If you reside in Dallas, Texas, you can avoid common plumbing problems that arise in spring.
Spring is coming, and the days are getting longer and warmer. Along with spring cleaning, it’s time to do home maintenance.
Spring plumbing maintenance is an important part of maintaining your home. As you tidy up your home for the spring, it’s a good idea to make sure your plumbing is working right.
Texans use a lot of water. As a result, it is important homeowners know a thing or two about taking care of their Dallas plumbing system.
Spring Plumbing Problems You May Encounter in Dallas, Texas
The first place you’re likely to notice plumbing issues is with your appliances. You must find and resolve any issues with major appliances immediately. This means it’s a good idea to start your spring plumbing maintenance with an inspection of all your major appliances.
For your refrigerator, make sure that the water line is in good condition. Next, move on to checking the plumbing that connects to your washing machine and dishwasher.
Also, make sure that the temperature of your water heater is set to 120-degrees. You’ll also need to check for corrosion by draining a couple of gallons of water from your water heater. This plumbing maintenance task will prevent corrosion and sediment buildup in the unit.
Dealing With Heater Sediment
If you find sediment in your heater, you need to purge the residue from the unit. The built-up sediment in your water heater can reduce the efficiency of its operation. By draining the water every year, you’ll increase the lifespan and efficiency of your water heater unit.
It can take an hour or more to complete this task. If you’ve done it before, it may take less time. If not, you may want to have a professional do this for you, and a good plumber will also check the rest of your plumbing system.
In the wintertime, you may have raised the temperature of your water heater. Now, it’s time to lower it to a more suitable temperature. Also, looking for any watermarks or signs of problems from inside walls of your homes. There could be exposed pipes, leaks or other signs of damage that should be dealt with immediately.
Now is the time for a hands-on approach. Put on some heavy-duty gloves and unwrap any plumbing insulation and inspect the pipes for mold or dampness. If they look good, rewrap them to protect them against unforeseen cold spells.
Now, check your drain filters. A clogged kitchen sink, bathroom basin or shower is a bona fide nuisance. You should replace your drain filters yearly to keep water running clean and fast.
Don’t forget to check your toilet. For example, there’s a problem if you need to hold the toilet bowl handle down to flush completely.
You may have gotten used to doing this. However, you’ll save money and water by replacing the float unit as you may be surprised how much more water is used with an inefficient toilet or damaged/worn-down parts.
Time for a Closer Inspection
You must also check around the base of the toilet for leaks. Toilet leaks can cause toxic mold growth and structural damage.
If you see a leak around the toilet, a plumber can replace the seal to stop the leak. Also, check the toilet bowl for cracks.
Next, move on to your shower. Check the head and the taps.
Showerheads typically develop a mineral buildup from the water that flows through them. This buildup blocks the holes in the showerhead and can also accumulate in sinks and basins.
You can remove mineral buildup using a time-tested cleaner – white vinegar. With the taps, for instance, apply white vinegar and let it stand. After some time, you can wipe away the mineral deposits, although it may take several applications.
Spring Plumbing Tips for Dallas Homeowners
A few plumbing tips can go a long way to getting the most out of your Dallas home. Checking for leaks is a common theme when searching for home plumbing problems. Leaks can spring up anywhere, making it essential that you inspect your pipes and water fixtures carefully.
Look around your home and make sure that no water is dripping from connections, especially if you’re not using any fixtures. Moisture below exposed pipes is a telltale sign of leaks. Look for wet spots in the basement as well.
Some leaks are difficult to find. However, they always have a tell… water (or water damage).
Also, if you hear continually running water anywhere during your inspection, call your local trusted Dallas plumber right away.
Now it’s time to inspect your sump pump. Your sump pump may have worked hard during the winter to keep your basement dry. If you want it to continue to do so, it’s a good idea to maintain the unit.
Check your sump pump by filling the indoor basin to the top with water. If it doesn’t start up right away, call a professional to repair it.
Also, check the sump pump basin. At the bottom of the basin, clean the grate that keeps debris from filtering the plumbing system. It’s a smart move to have a professional plumber check your sump pump, along with your other appliances.
Now, focus on your drains. It is important to always keep your drains clean.
Clean drains prevent clogs. However, you should avoid chemical drain cleaners.
Heavy-duty chemicals can eat away the insides of your pipes. Hot water and cleaners such as dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar are safe alternatives for drain cleaning.
A Plumbing Checklist to Keep Your Home Right and Tight
You should make a spring checklist of tasks you need to perform to keep your plumbing system running optimally. The following may help.
Now, you can home in on your indoor faucets and connectors. Turn off all faucets and shutoff valves. Your faucets and valves should turn smoothly.
Open and close the hot and cold waterlines separately. Make sure that they run at sufficient pressure and operate smoothly.
If you see that any of your water lines have low pressure, it’s a sign that there’s a leak in your plumbing system. If the location of the leak isn’t readily apparent, you may have no choice but to call in a plumber to track down the problem.
Now, it’s time to do a more thorough check of your toilet. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water tank. If food coloring leaks into the main bowl, it’s time for a new flapper.
Next, you’ll move on to an unlikely area of your home to check your plumbing system – the outdoors. This is important, as trees and bushes sprout new roots during the spring. This growth can block water flow to your public sewer system.
As you prepare to check the outdoor plumbing, look for mossy areas near fixtures and pipes. Moss can serve as a sign of a leak in your plumbing system.
If the water pressure is low throughout your entire home, the “root” of your problem may have occurred due to spring growth outdoors. Next, turn on the valve for your outdoor faucets. Make sure that the controls turn easily.
You also want to make sure that the valves for your outdoor plumbing don’t leak. If they do, you need to replace the washers in the affected areas.
Now, reattach your garden hose and make sure that it doesn’t have cracks or leaks. If you have an irrigation system, you should call in a plumber to check the system and have it primed for the season.
But Wait, There's More!
Although your outdoor plumbing isn’t the main part of your home’s water system, you’re not done yet. Move on to checking your rain gutters. Make sure that they're clear and clean.
In the wintertime, trees and flowers drop large amounts of leaves and seeds. The leaves and seeds can block your eaves and downspouts.
Next, check the grading around your foundation. Foundation grading ensures that excess water flows away from the house so that it doesn’t leak into the foundation and your crawlspace or basement.
Also, check for flooding around your septic tank. Walk around the area where the septic tank is installed and look for water-soaked ground. If you notice suspicious puddles, you’ll need to have it checked.
If you have both an indoor and outdoor sump pump, it’s time for another sump pump check. Pour water in the outdoor basin, and as before, the sump pump should start right away. If not, you need to contact a trusted plumber to repair the unit.
Finally, look for leaks in your outdoor sprinklers and faucets. Hopefully, you remembered to turn off the water line to your outdoor plumbing before the cold season set in. If you see a leak as soon as you turn on your hose, the outdoor plumbing may have a leak or crack.
There are a lot of small tasks that go into checking over your plumbing system in the spring. However, it’s better to do everything before the season starts so it doesn’t ruin your plans during the summer.
Getting Ahead of Spring Problems
Now, you can devote your attention to your water heater. Some people turn up the temperature on the water heater when it gets cold.
However, experts recommend keeping the water heater set to 120-degrees year-round. Running your water heater at a higher temperature can cause scalding.
Manufacturers design water heaters to last for about 10 years. A high water heater temperature can also reduce the life cycle of the unit.
You can hold onto a water heater for longer than the recommended life cycle. If you plan to do so, you’ll need to have a plumber inspect the unit annually.
If you haven’t already, turn down the temperature on the water heater. While you’re at it, look for leaks and corrosion.
If you see soot, rust or puddles around the unit or control panel, you’ll need to have it inspected by a professional plumber. Your home warranty may even cover the cost of repairs and maintenance.
Springtime Is Busy for Plumbers in Dallas, Texas
It can prove challenging to find qualified plumbers in spring. Just as with accountants at tax time, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year for plumbers.
After the holiday festivities come to an end, many homeowners are left with built-up cooking oil, grease, and food in their plumbing systems. As a result, many homeowners choose to call in a trusted expert for spring plumbing maintenance.
Much of the buildup comes from the food that people put in their garbage disposals. A Dallas, Texas plumber may unclog 6 to 8 greasy drains a day.
An oil, grease or food buildup typically results in a clog that settles about one to one and a half inches into the pipeline. This kind of blockage is a stubborn inconvenience and can prove very costly to fix.
You can prevent this kind of blockage. Avoid putting fibrous, stringy or starchy foods in your garbage disposal. These foods may include poultry, celery, fruit, and potatoes.
You should also avoid putting coffee grinds in your plumbing system. They harden and clog quickly.
Don’t put pasta or bread in your plumbing system either. Starches expand easily and will block your plumbing system.
When working with grease, try to rinse dishes and cooking equipment with cold water. Grease that’s heated by hot water will cool down quickly and solidify inside your pipes.
Also, never pour cooking oil or fats down your drains. They’ll also cool down, harden and clog your plumbing system.
Finally, wash off greasy plates and pots with paper towels. This way, you’ll remove most oil and grease before cleaning your dishes and keep it from getting into your plumbing system.
Call in a Pro to Get the Job Done Right
Springtime plumbing maintenance is a big job. Hopefully, these spring plumbing tips will prepare you for the coming warm weather. It makes sense to call in a professional to do it for you.
When looking for a Dallas, Texas plumber, you want to find a professional who is capable, trustworthy and credible. You also want a plumber who will work with your budget.
Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Dallas of Dallas, Texas at (214) 838-8232. Our experienced, world-class plumbing professionals, can help you get your Texas plumbing system into tip-top shape and ready for an enjoyable summer.