The sun is shining and spring is upon us (I hope!). After a long, cold and challenging winter, it’s a good time to check your home’s plumbing to prevent problems. Here are our top 7 spring tips:
- Check Outside Hosebibs – When you turn on your outside tap, or ‘hosebib’, for the first time, be sure to go back into the house and check to see if there are any leaks. The inside valve or pipe may have frozen over the winter and cracked. We get more calls in spring for leaks and water damage from this.
- Test Your Sump Pump – Our second most common plumbing emergency. Test your pump by pouring a couple of buckets of water into the pit to see if it turns on and removes the water. Also make sure the pit is free of debris so as not to clog the pump just when you most need it to work. Ensure that the float is allowed to move freely to function correctly. Check the discharge line outside and clear it of any ice, gravel and debris to prevent water from backing up into your home. If you have a battery back-up sump pump, check the battery. If you don’t have one, consider getting one installed in case of a power outage which usually occurs during rain storms.
Extra tip: If your pump is continuously running but no water is being pumped out, there’s probably a blockage somewhere. Turn off the power to the pump immediately to prevent the motor from burning out and check all the above or call a professional.
- Care For Your Septic – Spring runoff can quickly fill your septic tank and cause backups. Divert run- off water away from your septic tank and field. During an extreme thaw or heavy rains, limit the use of water in your home. Spread clothes washing over a couple of days to reduce overloading the tank. Use a liquid laundry detergent as powdered detergents contain fillers which solidify in the tank. Switch to dryer sheets as liquid fabric softeners interfere with the breakdown of waste. Also, keep the manway cover on to prevent excess water from entering.
- Test Your Drinking Water – Most people are unaware that spring run-off can affect their well water. Contaminants are more likely to enter wells during the spring thaw. If your water changes colour or develops an odour, get your water tested. Also seriously consider installing a proper filter and/or sterilizer in your home to protect you and your family.
- Look For Leaks – Check under all sinks and cabinets for signs of leaking water. Even a small leak left unchecked could cause mould and water damage over time.
- Save Your Hot Water Tank – Spring is the perfect time to drain your hot water tank and flush out sediment which causes corrosion, reduces heating efficiency and shortens the lifespan of your hot water tank.
- Look Up, Way Up – Make sure your plumbing vents are clear of ice, debris and even nests to prevent odour and back-ups. Clear out your gutters and downspouts and check for damage to them and your roof’s shingles. During winter, ice can form in old gutters and lift up shingles allowing water to enter the home making many people believe they have a plumbing leak.
If you are unable to perform the above, please call a professional. Happy Spring!