Hard Knox Plumbing Blog

10 ways to prepare your plumbing for Spring: Expert plumbing tips for the upcoming season

As the winter ends and spring comes up, it’s the perfect time to give your home’s plumbing system some attention. Just like you wouldn’t want a leaky faucet to disrupt your summer barbecue or a clogged drain to turn your basement into a makeshift pond, taking proactive steps now can ensure a smooth and trouble-free season.

Here are 10 essential tips from our expert plumbers at Hard Knox Plumbing to get your plumbing system ready for spring:

 

1. Check and fix the leaks

Leaks, both major and minor, can waste water and cause significant damage to your home. The first step in preparing your plumbing for spring is thorough an inspection for leaks. Pay close attention to areas around pipes, fixtures, and connections under sinks, behind appliances, and in the basement or crawl space.

 

Common leak locations:

  • Around faucets and showerheads
  • Underneath sinks and tubs
  • Around water heater connections
  • Around washing machine hoses
  • Near the sump pump

Signs of a leak:

  • Dripping water
  • Dampness or mold growth
  • Water stains on walls or ceilings
  • Unexplained increase in water bills

If you discover a leak, it’s crucial to address it promptly. Ignoring leaks can lead to extensive water damage, structural issues, and mold growth, resulting in costly repairs down the line.

Need an inspection? We can help you. Contact us here and make an appointment.

 

2. Ensure the optimal performance of your sump pump

The sump pump serves as the protector of your basement, eliminating any extra water caused by intense spring showers and melted snow. To ensure it is prepared for action, perform a thorough inspection and maintenance check:

  • Test the pump: Pour a bucket of water into the sump pump pit. The pump should activate automatically and remove the water efficiently.
  • Clean the pump: Remove any debris or sediment that might obstruct the pump’s operation.
  • Check the backup battery: If your sump pump has a battery backup, ensure it’s fully charged and operational in case of a power outage.
  • Replace worn-out parts: Regularly check the impeller, float switch, and other components for wear and tear. Replace any faulty parts to maintain optimal performance.

A well-maintained sump pump can prevent basement flooding and protect your belongings from water damage.

 

3. Clean and maintain gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters overflowing with leaves, debris, and blockages can cause headaches during spring showers. Clean them with regularity to ensure proper water flow away from your foundation.

 

Cleaning gutters:

  • Wear safety gear like gloves and a sturdy ladder.
  • Use a scoop or trowel to remove leaves and debris from the gutters.
  • Flush it with a hose to clear any remaining blockages.
  • Inspect and repair any loose or damaged sections.

Ignoring gutter cleaning can lead to water pooling around your foundation, potentially causing leaks, cracks, and structural damage.

 

4. Prepare outdoor faucets for Spring

As the weather warms, the temptation to use your outdoor faucets for watering gardens, washing cars, or filling pools increases. Before turning them on for the season, perform a quick inspection:

  • Check for leaks: Look for visible signs of leaks or drips around the faucet and hose connection.
  • Inspect for freeze damage: If you live in an area prone to freezing temperatures, make sure the faucet has not been damaged by frost or freezing water during the winter.
  • Insulate exposed pipes: In colder climates, consider insulating exposed pipes leading to outdoor faucets to prevent freezing and potential bursts.

Extra tip: when turning on the water supply, open the valve slowly to avoid sudden pressure surges that might cause leaks.

 

5. Address clogged drains

Clogged drains can be frustrating and inconvenient, leading to slow or backed-up water flow. To avoid these issues:

  • Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain: These substances can solidify and contribute to blocks.
  • Use a drain screen: Install drain screens in sinks and tubs to catch hair and other debris that can cause blockages.
  • Try natural solutions: For minor obstructions, try using a plunger, baking soda and vinegar, or boiling water to clear the blockage.
  • Seek professional help for persistent issues: If you’re unable to clear a clog using DIY methods, contact a professional plumber for assistance here.

Promptly addressing blocked drains can prevent backups, water damage, and the potential spread of bacteria.

 

6. Assess your water heater efficiency

Spring is an excellent time to assess the efficiency of your water heater. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as leaks, unusual noises, or inconsistent water temperature. Consider the following:

 

7. Check water pressure for optimal performance

Consistent water pressure is crucial for better performance of your plumbing system. You can test the pressure using a pressure gauge, readily available at most hardware stores.

Ideal water pressure: The ideal range for most homes is between 40 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch). Here are some signs of abnormal water pressure:

  • Low pressure: This can lead to weak water flow from faucets and showers.
  • High pressure: On the other hand, this can stress your drainage system and lead to leaks and bursts.Sediment buildup: Over time, sediment can accumulate in the water heater tank, reducing its efficiency. Regularly flushing the tank can help maintain its performance.

 

8. Consider Scheduling a Professional Inspection

While these tips provide valuable DIY solutions, a professional plumbing inspection from Hard Knox Plumbing can offer additional peace of mind. Our licensed plumbers can thoroughly examine your drainage, identify any potential issues you might miss, and offer a solution to prevent future problems.

Benefits of a professional inspection of plumbing this Sprint:

  • Early detection of potential problems: This can save you money and prevent them from escalating into expensive repairs later.
  • Expert advice and recommendations: Our HKP team can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations for maintaining your piping system and optimizing its efficiency.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your system is in good condition can offer peace of mind and prevent unexpected breakdowns.

9. Plan for sprinkler system maintenance

Spring is the season to prepare your sprinkler system for another summer of keeping your lawn lush and green.


System maintenance checklist:

  • Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve for your system and turn it off before performing any maintenance.
  • Blow out the lines: Use an air compressor to blow out any remaining water from the sprinkler lines to prevent freezing and damage during winter.
  • Inspect and repair the heads: Check for any damaged or clogged sprinkler heads and have them replaced or repaired as needed.
  • Test and adjust the system: Once the maintenance is complete, turn on the water supply test the system for proper operation, and adjust any sprinkler heads if necessary.

 

10. Trust in Hard Knox Plumbing for a solution!

Throughout the year, unexpected plumbing issues can arise. Having a reliable plumbing service like Hard Knox Plumbing on your side can ensure prompt and effective solutions. We offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Leak detection and repair
  • Drain cleaning
  • Sump pump maintenance and installation
  • Water heater repair and replacement
  • Toilet repair and replacement
  • Fixture installation and repair
  • General plumbing maintenance

By following these tips and partnering with HKP, you can ensure your plumbing system is well-maintained and prepared for spring and the rest of the year.


FAQs


1. How often should I inspect my plumbing system?

We recommend an inspection for leaks and signs of damage at least once a month. Additionally, consider scheduling a professional inspection by a professional at least once a year.

2. What should I do if I discover a leak?

If you discover a leak, it’s crucial to address it promptly. Turn off the water supply to the affected area if possible and contact a professional plumber for repairs. Ignoring leaks can lead to significant water damage and costly repairs later.

3. What are some signs of a failing water heater?

  • Leaks around the water heater: This is a clear sign of a damaged tank or faulty connections.
  • Rusty or discolored water: This can indicate corrosion inside the tank.
  • Lukewarm water: This can signify a malfunctioning heating element or insufficient water heater capacity.
  • Unusual noises: Loud rumbling or knocking sounds might indicate sediment buildup or other internal issues.

If you experience any of these signs, it’s recommended to contact a professional plumber for diagnosis and potential replacement.