6 Steps to Prepare Your Plumbing for Spring When you think about seasonal plumbing issues, you likely picture burst or frozen pipes. However, all seasonal changes can potentially put strain on your home’s plumbing system, even when those changes feel like a relief to you and your family members. In fact, many homeowners begin to notice plumbing issues as temperatures climb during the spring. These problems can develop over the winter but fail to become obvious until springtime, or these issues can develop specifically due to the temperature shifts and spring showers early in the year. In this blog, we list six vital steps that you should take in order to minimize the effect that springtime weather has on your plumbing system.
1. Call on a Professional Regardless of your plumbing system’s current condition or the climate you live in, your first step in any plumbing endeavor should be to consult with a trained plumbing technician. Many seasonal plumbing issues are easy for a trained individual to identify and treat. If you attempt to handle your spring preparations by yourself, you may miss signs of serious potential issues until the problems compound into a majorly destructive springtime disaster. Most plumbing companies offer general visits that consist of visual inspection and fundamental testing of the main components of your system. You should schedule these visits biannually, preferably during the spring and fall.
2. Evaluate Your Fixtures The material shrinkage that occurs when it gets cold outside can have a major effect on your plumbing system. In some cases, the repercussions can become apparent immediately, like when a pipe explodes from ice formation. However, most of these temperature-related problems have more subtle progression. As the weather warms up, your pipes expand back to their normal dimensions after the winter shrinkage. This expansion may turn small hairline cracks into full-blown leaks. You will likely need the help of your plumber to find these leaks since they often appear in hidden pipework. You can determine if you need to schedule leak detection by observing the function of your fixtures. If your water pressure seems lower, water flows differently, or water looks or smells abnormal, the changes may point to a leak in the system. In addition to the signs of leaks in the plumbing system, you may notice damage to individual fixtures, like sink faucets, that occurred due to winter weather conditions. Your plumber can help you decide whether to repair or replace the affected fixtures.
3. Give Your Drainage Proper Clearance While the most important parts of any plumbing system are the physical pipes and appliances, these systems also rely on adequate drainage. Your plumber can provide drainage solutions like drain cleaning, but you may have to pitch in to keep your whole-home drainage system functional. To optimize your drainage, clear the areas around your downspouts and outdoor storm drains. Additionally, you may need to have your gutters and roof cleaned to ensure that spring rain doesn’t overtax your sump pump during the next storm.
4. Have Your Sump Pump Tested In addition to giving your drainage system space to work, you should also have a technician check the appliances involved in drainage to ensure that they work efficiently. Your sump pump is perhaps the most vital drainage appliance during the spring season since it prevents spring showers from becoming spring floods. Schedule at least one sump pump service every year, preferably during the late winter or early spring. If your sump pump needs repairs or you want to add an additional pump to your system, handle these improvements as early in the spring season as possible. That way, you can facilitate proper drainage as the snow melts and the rain falls.
5. Schedule a Water Heater Service Like your pipes, your hot water heater undergoes more strain during the cold winter months. The heater has to expend more energy to heat water to the adequate temperature when the ambient temperature around it is lower. This extra effort can make your water heater more vulnerable to damage and failure in the spring. To keep your heater as efficient as possible, your plumber may recommend flushing all sediment buildup out of the tank. Your plumber may also adjust the temperature to a seasonally appropriate setting.
6. Watch for Any Signs of Water Intrusion Sometimes hidden springtime leaks like those discussed in section two go undetected for a while. Unfortunately, this delay allows the leaks to progress enough to cause water intrusion. Intrusion issues are also more common in spring since the drip could’ve stayed frozen in the winter and only become evident in warmer temperatures. If you notice musty smells, standing puddles, or water spots on your walls, floor, or ceiling, schedule a leak detection service as soon as possible. Take the steps outlined above to ensure that your plumbing system continues to function smoothly through the spring as well as the rest of the year. For comprehensive residential plumbing services, trust the expert team of professionals at Ragan Mechanical.