Spring has sprung. With the warmer weather comes a host of potential plumbing issues. Before the season gets into full swing, take a look at the springtime plumbing checklist that can save you time, money, and headaches.
Check Your Sump Pump
A mild, low-snow, or rain-free winter means your sump pump hasn’t seen action in months. When spring showers strike a barely functional or not working sump pump can equal a major basement flood. If your pump has gotten no or minimal use over the winter season, you’ll need to check for leaks, clogs, and other potential damage that may have gone unnoticed.
Homeowners can look for obvious clogs at the end of a discharge pipe or inside of the pump (by removing the lid when the pump is off and unplugged). After looking for clogs, you can also verify that the pump is plugged in to a working electrical source. Without electricity, your sump pump won’t function.
If you don’t have the plumbing expertise to conduct a spring sump pump check with confidence, consult a professional plumber. The plumber can assess the pump, making sure that it’s able to remove excess water from the impending spring and summer showers.
Check for Frozen Pipe Leaks
You don’t need to live in the far north for your home to suffer from frozen pipes. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, pipes can freeze when the temperature falls to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. A sudden or unexpected cold snap can leave homeowners unprepared and uninsulated or outdoor pipes unprotected.
While a burst frozen exposed pipe in your basement or a crawl space is obvious, a freeze-related crack in plumbing hidden behind a wall or outdoors isn’t always immediately noticeable. As the weather warms and everything thaws, check exterior plumbing fixtures/pipes for signs of weather-related damage. Look for cracks, gaps, or other damage that could cause water to leak out.
Along with exterior pipes, check your interior plumbing for similar types of damage. Pipes hidden by walls are almost impossible for the homeowner to inspect. Instead of trying to look for the damage, look for the leak. A higher water bill (with no explanation), damp or wet walls, and unexplained water pressure changes are all signs of a potential leak.
If you suspect a freeze-related leak, contact a plumber immediately. You’ll need a professional to repair or replace the pipe to stop the flow of water.
Check Exterior Water Hookups
You haven’t used your hose or sprinkler for months. Now that the grass is growing and you’re getting ready to garden, you need an outdoor water source. Check your hose bibb for leaks before using it. Remove the hose or any attachments to get a good picture of what’s going on with your outdoor plumbing.
Turn the handle. If it’s rusted shut or won’t move freely, you have a problem. If the handle turns easily, the next step is to test the water that’s coming out. A steady, strong stream of water means your hose hook up is working acceptably. But if only a drip or a low-pressure stream flows from the faucet, your hose bibb or the pipe going to it have a problem.
Contact a plumber for an assessment, diagnosis, and repair.
Check Interior Plumbing Fixtures
Spring cleaning is an opportune time to check for damage, wear, or tear in your home — including your plumbing fixtures. A plumber can inspect your fixtures or appliances, looking for potential problems. Whether you have a slowly draining sink or a toilet that clogs often, a plumber can find and fix interior issues.
Do you need help getting your home’s plumbing system ready for the spring and summer? Contact Two Men and a Snake for more information.