As spring approaches, we naturally shift focus to the season’s vibrant renewal. For many homeowners, spring is a key time for cleaning – whether deep cleaning or organizing long-overdue projects. But don’t forget to include your plumbing system in your spring cleaning routine! After enduring the winter weather, your plumbing needs a little TLC for optimal performance and readiness for the upcoming season. Neglecting it may result in expensive repairs later on if left unattended. Today, New Albany Plumbing & Drain aims to equip you with our useful spring preparation tips to protect your home and plumbing system for the rainy spring season! 

1. Think About Your Water Heater   

Your water heater works quietly to give you warm water when you need it. As spring approaches, it’s easy to overlook checking on your water heater. But now is the right moment to examine it for any maintenance requirements!  

  • Temperature Check: Verify that your water heater is set to the recommended temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower, as advised by the CPSC (The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Visual Check: Check your water heater for any signs of corrosion, including the valves and connections. If you see rust or anything unusual, call a professional to assess the damage.  
  • Audible Check: Unusual noises can serve as an early warning that your system might be under strain. If you hear strange sounds, it’s best to contact a professional. Sounds like sizzling, hissing, or crackling could indicate the need to drain your water heater. 
  • Cleaning Check: The area around the water heater may be covered with dust and dirt. If this is the case with your unit, take a moment to gently sweep around the unit. You can use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment if needed. Just be sure to practice caution and move slowly. If the top of the unit or the sides are dusty, carefully wipe down the water heater with a damp cloth. Be sure to wipe it dry afterward. 

Reminder: A water heater usually lasts 8-12 years with proper maintenance. If yours is nearing this timeframe, it could be time to think about getting a new one. 

Fun Fact to Ponder: The first day of spring in 2024 is on March 19! 

2. Think About Your Sump Pump   

It’s the rainy season! So, for homes with a sump pump, remember that early spring brings high-water tables. Make sure your sump pump is in good shape and ready to handle the workload to prevent basement flooding.  

  • Test Check: First, ensure your sump pump is functioning by pouring water into the sump pit to test its response. If the sump pump does not turn on or respond as it should, you can try troubleshooting it. Click here for some information on how to troubleshoot your sump pump or feel free to give us a call so we can come diagnose your issue for you! 
  • Pit Check: Thirdly, go ahead and look inside the pit to clear out any debris or sediment that has built up in it. Check for loose particles that could block the pump and reduce its efficiency. If you spot any, remove them gently. Also, make sure the sump pump lid is securely in place over the pit to prevent debris from falling in. You always want to keep the area around the sump pump tidy and clutter-free to avoid plumbing issues in the future. 

3. Think About Your Indoor Drains   

The rainy spring season can really test your home’s drains. So, it’s not unusual for debris and gunk to build up and obstruct proper drainage, leading to standing water and potential overflow – both of which you most definitely want to avoid if you can!  

  • Kitchen Sink: If you have a garbage disposal, turn it on to check that it’s working and the water is draining properly. Since you use this part of your kitchen often, it’s good to give it some care now and then. You should clean your kitchen sink drain with natural products like baking soda and vinegar. For a fresh scent, you can use lemon juice. Stay away from using harsh chemical drain cleaners, as they can harm your drain and pipes. 
  • Bathroom Sink, Tub, Shower & Toilet: Ensure your bathroom drains are clean and free from blockages. Remove the drain stoppers and screens from sinks, tubs, and showers. Clear any hair or gunk buildup. Thenf confirm that there are no blockages by testing the flow of water. Last but not least, check toilets for proper flushing and drainage, confirming they are not running constantly or backing up. 
  • Floor Drains: Take a moment to sweep around your floor drains to clear hair, dust, and loose particles. You can also pour hot water down the drains to keep them functional. For deeper cleaning, use vinegar and baking soda, then rinse thoroughly with water.   

4. Think About Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

Your gutters and downspouts play a vital role in directing water away from your home. So, including them in your spring-cleaning routine is crucial! Clogged gutters can lead to water pooling near your foundation, which is what we are trying to stay away from. 

*First and foremost, prioritize safety. If you’re unsure about using a ladder or lack the proper tools, don’t hesitate to seek professional help instead.   

  • Check the Gutters: Prepare your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools to clear out your gutters. They might not need cleaning just yet, but it’s important to check before the heavy April showers arrive! 
  • Check the Downspouts: Don’t forget to check your downspouts during your gutter inspection. They play a crucial role in your gutter system. Even if your gutters are clean, if the downspouts are clogged, the water needs a clear path to drain. Check them by removing the bottom piece and ensuring it’s clear. Then, remove any debris from the downspout and put the piece back in place. On top of that, you can also consider using a downspout extension for better water drainage. 
  • Check the Outdoor Drains: It’s common for leaves, flower petals, sticks, and mud to gather over drains. Check all your outdoor drains around your yard and house to ensure nothing is blocking them. If you spot any obstructions, remove them carefully with a rake or outdoor broom. 

By keeping your gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains clear, you protect your plumbing and home from erosion and flooding. It’s a win-win situation! 

Performing These four simple plumbing checks in your spring home maintenance routine will help to avoid issues and potentially even extend your plumbing system’s lifespan. Remember, for complex tasks, reach out to a professional like New Albany Plumbing & Drain

Call New Albany Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 245-3319, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!