With the onset of spring, our focus naturally shifts to the fresh vibrancy and renewal of the season. For numerous homeowners, spring is a crucial period for deep cleaning. Be it deep cleaning or completing an organizational project that has long lingered on your agenda; remember not to overlook your plumbing system! This is crucial as, following the challenges of winter, your plumbing system needs a little maintenance to guarantee optimal functionality and readiness for the upcoming season. Today, Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain aims to equip you with our practical spring preparation tips to safeguard your home and plumbing system. This will offer you greater peace of mind as we assist you in preparing for the springtime. 

1. Is Your Water Heater on Your List? 

Your water heater operates quietly, reliably supplying heated water for your comfort whenever you need it. As spring approaches with warmer temperatures, it may be easy to overlook inspecting your water heater. Nonetheless, now is an ideal moment to assess it for any maintenance requirements. 

  • Check the Temperature: To begin, it is advisable to verify that your water heater is set to the recommended temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as per the CPSC (The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Check for Wear: Inspect your water heater, including the valves and connections, for any signs of corrosion. Should you observe rust, corrosion, or any anomalies, we recommend contacting a professional promptly to evaluate the extent of the damage. While it may mean nothing, addressing any unnoticed issues from the past few months now can prevent potential escalation into more significant and costly complications.  
  • Check for Noises: Unusual noises serve as an early warning signal, suggesting potential strain on the system. If you detect any uncommon sounds, seek assistance from a professional. Odd sounds like sizzling, hissing, or crackling could indicate the need for draining your water heater. 
  • Check for Dust or Dirt: You may find the vicinity around the water heater full of dust and dirt. If this is the case with yours, 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 unit itself is layered with dust, carefully wipe down the water heater with a damp cloth. Be sure to wipe it dry afterward. 

Keep in mind that a water heater generally lasts around 8-12 years, based on maintenance. If yours is nearing this timeframe, it could be wise to think about a replacement. 

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

2. Is Your Sump Pump on Your List?   

For residences equipped with a sump pump, it is important to note that the early spring marks the onset of high-water tables. With the rainy season approaching, maintaining the optimal condition of your sump pump and ensuring its readiness to manage the workload can mitigate risks such as basement flooding. 

  • Check the Power: Make sure your sump pump powers on and is ready to respond. This can be achieved by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit to verify the pump’s appropriate reaction. 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 diagnose your issue for you! 
  • Check the Pit: Look in the sump pump’s pit and remove debris and sediment from the sump pump pit to maintain optimal efficiency. Then, verify the secure placement of the sump pump lid to prevent debris accumulation. Keep in mind, it’s in your sump pump’s best interest to maintain a clean and clear space around the pump to mitigate potential plumbing issues.   

3. Are Your Indoor Drains on Your List? 

April showers may challenge your drains during the rainy spring season. The build-up of debris can hinder proper drainage, causing standing water and potential overflow. So, you want to be sure that all drains are clean, clear, and ready for spring. 

  • Check the Kitchen Sink: If you have a garbage disposal, activate it to ensure proper functionality and drainage. Given its frequent use, it benefits from occasional maintenance. Natural solutions such as baking soda and vinegar can effectively clean your kitchen sink drain. For a pleasant aroma, consider using lemon juice. Just avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners to prevent potential damage to your drain system. 
  • Check the Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, Showers & Toilets: You should regularly ensure that all bathroom drains are clean and free of any accumulation or obstructions. Proceed by carefully removing drain stoppers and screens from your bathroom sink, tubs, and showers. Then, eliminate any hair and debris buildup. Once you have verified the absence of any potential blockages, promptly test the drainage by allowing water to flow freely. Additionally, ensure that all toilets flush and drain properly, do not run continuously, and do not exhibit any signs of backing up. 
  • Check the Floor Drains: Sweep around floor drains to remove stray hair, dust, and loose particles. Flush with hot water to prepare for use. If further cleaning is needed, use vinegar and baking soda.  

4. Are Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains on Your List? 

The function of your gutters and downspouts in redirecting water from your residence is paramount. Incorporating this task into your spring-cleaning regimen is vital. Blocked gutters may lead to water accumulation near your foundation, causing potential problems like water damage. 

*Above all, prioritize safety by considering professional assistance if you feel unsafe on a ladder or lack the appropriate tools for the task at hand. Your safety is paramount!   

  • Check the Gutters: Prepare your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools to maintain your gutters. While they may not need cleaning immediately, you should still inspect them before the onset of heavy April showers! 
  • Check the Downspouts: Downspouts should not be neglected during your gutter inspection. They play a crucial role in your gutter system. While your gutters may be clean and ready to handle rainwater, having blocked downspouts can impede proper drainage. So, make it a point to inspect them regularly. In some instances, you can remove the lower section to ensure it is unobstructed, removing any debris if you do find any. Remember to reattach it securely. Additionally, consider using a downspout extension for better water redirection if necessary. 
  • Check the Outdoor Drains: It is common for loose leaves, flower petals, sticks, and mud to accumulate over drains. So, conduct a thorough inspection of all outdoor drains in your yard and surrounding areas to ensure they are unobstructed. If any blockages are found, remove them carefully using a rake or outdoor broom. 

When you ensure the cleanliness of gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains, you are safeguarding the plumbing integrity and home resilience against erosion and flooding.  

By integrating these four plumbing inspections into your seasonal home maintenance regimen, you can prevent potential issues and extend the longevity of your plumbing system. Remember, tasks requiring specialized knowledge should be entrusted to a qualified professional such as Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain for tasks beyond your expertise. 

Call Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 363-1924, or schedule an appointment by clicking here! We’d love to serve you!