We’re into March and that means spring isn’t far away. And if the winter was anything to go by, we may well get a “normalized” spring – which means lots and lots of rain. It’s also traditionally the time to spring clean your home, and it follows that you might as well do some basic home maintenance at the same time. Here are our top 10 spring plumbing tips for getting your home ready for the arrival of the new season.
- Check all your indoor and outdoor faucets. It’s possible some of your pipes might have frozen during the winter, causing straining and cracking, and you’ll see any leaks resulting from this easily. Do your bit for the environment by making repairs to save water.
- Purchase strainers for any drains that don’t have them. This helps to stop it from clogging up with hair, soap, food and other debris. Why spend money on drain cleaning if you can prevent the need to clean it in the first place?
- Check if you have any toilet leaks. A few drops of food colouring in the tank will soon reveal whether the toilet is leaking. If the water in the bowl changes colour, there’s a chance you have a leak.
- Open and shut all the water valves that supply sinks and toilets to prevent them from getting stuck, and replace any that don’t function properly. This is called exercising them.
- Test your toilets to make sure they flush correctly. This is one of our favourite spring plumbing tips, because replacement of worn tank parts is simple and inexpensive and you’ll immediately notice the difference in both convenience and your water bill.
- Clean out your shower head with dishwashing liquid and water, and dry it completely to prevent rusting. This not only gets rid of mineral deposits, but eliminates bacteria from your bathroom.
- Change the setting of your hot water cylinder to 55 C, which is the temperature recommended by the Canada Safety Council. You don’t need water to be quite as hot in summer, and turning it down will help to reduce the use of energy and prevent you from burning yourself.
- Check all your plumbed-in appliances such as the clothes washer, dishwasher and icemaker. Replace any water supply hoses that show signs of degradation or age and check that the drains the appliances use are free of clutter, or they may require drain cleaning.
- Inspect all the drains, gutters and downspouts for debris and things like squirrel nests and food. Squirrels in Toronto tend to hide their stash wherever it’s inconvenient for you.
- Turn on your outside faucet and let it run for a few minutes to clear the pipe leading from the water supply to the outlet. Watch the flow to see if it appears unhindered, and check the visible sections of pipe for any leaks resulting from the winter cold.
If you don’t have time to follow these spring plumbing tips, schedule a professional inspection with your local plumber to make sure you are headed for a worry-free season. And with the rain and flood season on the way, it’s also a good time to make sure your basement waterproofing is adequate.