The first day of spring brings warmer weather and longer days of sunshine. As you get ready to enjoy the fresh air and budding flowers, you might also be thinking about spring cleaning. This year, while you make plans to dust off shelves and clear out storage areas, you should also remember to inspect your plumbing with our home plumbing maintenance tips for spring cleaning.
Your pipes, fixtures, and water-related appliances are the lifeblood of your house, and dependable water is vital to a clean home. Read more to learn which essential aspects of your plumbing you should check at least once every year.
Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips
- Check the age and condition of all major plumbing appliances and components, including your water heater, sump pump, toilets, and garbage disposal. If any of your plumbing parts are nearing the end of their expected life spans, prepare to save for a replacement. To get an idea of when your appliances should be replaced, refer to our Plumbing Fixture Life Expectancy Guide.
- Make sure all valves are working properly, checking to see if the knobs are able to turn freely and fully stop the flow of water.
- Consider flushing your water heater once a year and keeping a water heater maintenance checklist. If your water heater is relatively new (i.e., less than 3 years old), you should begin an annual flushing routine. As you use your water heater, minerals and other debris buildup in the unit. These solids could inhibit your water heater from functioning properly, so it’s important to learn how to drain a water heater.
- Check to see if your drains are flowing freely. Grease, soap scum, and food bits can accumulate in your pipes, clogging your kitchen drain. Your bathroom drains could also become blocked as soap, hair, and other organic material buildup overtime, which could cause unpleasant shower drain smells. If your pipes are draining slowly due to blockage, try clearing them them out: Pour a large bucket of hot soapy water down the drain to try to flush our any debris. Follow up with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, and then try a baking soda solution.
- Check to see if your toilets are leaking. You can learn how to check for leaks in your toilet with a simple test. If it turns out your toilet is leaking, it could be due to flush valve or toilet flapper leaking.
- Check all exposed piping for leaks. Do a visual inspection for any drips or signs of water damage around your home. Be sure to check under sinks, and examine exposed pipes in your basement and crawl spaces.
- Clear any mineral buildup from your shower heads and faucet aerators. Have your shower heads or faucets been running water at low pressure? Is there visible white residue on the metal? If so, it’s likely mineral buildup. Mineral deposits can can clog the small openings of your shower head or faucet aerator and inhibit water flow.
How to Clean Calcified Shower Head or Aerator
If you’ve noticed mineral deposits accumulating on your faucets or showerheads, you should clean them to avoid additional buildup and low water pressure. Here’s how to clean a calcified shower head or faucet aerator:
- Pour a solution of equal parts water and vinegar into a bag and tie it onto your shower head
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes
- Remove the bag and scrub the shower head with a brush
- For sink faucets, try to unscrew the tip of the faucet, which houses the aerator
- Soak the aerator in water and vinegar
- Alternatively, you can buy replacement aerators at a low cost
After working through our home plumbing maintenance tips, be sure to address any concerns as soon as possible to prevent any messy plumbing disasters in the future.
Heil Plumbing DMV is a family-run company owned by a third-generation master plumber. We can help you with a full range of plumbing services, including toilet installation and repair, leak detection and pipe repair, water heater repair and installation, faucet repair and installation, drain cleaning, water treatment, and more.
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