, or doing any other activities that utilize your plumbing system. This causes pressure to build up. When you’re preparing to go on vacation, we recommend turning off your water entirely via the main water shut off valve to your home.
Check Your Water Pressure
A few moments ago, we mentioned that having high water pressure in your home is akin to having high blood pressure. Like your blood pressure affects everything in your body, the water pressure in your home affects all aspects of your plumbing system. If you have high water pressure, you will likely see the results of it when your plumbing system isn’t being used and the pressure builds up. We recommend purchasing a pressure gauge or having a technician come to your home to check your water pressure. A normal pressure reading would be below 55 PSI. If you’re higher than that, you may want to look into having a pressure reducing valve (PRV) installed. If you already have a PRV on your home and are still experiencing high water pressure, it may be time to replace your valve. If you choose to ignore the water pressure to your home, it’s possible that you may have a blow out due to high water pressure and that could be costly. Hop over to last week’s blog to see why it’s a good idea to have a PRV on your home.
We hope these tips will help you in better understanding how your plumbing system works and the need for taking care of it. Remember, we are always here to help and you can reach us anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach us via phone at 972-562-4444. Until next time, have a great week!