With the onset of spring, our focus naturally shifts to the renewal springtime brings. As a result, numerous homeowners take this time to really adopt the spring-cleaning culture. Because what better time is there than to start off a fresh season than with a freshly cleaned and organized home? If you’re planning to do the same, whether that entails a thorough cleaning of every crevice and cranny in your home or perhaps taking on a long-postponed organizational project on your bucket list, let’s not forget about your plumbing system in the process! Following the winter season, your plumbing system may warrant a little seasonal maintenance to guarantee optimal performance and preparedness for the forthcoming season. 

Neglecting certain components of your plumbing system may result in expensive repairs in the future. Today, Lancaster Plumbing & Drain aims to equip you with our practical spring preparation tips to aid in protecting your home and plumbing system. This guide will offer reassurance as you proactively prepare for the upcoming rainy season. 

1. Have You Checked on Your Water Heater?   

Your water heater is a silent hero, reliably supplying heated water for your comfort whenever you need it. As the warmer season approaches, it may be easy to overlook the maintenance of your water heater. Nonetheless, now is an ideal moment to conduct a thorough inspection to address any maintenance requirements. 

  • Look at the Temperature: Stary by verifying that the temperature of your water heater is set at the recommended level (120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as per the CPSC – The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Look Over the Unit: Now, try inspecting your water heater for any indications of corrosion, especially focusing on the valves and connections. Should you observe rust, corrosion, or any anomalies, we recommend promptly seeking the expertise of a professional to evaluate the extent of the damage. While it may mean nothing, addressing any unnoticed occurrences from the past months and identifying potential underlying issues is crucial. Taking action now can prevent the situation from escalating into a more substantial and costly problem. 
  • Look for Dust: You should also look for dust buildup on or around the water heater. It’s normal for this area to accumulate dust and buildup. If this holds true for your water heater, go ahead and take a moment to gently sweep around It. You can employ a vacuum with a small nozzle attachment if that makes it easier for you to perform the task. Just don’t be sure to practice caution and move very carefully. Last of all, if the unit has dust layered on top of it, gently wipe it down with a moist cloth. Just make sure it’s wiped dry afterward. 
  • Listen to the Unit: Unusual sounds serve as an early indication that the system might be experiencing strain for various reasons. Therefore, if you detect any abnormal noises, you’ll want to contact a professional. Irregular noises like sizzling, hissing, or crackling could indicate that your water heater may be due for a flush and draining. 

Just for Fun: The first day of spring this year in 2024 is on the 19th of March! 

2. Have You Checked on Your Sump Pump?   

For residences equipped with a sump pump, it’s important to note that early spring marks the onset of elevated water tables. Taking the rainy season into consideration, maintaining your sump pump and making sure it is prepared for the inevitable spring showers can mitigate plumbing risks such as basement flooding.  

  • Make Sure It’s On: You want to make sure your sump pump is ready to respond when it’s needed. This can be done by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit to verify the pump’s appropriate reaction. If it doesn’t power on as it is supposed to, you can try troubleshooting it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Click here for information on how to troubleshoot your sump pump, or feel free to give us a call so we can diagnose and resolve the issue for you! 
  • Make Sure the Pit is Clean: In terms of cleaning, the pit of the sump pump should be clean and clear of loose debris or sediment that may have accumulated. It’s a good idea to periodically check the pit for loose debris or particles within the pit that could impede the pump’s efficiency. If any such obstructions are discovered, handle their removal with care.  
  • Make Sure the Area is Clear: Last but not least, confirm the secure placement of the sump pump lid to prevent the intake of loose debris. On top of that, keep in mind that maintaining cleanliness around the sump pump and ensuring the area remains free of clutter is essential to avert potential future plumbing issues. 

3. Have You Checked on Your Indoor Drains?   

April showers may truly challenge your indoor drains during the rainy spring season. This is because debris buildup can impede drainage, causing standing water and potential overflow. So, let’s make sure your drains are ready for the oncoming season. 

  • Check the Kitchen Sink: If you have a garbage disposal, go ahead and turn it on to confirm it works and drains accordingly. Given its frequent use, regular maintenance is highly recommended. If you feel the need to clean your kitchen sink drain, try using natural remedies like baking soda and vinegar. For a pleasant scent, lemon juice can be used. It’s best to avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners to prevent damage to your drain and pipes. 
  • Check the Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, Showers & Toilets: You should regularly inspect all bathroom drains to prevent any accumulation or blockages. Proceed by gently removing drain stoppers and screens from bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers. Subsequently, eliminate any hair or debris buildup. Once you have verified the absence of any potential obstructions, conduct a brief test by running water to confirm smooth flow and drainage. Additionally, check that all toilets are flushing and draining properly, not running continuously, and not experiencing any backups. 
  • Check the Floor Drains: Sweep around your floor drains and remove any stray hair, dust, and loose particles. Additionally, you may pour hot water down floor the drains to prepare them for use. If further cleaning is needed, vinegar and baking soda can be used effectively. Just make sure they are efficiently rinsed with water so no residue is left behind. 

4. Have You Checked on Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains?   

The purpose of your gutters and downspouts in diverting water from your residence is paramount. As such, it is imperative to incorporate this task into your spring-cleaning regimen as well. Obstructed gutters may lead to water accumulation near your foundation, potentially causing more problems. So, checking that your gutters and downspouts are prepared to take on the workload for the upcoming rainy season will make you none the wiser. 

*Prioritize safety by considering hiring a professional if you are not comfortable or lack the proper tools for tasks like ladder work.  

  • Check the Gutters: Prepare your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools to maintain your gutters. While they might not need cleaning yet, it’s advisable to inspect them before the onset of heavy April showers. Should you find any leaves or loose debris to clear, take care to carefully remove them. 
  • Check the Downspouts: Downspouts should not be disregarded in your spring-cleaning routine. These are essential elements within your gutter system. While your gutters may be clean and prepared to manage rainfall, blocked downspouts can impede proper drainage. So, make sure to inspect them as well. If necessary, you can cautiously detach the lower segment to confirm it is indeed unobstructed. If there is any debris like leaves and twigs, gently clear it out and remember to replace the lower piece back into its original position. Additionally, consider utilizing a downspout extension for redirecting water further if necessary. 
  • Check the Outdoor Drains: It is common for loose leaves, flower petals, sticks, and mud to accumulate over drains. Some debris may have built up over your outdoor drains during the winter and could continue in the spring. So, make it a point to conduct a thorough inspection of all outdoor drains on your property to verify they are clear and water will flow smoothly. If any blockages are identified, clear them using a rake or outdoor broom with caution.  

By ensuring proper maintenance of clear gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains, you are safeguarding the plumbing integrity and home durability from erosion and flooding.  

Spring presents an opportune moment to assess the health of your plumbing system, ensuring its readiness for the warmer months ahead. By integrating these four plumbing inspections into your seasonal home cleaning regimen, you not only avert potential disasters but also extend the longevity of your plumbing system. Keep in mind that certain tasks may necessitate professional intervention, so it’s advisable to engage a skilled plumber such as Lancaster Plumbing & Drain for any issues beyond your expertise. 

Call Lancaster Plumbing & Drain today (740) 796-8998, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!